Liverpool now only have Joe Gomez as a senior centre-back after Fabinho left the pitch early in their Champions League victory.
Jurgen Klopp must have made the footballing Gods upset after finding his start to the new campaign filled with many, many setbacks. Following the loss of Virgil van Dijk and barely having Joel Matip fit for longer than 90 minutes of football, the Reds are without fill-in centre-back Fabinho.
As it’s occurred previously in the season leading to their second matchday of the Champions League, Liverpool’s triumph comes with a causality once more. The Reds entertained FC Midtjylland at Anfield in the second round of European football.
The home side’s manager decided to go with a different look, starting the clash without any of the formidable front three in the starting XI. The in-form Diogo Jota, out-of-favour Divock Origi, and point to prove Takumi Minamino were named as the front three.
“Absolutely not cool!” 😡
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) October 27, 2020
Second best and pressed exceptionally well off the ball for most of the night, the Anfield side still managed to clinch all the points. A 2-0 scoreline, far from a true reflection of the game played. With all the ball possession (63%) Liverpool owned on the night, few things went according to plan in the final third.
The couple of moments they made count came in the latter part of the match. Fifty-five minutes into the second half, the man who can’t stop scoring since making his switch from Wolverhampton to Merseyside, opened their account.
For a while after Jota’s goal, Liverpool was pressed hard and was at threat more often than not of losing their lead. But substitute Mohamed Salah came to the rescue in the embers, winning a penalty that he then converted himself from 12 yards out.
The real Liverpool loss
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Thirty minutes into the game Liverpool saw a familiar sight, a defender leaving the pitch the long way around and having to hit the showers early, courtesy of an injury. Fabinho pulled what appears to be his hamstring.
The club released a tweet stating they are still awaiting the news on the stand-in CB who has been doing a rather fantastic job at the back as a partner to van Dijk and as his replacement. The young teenager Rhys Williams stepped in for his second Champions League appearance in as many weeks.
Despite being only 19 years old, the defender stood tall and helped Gomez, Alisson, and company to a second clean sheet and three points. Knowing Jurgen, he is missing out on sleep right now, thinking… What next!
Depending on how serious the damage is to his hamstring (was positive to see him walk off and not limping off vividly or getting stretched off) will determine how long Joe Gomez takes the title as the only senior centre-back at 23 years old.
Many things for Liverpool and the German boss to sort out ahead of a visit from West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday evening. However, first the wait for Fabinho’s result and how long he will be sidelined.
Other than being on the wrong end of every VAR decision made, the Anfield side has lost Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Matip, VVD, Thiago Alcântara (could make his return against the Hammers), and now Fabinho to injury in these early days of the title-defending campaign.