The center-back duo of Fabinho and Joe Gomez, who beat Champions League opener Ajax 1-0, were delighted with Liverpool manager Jrgen Klopp.
Nicolas Tagliafico scored his own goal in the 35th minute in a dirty match in Amsterdam, with only the Reds’ second clean sheet in 13 European games deciding the away team on the opponent’s field.
Midfielder Fabinho, who suffered a knee injury from Virgil van Dijk, had an unusual knee injury – Dusan Tadic flowed from the goal to keep the score at 1-0 – but along with him, Gomez made a positive impact. .
“Good but even Fabinho can play well,” Klopp said of Brazil International’s performance, adding that the partnership with Gomez was the 35th center-back pair used by the Germans.
“This combination has never been played together, so they are mutual, verbal commands, what do you say to the midfield.
“Fabinho can hold this position and he likes to play it. I don’t think he would really enjoy it if I asked him to play right back.
I’m not surprised that Fabinho is playing in this position, otherwise I would have thought of another solution.
“It’s been a great performance, but there’s a lot to do, and it’s good.
“We don’t remember thinking we didn’t need any luck because Fabinho had to stretch the ball the right way to get it off the line, they hit the post.
“A clean sheet is an information, but we could have done better. We didn’t care because we wanted to win the game.”
Concerns about further injuries played a role, Klopp said, adding that Sadio Mane had been carrying a dead leg for a few days and that was the reason for taking the ice pack after he came on as a replacement.
Youngster Curtis Jones’ full Champions League debut lasted just 45 minutes, but that was because Jordan Henderson did not qualify to play more than half the game.
“It wasn’t the easiest performance from either team, and both teams could play better football,” Klopp added.
“The medical department made a lot of lineups – and then you have to win the game, that’s what the boys did, and I think it deserves it.
“They had their moments, and besides that we were strong on a difficult pitch.
“It may not be on the front page of our history book, but it’s an important moment, and I’m happy with it.”
Ajax coach Eric Ten Hogg said the players had missed an opportunity against the Liverpool team that had left Van Dijk missing.
“It was a great team performance. We didn’t score, but we had enough chances,” he said.
“They (his players) have been on Liverpool’s finger for a while, and we’re very happy with that. Liverpool were weak tonight, but we did not take advantage of it.”