Fabinho has explained his recent hot streak in front of goal, putting it down to a tweak in Liverpool’s set-up at attacking set pieces.
Having netted once between August and the start of January, the Brazilian midfielder now has five goals in his last eight games in all competitions. With nine goals in total from 150 appearances for Liverpool, it represents his best run of goalscoring form since arriving at Anfield.
Though two of his goals since the turn of the year have been scored from the spot, three have come from dead-ball situations. Having leathered in from close range following a free kick routine against Shrewsbury in the FA Cup, he has since scored a header at a set piece against Brentford and bundled home following a corner against Burnley.
While the quality of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s deliveries has certainly been a factor, Fabinho has credited a change of roles at the set piece with his newfound goal threat. Asked about his impressive scoring form in an interview with the club website, he said: “Usually I am the last man in the protection, but now I have the opportunity to be more often in the box in the set pieces and I try to always do different movements.
“Sometimes I go out for the players and be alive in the box because sometimes, even if you don’t win the first ball, the second ball can come to you and you can score.
“And when you score goals you are always confident that the ball will come to you. So, yes, I try to chase the ball, be alive and score goals.
“I think I am in really good form at the moment… I’ve been playing like this for a long time, but when you score goals people start to talk a little bit more about you. But, yeah, it’s nice. I just want to keep playing, keep feeling good physically and keep helping the team.”
Fabinho will hope to continue his run when Liverpool host Norwich on Saturday. Jurgen Klopp’s side are looking for their fifth win in a row in the Premier League, having just about managed to stay within reach of Manchester City at the top of the table.
Asked about the quick turnaround following their 2-0 win against Inter Milan in midweek, Fabinho said: “We feel ready to go. It’s a really important game in the Premier League. We want to keep our form, keep winning games.
“We will play at home so we have to play our best football, to do what we do normally, to press them, to try to control the game, create opportunities and, as I said before, this is a really important game for us.
“We want to keep winning games so, yes, we have to try everything to win.”
With Liverpool well placed to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and set to compete for silverware when they face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final later this month, Fabinho also talked up the team’s burgeoning self-belief. “It’s always good to win for the confidence, for the individual confidence as well and for our goals,” he said. “We want to always win.
“In the league we want to be next to Man City, we want to close the gap, and it’s important to always try to win the games. In the Champions League and in knockout tournaments, if you don’t play good you can be out of the tournament.
“So, yes, it’s always important to have our confidence in the highest level possible.”