Jurgen Klopp turned to Fabinho as Liverpool played their first match since Virgil van Dijk sustained a serious knee injury against Everton last weekend.
Fabinho partnered Joe Gomez in central defence for the Reds’ first group-stage match of the 2020-21 Champions League against Ajax in Amsterdam.
And the versatile Brazilian midfielder produced a performance that Van Dijk himself would have been proud of.
Liverpool won the match thanks to a Nicolas Tagliafico own goal in the first half.
But without Fabinho, the Reds may not have sealed all three points.
Shortly before half-time, the Brazil international kept Liverpool’s clean sheet intact with a stunning goal-line clearance.
Dusan Tadic thought he’d equalised after lobbing Adrian, who was positioned inside his six-yard box, but Fabinho appeared from nowhere to acrobatically clear his lines.
Watch Fabinho’s superb goal-line clearance here…
That Fabinho clearance pic.twitter.com/Sj3yBHnIRI— 19 Times (@LFCLiverbird96) October 21, 2020
That was reminiscent of James Milner’s goal-line clearance against Bournemouth last season.
On closer inspection, eagle-eyed fans also spotted an amusing moment from Adrian.
As Fabinho produced his clearance, the Liverpool goalkeeper pretended to kick the ball.
Watch it here…
Adrian pretending to kick the ball away 😂 pic.twitter.com/b8w9rJ0V0D— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) October 21, 2020