Fabinho dazzles for Liverpool in unfamiliar role

Fabinho of Liverpool during the pre-season friendly between Liverpool and Torino at Anfield on August 7, 2018 in Liverpool, England.

Fabinho proved his versatility for Liverpool on Saturday afternoon.

Fabinho of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal with team mate Virgil van Dijk during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United at Anfield on...

Liverpool got back to winning ways by beating Brighton on Saturday, but victory was anything but a pre-match formality for the Premier League leaders.

Not only because Brighton had lost once at home since September, but mostly because Liverpool had something of a crisis of centre-back options - or lack of.

Virgil van Dijk was the Reds' only fit and recognised centre-back due to injuries to Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, forcing Jurgen Klopp to play £39 million [BBC Sport] midfielder Fabinho in an unfamiliar central defensive role - but he flourished.

It was not immediately obvious that the former Monaco man was playing in an unnatural position, such was his comfort.

 

Fabinho expertly contained the burly Glenn Murray for 90 minutes and also made a stunning block to thwart Pascal Gross early in the second half.

The brilliant Van Dijk has had to carry players like Lovren through the game on some occasions but the Brazilian needed no such assistance.

Excellent discoveries are often borne out of crisis and Fabinho as a centre-back is one that has emerged from Liverpool's depleted defensive options.

Klopp might not play him there when Gomez is fit, but the fact that Liverpool - who had lost their last two games - emerge unharmed when the wheels threaten to come off is a big reminder over how strong the German's squad is.

The Anfield side, seven points clear of second-placed Manchester City who have a game in hand, want this Premier League title in a big way and if they continue to adapt to adversity, like they did at The Amex, then they'll lift it come May.

Andre Gomes of Everton runs with the ball under pressure from Fabinho of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC at Anfield on December 2, 2018 in...

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