Kolo Toure was picked by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp to fill the void left by Mamadou Sakho in the heart of the defence in their Europa League semi-final.
The BBC reported that Sakho has been handed a 30 day suspension by UEFA for failing a drugs sample, and could be given a lengthier ban pending an investigation.
This will give Toure a big role over the final few weeks of the season, and last night he had a mixed display against Villarreal.
The Reds lost 1-0, with Toure missing a header as substitute Adrian stole in to score an injury time winner, but the fault with the goal was more largely pinned on AWOL left-back Alberto Moreno.
Beside that game changing moment, Toure had a very good game, successfully marshalling former Spurs striker Roberto Soldado and ensuring he did not land a shot on target.
Toure made eight clearances, more than any other Liverpool defender, and also made three interceptions and one tackle, completing 86 per cent of his passes.
His display showed the Reds do not need to panic just yet, and he should be able to cope with Villarreal at Anfield, the bigger problem will be at the other end as Jurgen Klopp tries to work out a way to break the La Liga side down.
Here is a look at how fans reacted to Toure's display via Twitter...
Toure and Lovren looked OK. Problem is with both of them we cannot push the team up the pitch. And they kept deep. Big pitch. #LFC— Brandon Jones (@Brantanomobay) April 28, 2016
Still think we will go through next week. Poor Ibe had a shocker. Toure was outstanding #LFC— Dimples (@Suislaurez) April 28, 2016
Defended really well especially Kolo Toure #LFC— Shahan Chowdhury™ © (@shahanchowdhury) April 28, 2016
Gutted there. Really good defensive performance let down in the last minute.Thought kolo toure and joe allen were really good tonight. #LFC— Dan Mulraine (@DanMulraine) April 28, 2016
And I don't think Toure should have committed to the header. Should follow the player. Nvm! Second leg at Anfield! #LFC— Zachary (@ZacJong) April 28, 2016