Jurgen Klopp was pleased with midfielder Fabinho’s performance in the Merseyside derby on Sunday and believes the slight change of formation employed against Everton benefited the Brazilian.
The Reds’ No.3 put in an assured display in the centre of the pitch at Anfield, frequently winning back the ball and helping nullify the Toffees’ attack.
The summer signing looked comfortable alongside Gini Wijnaldum, and their manager was satisfied with their overall contribution.
“I don’t judge it on big steps or small steps, it was just a good performance from him. It was exactly what I expected,” said Klopp, according to LiverpoolFC.com.
“So far, Gini and Fabinho have worked really well together on the defending side.
“The most important thing about that game was how we defended up front – that was the biggest difference to other games. The high pressure was really brilliant.
“Nobody so far could really deny [Everton’s] build-up like we did, and they’ve played away at Chelsea. That was really brilliant.
“You have to be in the right spaces and that looked really good. On the other side, playing football was good. It can be better, like it always can be, but he was calm on the ball and it was a really good performance.”
Fabinho seemed to thrive in the 4-2-3-1 formation used on Sunday, but Klopp is confident the defensive midfielder can adapt to other systems throughout his Liverpool career.
“Of course, because he has got used to it,” said Klopp.
“The difference is not that big. We adapt to our defensive players as a unit and our attacking players as a unit with slight adjustments depending on the skills.
“That’s how it is. If you have quick centre-halves, you can defend higher. Then the ball in behind isn’t a problem. That’s what we have to do in these situations.
“So far, for Fabinho, it feels very familiar together with another No.6 in the centre. But of course he has to [play in other systems] and he will.”