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Liverpool: Fabinho heads to the World Cup in great form

Liverpool won just their sixth Premier League match of the season with a straightforward 3-1 win over Southampton this afternoon.

It was the last match before the break for the upcoming World Cup and Jurgen Klopp will be happy at three points and a chance to refocus and regroup during the hiatus.

With a much-changed starting XI from the midweek EFL Cup win, Liverpool’s big guns were in the mood.

Darwin Nunez underlined his World Cup credentials with two first-half goals, while Roberto Firmino put his heartbreak behind him of missing out for Brazil by chipping in with another before the break.

The second half gave the crowd no more goals to celebrate, but it was a comfortable victory for the club.

It was perhaps a player who hasn’t quite been at his best this season that put in one of his finer performances of the campaign against the Saints, with Fabinho justifying Tite’s faith by shining today.

The Brazilian – who has been dubbed “outstanding” by Klopp previously for his defensive performances – received a 7.2 rating via SofaScore, and he was solid in the centre of the midfield.

His defensive abilities were evident during the match, with the 29-year-old winning a staggering 88% of his total duels while only surrendering possession five times all game.

The midfielder was constantly seeking the ball, taking 77 touches, while also demonstrating his excellent passing capabilities by finishing the tie with a 93% pass success rate – and this was vital for Liverpool to maintain momentum.

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He had one shot off target and that was about as involved as he got in an attacking sense, but with Nunez and Firmino in splendid form, Fabinho’s job was simply to keep control in the middle of the park and he was excellent.

Brazil could go far at the World Cup, and although they have an attacking line-up that will send shivers down the majority of defenders they come up against, the Liverpool player could be key to their chances by forming an integral midfield axis with Casemiro.