Liverpool

Unsung Hero: Liverpool’s Fabinho was rock solid in Reds’ emphatic win over Norwich City

Unsung Hero: Liverpool’s Fabinho was rock solid in Reds’ emphatic win over Norwich City

The 2019/20 Premier League began on Friday night with Liverpool putting Norwich City to the sword in a 4-1 victory at Anfield, last season’s runners-up scoring all of their goals in a clinical first half display.

The Reds opened the scoring in fortuitous circumstances, Grant Hanley deflecting Divock Origi’s cross into his own net, and Norwich gave Liverpool a couple of early scares, only to squander decent opportunities.

Mohamed Salah doubled the home side’s lead and Virgil van Dijk headed in their third from a corner before the half-hour mark as Jurgen Klopp’s men gave newly-promoted Norwich a lesson in capitalising on chances at Premier League level.

Divock Origi’s header made it 4-0 shortly before the interval but the Reds eased off the throttle in the second half and Teemu Pukki deprived Liverpool of a clean sheet as Norwich outscored their opponents after half-time.

Mohamed Salah and Virgil Van Dijk got off the mark for the season while Sadio Mane made his return to club action following the Africa Cup of Nations, but Liverpool’s night was spoiled by injury to Alisson which could rule him out for up to six weeks, according to The Independent.

While Salah was named as Man of the Match by Sky Sports, one man who made a valuable contribution to the Reds on the night was midfielder Fabinho.

Operating from the centre of midfield, the Brazil international gave a brilliantly industrious display, with eight successful tackles (out of nine) providing the platform for the Reds’ victory. [via WhoScored.com]

Six of those tackles came between the 51st and 65th minute, while his total of successful tackles was more than twice as many as anyone else on the pitch at Anfield. [via WhoScored.com]

Fabinho also recorded two interceptions on the night [via WhoScored.com], which made Sky Sports’ match rating of just six seem peculiar.

Joanna Durkan of This Is Anfield was far more complimentary in giving him eight, saying that he “again showcased why he is one of the first names on the teamsheet after yet another dominant display in the middle of the park.

“His counter-pressing was brilliant throughout as he disrupted countless Norwich attacks whilst also setting the Reds on their way forward.”

Ross Chandley of The Redmen TV also awarded Fabinho a rating of eight, praising his “solid performance” and adding that he “might not be full of flair but his role shouldn’t go underestimated.”

In the Daily Express, Rhys Daly gave a more reserved seven to the midfielder, although he did note the 25-year-old’s “usual composed presence in midfield” and said that he “gave the full-backs freedom to roam as Liverpool won at a canter.”

Former Barcelona and Chelsea player Deco told Fabinho on Instagram that the midfielder made a “great start” to the season [via Live4Liverpool] and his uncompromising performance in the middle of the park against Norwich fully merited that recognition.

Liverpool fans, what did you make of Fabinho’s display at Anfield last Friday? Let us know your views by commenting below!

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