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21-Sep-2020, 03:22 pm

'Fabinho was man of the match' - Van Dijk hails Liverpool team-mate for keeping Werner at bay during Chelsea win

Fabinho Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk has hailed Fabinho for keeping Timo Werner at bay during Liverpool's win at Chelsea on Sunday.

A second-half double from Sadio Mane saw Jurgen Klopp's side run out 2-0 winners against Chelsea, with Frank Lampard's side reduced to 10 men whenAndreas Christensen was sent off for a professional foul just before half-time.

Fabinho was asked to take up acentre-back role alongside Van Dijk in the absence of both Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, and the Brazilian midfielder produced a stellar display to minimise the threat of Werner and Co.

Werner, who is still on the lookout for his first goal for Chelsea since completing a £47.5 million ($61m) switch from RB Leipzig in June, did hisbest to try and force the issue in the final third, but was ultimatelyunable to find a way through the Reds' stubborn rearguard.

Van Dijk talked up Fabinho's defensive contribution post-match, but also warned that Liverpool will need a fully-fit squad to boost their chances of a successful title defence this season.

Asked to assess his team-mate's latest performance, the Netherlands international told Liverpool's official website: "Outstanding.

“I just told him as well I think he was man of the match. To keep out a striker like Timo Werner and don’t let him score, overall he was outstanding.

“Everyone knows how good he is but it shows also that we need everyone. We are a bit unlucky with the injuries now but we’ll need everyone back because it’s such a long season.”

Chelsea had the chance to set up a tense end to proceedings at Stamford Bridge when newLiverpool signing Thiago Alcantara gave away apenalty midway through the second period, but Alisson kept out Jorginho's spot-kick.

The Blues were otherwise unable to carve out any clear-cut chances against the reigning Premier League champions, and Van Dijk was pleased with the way the Reds were able to control the game.

“It was always going to be tough, no matter the circumstances, no matter how they play or who was playing,” he added.

“It was a good performance overall. It’s not nice to give a penalty away and it was bit unlucky from Thiago, I think. But overall we dominated.

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