Fabinho surprised Luis Diaz with Panenka penalty in Carabao Cup final

The Reds prevailed over Chelsea 11-10 on spot-kicks to win what could be the first of four trophies this season

Carl Markham
Monday 07 March 2022 15:03
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<p>The Reds prevailed over Chelsea 11-10 on spot-kicks</p>

The Reds prevailed over Chelsea 11-10 on spot-kicks

Fabinho has revealed he surprised Liverpool teammate Luis Diaz with his Panenka penalty in the Carabao Cup final shootout win last weekend.

The Reds prevailed over Chelsea 11-10 on spot-kicks to win what could be the first of four trophies this season.

And the Brazilian midfielder has revealed that he practiced his attempt the day before.

“The day before, I tried to do a Panenka. It was just me and Luis Diaz, with no goalkeeper in the goal,” he said ahead of the Champions League last-16 second leg visit of Inter Milan.

“I told him ‘tomorrow if it goes to pens, I will shoot it like this’. He didn’t believe me but when I was walking to the box to take the penalty, it was in my mind to shoot a Panenka. It worked.

“When you shoot a penalty like this, you know that if you miss, when you come back to the dressing room everyone will kill you. But it was in my mind that I would take it like this, and that I could do it.”

In addition to that Fabinho has recently added goals to his game, with his six this season more than double what he had managed in his three previous seasons.

Part of that is due to Klopp’s tactical switch at set-pieces and he realistically thinks he can get to 10 before the end of the campaign.

“I was always the last man to stop the counter-attack. Now the coach gave me more confidence and put me more in the box and I am scoring goals,” he added.

“It’s good for me and for the team as well. I didn’t think too much about targets but if I can score 10, it would be very good for a defensive midfielder.

“The team scores a lot of goals and when a team scores a lot of goals players like me and other defenders really have a chance to score as well.”

Fabinho’s return to midfield, having had to drop back into defence after their three senior centre-backs all had their seasons prematurely ended, has helped the team flourish again.

The reassurance he gives as the defensive pivot allows full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson to push forward and contribute to the attack.

Alexander-Arnold registered a career-best 16th assist of the season in Saturday’s win over West Ham and his team-mate believes the England international will go on to become one of the greatest right-backs the world has seen.

“Trent is really important for us. Not just with the assists but in the game, when he has the ball he is really important,” said Fabinho.

“Sometimes we think he doesn’t have a solution and he always finds an important pass and, of course, in the last part of the pitch he can always change the game.

“When I see Trent play, it is really hard to find a right-back who plays like this, who looks more like a number eight or a number 10 than a right-back.

“But I hope he will continue playing at a high level because he can be one of the best right-backs in history, maybe the best.”

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