Ajax 0-1 Liverpool: Fabinho's highlights prove he can replace Virgil van Dijk

Fabinho's produced an outrageous goal-line clearance vs Ajax

Liverpool's Champions League campaign got off to the perfect start last night in Amsterdam.

Jurgen Klopp's wounded squad beat Ajax 1-0, an own goal from Argentine left-back Nicolas Tagliafico sealing all three points for the visitors.

The eyes of Reds fans will have been firmly locked on the club's defence throughout the game due to the absence of the stricken Virgil van Dijk.

Joel Matip was also absent through injury, meaning Fabinho - a defensive midfielder by trade - had to fill in at centre-back alongside Joe Gomez.

The Brazilian has featured at the back on a few occasions under Jurgen Klopp and excelled in the role during Liverpool's 2-0 win away at Chelsea this season.

Fabinho in action

This time around, he was even better. In Van Dijk's absence, Fabinho took charge and delivered a Man of the Match performance for the Reds on the European stage.

The former AS Monaco man made four interceptions, won all four of his attempted tackles and made nine clearances - one of them a ridiculous bicycle kick effort to clear the ball off the line.

A monster of a performance from a world-class player and you can watch Fabinho's highlights versus Ajax below.

Fabinho's highlights

Having a world-class defensive midfielder who can operate at the same level when asked to drop back must fill Klopp with joy.

After the game, James Milner was asked about Fabinho's performance, to which the Englishman replied: "He’s a top player. Top players can adapt and he did that. He’s played there before and done it extremely well. Unbelievable clearance as well, obviously."

The players clearly appreciate his efforts and Fabinho looks ready to accept even more leadership responsibility while Van Dijk is bound to the treatment table.

Here's how Liverpool fans reacted to the Brazilian's performance versus Ajax.

Liverpool fans react

Fabinho really has been worth every penny of his £50m transfer fee and his versatility means Liverpool may still enjoy a fruitful 2020/21 campaign without Van Dijk.

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