Football News

Jurgen Klopp explains how Liverpool replaced Fabinho presence “without thinking”

By CJ Smith

Published: 11:19, 2 December 2019

Jurgen Klopp has explained how Liverpool were able to replace Fabinho “without thinking” during their 2-1 win over Brighton on Saturday.

The Brazilian midfielder has played a key role in Liverpool’s fine start to the season but will now be sidelined until 2020 with an ankle injury sustained against Napoli last week.

How did Liverpool cope without Fabinho? Five things to know…

  • Fabinho has made more tackles in the Premier League (30) than any other Liverpool player.
  • But the Brazilian is now sidelined until 2020 with an ankle injury.
  • Klopp was pleased with the way Liverpool’s midfield coped without him.
  • Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made a combined seven tackes and seven interceptions against Brighton.
  • Klopp revealed he took the same low-information approach with that trio as he does with Fabinho.

In Fabinho’s absence, Klopp fielded a midfield trio of Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the German has revealed how they were able to replace the qualities of the former Monaco man.

“We had to replace Fabinho, which is a tough one because it’s like we were really used to these things without really thinking about it,” Klopp told reporters.

“I don’t remember the last time I had a one-on-one talk to Fabinho and told him, ‘Please do this, do that’. It’s just we did it and I didn’t want to disturb it with all my information.

“Hendo played a sensational game in that position together with Gini and Ox. [Wijnaldum and Oxlade-Chamberlain].

“It was a really good performance but we had to work really hard. And what I liked most, that the boys were ready to do that.”

Klopp defends “cold” Adrian

Having already spent an extended period on the sidelines with injury this season, goalkeeper Alisson suffered another setback on Saturday after being shown a red card for handling the ball outside the area.

Replacement goalkeeper Adrian was then caught out by a quick free-kick from Lewis Dunk as Brighton attempted to battle back into the game.

But Klopp has defended the Spaniard, insisting referee Martin Atkinson was wrong to allow the free-kick to be taken quickly and insisted that Adrian was merely “cold” after entering the game unexpectedly.

“Virgil was probably man of the match with the two goals but Adrian is for me – to come in to a game like this and make two saves,” Klopp said.

“Adrian comes in with cold feet and cold hands but made two really good saves. It was very clever from Brighton but the keeper has just come on and is trying to set the wall.

“They are trying to get used to each other and the referee lets it go like this. We cannot change it but for me it’s not 100% right.”