Liverpool eventually cruised to a 4-1 victory against a very youthful Aston Villa side on Friday night, despite a first-half scare from 17-year-old Louie Barry.
Despite featuring against an XI made up totally of academy players, Fabinho was still required as Jurgen Klopp’s defensive lynchpin.
As a result, Fabinho has started in 12 consecutive matches for Liverpool at the heart of the defence. He has become utterly indispensable to Klopp’s defensive set-up.
Many expected Fabinho, 27, to have earned himself a rare night off. His sustained involvement in the team gave credence for the Brazilian to finally enjoy a rest period.
However, to our surprise, he was partnered alongside Rhys Williams for his 23rd appearance of the season.
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In truth, given how the match played out, his involvement made sense. The tempo of the match was played out like a training exercise and it suited Fabinho’s qualities. He can now benefit from a nine-day lay-off, too.
As a result, he made 93 passes in total and averaged a stunning pass success rate of 96 per cent – the highest in the team. He created two chances and also clocked up two shots at goal.
With Liverpool totally dominant in possession, the match was also crying out for a player of Thiago Alcantara’s quality.
In a performance not quite up to Liverpool’s brilliant best, the player unsurprisingly, catching the eye of most Reds supporters was the Spanish magician.
The 29-year-old came on in the second half and, in a nutshell, changed the game. Within minutes, Thiago [£20 million] had the tempo of the game totally bent to his will.
His quality certainly showed, and alongside Fabinho [£39 million], there is the potential for a devastating partnership to emerge once his defensive duties are fulfilled.
Hopefully, then, this was a little glimpse of what is still to come from two world class performers.
And that prospect was echoed on Twitter, as a number of Liverpool fans took time to sing the praises of two players, who are certainly amongst the very-best in Europe.