Fabinho: The level of 2022 is better than Liverpool’s title winners

Liverpool held another notable celebration ahead of Inter Milan’s trip to the Champions League. It’s been exactly a year since Jurgen Klopp’s side failed at Anfield.

When Fulham suffered a sixth straight defeat at home in March 2021, there were people at Liverpool who were scrutinizing the opening date of the Uefa Conference League, never thinking of standing on the threshold of entry. another Champions League quarter-final in 2022.

Speaking before the round of 16 match taking place tonight – Liverpool lead 2-0 in the second leg – midfielder Fabinho winced when asked to recall the time when the team was deep. He is an emergency centre-back in more difficult times.

“The confidence of the whole team is really low. It was not the only game we lost at home,” he said. “It wasn’t a good time, but I think the next game is RB Leipzig and we won this one, so after this game we started playing well and changed the game.

“Some things have also changed – I don’t play central defender anymore.” The last point is worth emphasizing. Since Fabinho was restored to central midfield, Liverpool have lost just three times in all competitions in the past 12 months – against Real Madrid, West Ham United and Leicester City.

Should Fabinho pair up with Thiago Alcantara tonight – the Spain international is fit again after a hamstring problem that sidelined him in the Carabao Cup final – the duo will look to extend their extraordinary record. lost when in the Liverpool midfield.

Stats like these – and there seems to be a lot going around in this regard – explain why Fabinho is the latest to agree that the class of 2022 is better than Liverpool’s 2019 and 2020 Champions League and Premier League winners. .

“Maybe right. We have more time to play together, get to know each other better. When you play together for four or five years, there are certain things that are automatic,” he said.

Nothing epitomizes the feeling of revitalization over the past 12 months more than the Brazilian’s daring Panenka penalty in the penalty shootout win over Chelsea.

“When you take a penalty like this, you know that if you miss, when you go back to the dressing room people will kill you,” he said.

“The other day, I was trying to do a Panenka (in practice). Just me and Luis Diaz, no goalkeeper. I told him, “Tomorrow, if it’s moved to a pen, I’ll shoot it like this”. He doesn’t believe me. But when I went to the penalty area to take the penalty, I thought of taking a Panenka. It worked.”

Fabinho added to his game all season – he has six – as Klopp encouraged him to enter the box more.

“The difference is that I am often in the box for the set dishes,” he says. “Before, I was always last on the counter-attack, and now I have more confidence when I stand in the box and score goals. Two digits is doable. ”

Tonight’s game will be Liverpool’s fourth in four games in nine days – Klopp says this to underline how much energy has been drained during this time of the season.

The opportunity to tweak his squad will help. As with Thiago, Klopp has Joel Matip back and Roberto Firmino in training, although it is likely too soon for the latter.

Liverpool could have two domestic cup quarter-finals to predict along with the title against Manchester City.

Fabinho said: “Physically, it is very difficult to be able to compete in three tournaments. “But we are Liverpool, and we try to win everything we can.”

Liverpool v Inter Milan

Live BT Sport, Premier Sport, 8.0

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]

https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/champions-league/fabinho-class-of-2022-better-than-liverpools-title-winners-41421502.html Fabinho: The level of 2022 is better than Liverpool’s title winners

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