The Big Red Machine
What a win.
The Reds handle the hype and march on. That’s the first home goal Brighton have conceded since March of last year. That’s just their 3rd home defeat of the season, which is less than Tottenham Hotspur. Brighton are a good side and very difficult to beat on their own patch. They played very well on Saturday night as well it must be said. Chris Hughton came as close as anyone has outside the top 5 to taking some points off of us. Their shape was excellent and they made it very difficult for Liverpool. Most impressively, they managed to hold their nerve after conceding and bravely stuck to the game plan which was to stay in the game and have a go near the end, very similar to their approach at Anfield. They brought on Anthony Knockaert, who looked bright when pushing for the equaliser. It was in vain but it was a valiant effort. The Reds are just a level above. Brighton had scored in every home game for 10 months but against Liverpool they failed to have a shot on target.
Liverpool have developed a resilience and a know how to win these games of football. They have a huge bank of evidence to go on when preparing and motivating themselves in the build-up. This shows in the confidence they portray on the field. When we’re level at halftime you may be panicking but these boys certainly aren’t. They back themselves. They know that they’ll find a way, they always do. Everyone played well, honorary mentions to Trent, Henderson, Salah and Van Dijk. All things considered though, the day belongs to Fabinho. Glenn Murray targeted him and attempted to bully him out of the game but Fab was having none of it. He battled with one of the most physical strikers in the league and came out on top by some distance. Murray didn’t get a sniff and was subbed off as a frustrated figure. Fabinho’s quality on the ball was excellent as we have seen before and in a game such as this one having the quality to stride forward and redistribute the ball from centre back was a huge asset. Combine this with his physicality and intelligence, he appeared very similar to his partner, Van Dijk, who excellently marshaled him throughout the game, showing great maturity and leadership.
Fabinho, playing out of position, slotted in seamlessly to a hugely talented and effective backline where even the most experienced of defenders could look out of place. His positioning was outstanding as the trademark offside trap remained flawless in his presence, with the Brighton players, and most certainly their fans grew increasingly frustrated with their marginal offsides being picked out by the linesman. It was another milestone in the early career of Fabinho at Anfield as he has displayed even more qualities. His ability to play in a variety of positions at this standard given little preparation is very impressive and showcases his incredible game intelligence. It is also a huge bonus from a team perspective to have a player this versatile and this good to count on in the face of an injury crisis.
It is yet another string to the bow of this Liverpool side. Just when there seemed to be a flicker of hope for our opposition in the coming weeks given our lack of defenders, it is quickly extinguished by Fabinho and his fellow Reds who refuse to give in. This team has immense quality, heart, desire and grit all over the pitch and throughout the supporting ranks. They are an almighty force that are so difficult to stop, some teams don’t even try to, for fear of the consequences. The Big Red Machine stops for a quick breather before hurtling towards Crystal Palace.
Twenty-two down; 16 to go.