Sunday saw another Liverpool comeback at Anfield. The Reds trailed early on after Harry Kane put Spurs ahead after just 47 seconds. However, we are Liverpool. Jürgen Klopp’s side were unfazed by the early setback and went on to win the game 2-1 but the truth is it could have been a much bigger victory had it not been for the heroics of Spurs keeper Paulo Gazzaniga. During the win Fabinho played like Andrea Pirlo and once again proved he is indispensable to this Liverpool side.
Pundits and players alike have gushed over Liverpool’s defensive midfielder – Declan Rice referred to him as the best in the world. Liverpool’s lanky middle man has been undroppable since coming into the side last year.
Against Spurs he was absolutely everywhere and shone for a number of different reasons. His tackling and anticipation were once again critical to thwarting opposition advances and his passing was pivotal to our attacking threat.
It was Fabinho’s passing that made the most difference. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson love pinging the ball across the pitch to each other. Their crossfield balls are kryptonite to defences, these passes open up gaps as defences shift over and they give the wing backs time to get their head up and pick out crosses.
These crossfield balls are not always possible for one reason or another. This is where you need a player like Fabby. Fabinho operated in the regista role, mastered by Andrea Pirlo, for most of the game. He was our deepest lying midfielder player when in possession, this afforded him more space than the likes of Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum. With this space, Fabinho recycled possession quickly and efficiently, regularly picking out each full back in dangerous positions and pinging passes over the opposition defence. It was Fabinho’s ball that found Jordan Henderson for the Liverpool equaliser.
When we are dominating possession, there is no other number six in the world we would rather have in that role. Long may he reign.