Jurgen Klopp outlines how things will continue for Fabinho and Joe Gomez after Liverpool’s victory over Ajax.


The Reds had a great start in the Champions League in the first half thanks to Nicolas Tagliafico’s own goal in Amsterdam.

Jurgen Klopp believes there is still room for improvement in the defensive partnership between Joe Gomez and Fabinho, but was encouraged by what he saw in Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Ajax.

The Liverpool manager believes that the partnership between Fabinho and Gomez could be improved.

And while the Brazilian was one of the Reds’ outstanding players in the Johan Cruyff Arena victory, Klopp says it will take some time for the partnership to develop after he was first named as a pair.

Since Virgil van Dijk has to undergo surgery for an ACL injury and Matip had difficulties proving his long-term fitness last year, it is likely that Fabinho will be regularly represented alongside Gomez in the future.

Fabinho was chosen in the unfamiliar role of central defender after Joel Matip was left behind in Merseyside due to a muscle complaint.

“They have to get used to each other. You have to get used to the verbal demands in this position, what you have to say to help the midfielders and all those things.

“Fabinho can play better, that’s the way it is,” Klopp said. “This combination with Joe and Gomez, I don’t think they’ve played together before.

“How high or how low is the last line, at what moment for protective situations, counters, how do we handle it. No problem tonight, it was absolutely fine.

“It was a good performance, but there is still a lot to improve, that’s good.

“A clean sheet is huge, but we’re not stupid enough to think that we didn’t need a little bit of luck for that.

Klopp compared it to a similar incident last season involving James Milner when the Reds beat Bournemouth at Anfield.

Liverpool were indebted to Fabinho for keeping the lead when he went off the line after Dusan Tadic shot the ball over Adrian in the first half.

Klopp added: “Fabinho had to cover a decent distance to get him off the line and they hit the post. I don’t care about that right now, we won the game and we did it.

“We don’t hang the clean sheet too high, because there were two situations where we were not far from being perfect. We have to recover now and be ready for Saturday.

“We have to keep these guys fit and they can help us a lot. Fabinho I’m not surprised that he plays well in this position, otherwise we would have thought about another solution.

“Millie had one against Bournemouth, which was a massive solution, and tonight it was a massive solution. That’s not the only reason he had a big part in the win tonight.”

“Yes, it was clear that they were together in the back first games. He actually likes to play there. If I had asked him to play Right-Back, he probably wouldn’t have had so much fun….


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