Why Fabinho changes Thiago and Liverpool

The return of Fabinho to the Liverpool average, after having played in the axis of the defense since Virgil van Dijk was injured in October, on Wednesday in the second leg of the Champions League against Leipzig (2-0 for the ‘reds’ ) was key to the improvement of Jürgen Klopp’s team, in serious crisis in the Premier. As a pivot, the Brazilian made things easier for the rest of the team and Thiago was also able to play more freely, at a much higher level as the ‘reds’ fans expected when the former Barcelona player signed in the summer market from Bayern.

Thiago has received criticism for his performances. The former Bayern midfielder said that “I know I have been criticized, but I am not happy with my performance since I arrived at Liverpool.” But, with Fabinho at his side, things have started to change for Thiago, who against Leipzig was able to play more freely, play the football that dominates the most, which has made him one of the best midfielders in the world.

“Fabinho gives us a lot of confidence behind our back, it’s amazing to play alongside him. It frees me up a bit. I can move forward, I feel more confident and I can play closer to the forwards, ”said Thiago. The Thiago-Fabinho connection transformed the Anfield team (who had already won 0-2 in the first leg).

But not only the former Barcelona and Bayern midfielder was benefited by Fabinho’s return to his usual position of defensive pivot (which he had not occupied since that fateful October afternoon in the derby (2-2) against Everton, when the serious Van Dijk’s injury The center-backs, an unusual tandem of Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak, also saw their work easier.

Apart from the fact that Julian Nagelsmann’s Leipzig was not in the round of 16, like the first leg at the Puskas Arena in Budapest, at its best level, that the second-placed in the Bundesliga did not offer their best version, Liverpool did not commit the errors in defense that have made him 8th in the Premier, 7 points from the Champions League area and 25 from the leader City (who has one more game).