Klopp praises Fabinho and Joe Gomez central defensive partnership after win at Ajax

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Liverpool got their Champions League campaign off to a great start thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win away to Ajax with Fabinho and Joe Gomez forming a solid partnership in central defence.

Fabinho had a particularly good game at centre-half while Joe Gomez also showed a marked improvement in his level of performance. This could be the regular defensive pairing Jürgen Klopp opts for now with Virgil van Dijk gone for the rest of the season.

Nicolás Tagliafico’s own-goal in the first half was enough to give Liverpool all three points thanks to an impressive defensive display.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Klopp spoke about the never-before-used partnership of Gomez and Fabinho and how it went.

“This combination with Joey and Fabinho, I don’t think they played together before if I’m 100 per cent right. Maybe once but I don’t really know. So they need to get used to each other, they need to get used to the verbal demands in that position – what you have to say there to help the midfielders and all these kind of things. It was a really good performance but there’s a lot to improve – how high or how low is the last line in which moment, in protection situations, in the pressing, ‘How do we react there?’ But it’s no problem. For tonight it was absolutely good and now we carry on.”

Klopp also revealed that Sadio Mane does not have any lasting injury issues after Liverpool’s number 10 was seen applying an ice pack to his leg after coming off in the second half.

“Sadio has since a few days a dead leg and deals with that in that area. That’s the only thing why it’s still painful but it’s not a problem. When he doesn’t play, he puts ice on it.”

Liverpool now begin preparations for three consecutive home games after playing three away games in a row. Sheffield United visit Anfield on Saturday night in the Premier League. Then it’s FC Midtjylland next Tuesday for our Champions League fixture. The third game is West Ham on Saturday week.

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