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Fabinho’s unbeaten Liverpool midfield trio charge Manchester United helpless



Liverpool have endured more than their fair share of midfield problems this season, but the trio that put Manchester United to the sword have a 100 per cent record.

After a record 7-0 win over arch-rivals Manchester United, perhaps expect Liverpool’s forwards to get most of the praise. However, victory at Anfield was built on the solid foundation laid by impressive performances from some of the Reds’ most unsung heroes.

It would be fair to say that Brazilian defensive midfielder Fabinho has struggled for form at times this season. However, his commanding effort at the base of Liverpool’s midfield was hugely influential against Erik ten Hag’s in-form side. There has been much talk of Manchester United’s Brazilian midfielder Casemiro, but it was the 29-year-old who made the biggest impression at Anfield.

The first half was more even than the second, but Fabinho was tenacious in fending off Manchester United’s biggest attacking threats. Showing his tactical experience, the former Monaco player came on to help centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konaté by offering another body in the Liverpool backline when they were in defence. He was one of the main reasons United struggled to match Klopp’s side in creating chances.

The extra corps meant Manchester United’s main supply lines, Bruno Fernandes and Wout Weghorst, struggled to get into the match. As a result, Marcus Rashford, formerly a free score writer, was essentially reduced to feeding leftovers for much of the game.

It’s no coincidence that Liverpool looked significantly more stable defensively following the return of Van Dijk and Konaté, but the intelligence of Fabinho, who played his best game of the season so far, was also a big reason whereby Klopp’s team was able to suppress much of Manchester United’s attacking threat.

There is no doubt that Fabinho has been an integral part of Klopp’s squad in previous seasons, earning affectionate nicknames such as ‘vacuum cleaner’ and ‘beacon’ in reference to his ability to shut down danger at its source. This season has seen his form slip on points, but he has looked back on his commanding best against the Red Devils, with two interceptions and five steals in 90 minutes.

Furthermore, Fabinho’s distribution was impressive, with a passing accuracy of 85% and a long ball accuracy of around 67%. The 29-time international also impressed from the other end of the pitch, creating a chance and making seven passes in the final third over the course of the match.

After the win, his manager simply remarked that “Fab is back.” Klopp’s words seem typically suited to this display.

It is worth noting that the midfield who started against Manchester United – Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Harvey Elliott – have started five games together so far this season and have triumphed every time, with Liverpool scoring an impressive 28 goals and conceding just two in the process. In short, despite Liverpool’s battle for points this season, it is clear that this combination of talents is proving effective for Klopp in midfield, with the Reds looking far more capable of scoring goals and shutting out opponents when the trio gathers. . Every Liverpool goal last night will be long remembered by fans and Fabinho’s role in the double should not be overlooked. After a series of tenacious interventions, his deliberate handover to Mohamed Salah freed the Egyptian wing. In the ensuing fight, Elliott managed a cross to Darwin Núñez, who headed the ball past David de Gea. With energy around him, Fabinho seems more capable of influencing the game both defensively and attackingly.

The German was impressed by his midfielder’s performance in a 2-0 win against Wolves in mid-week, calling it a “good old-school Fabinho display”. He’ll be thrilled to see this sequel set against Liverpool’s greatest foes, with the old lighthouse seemingly on its way back to its prime.

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