Solskjaer heaps praise on two ‘quality’ Liverpool players

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was impressed by how Liverpool midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho dealt with their role in central defence against Manchester United.

With no fit centre-backs again, the hosts fielded midfield duo Fabinho and Henderson in the centre of their defence but the pair were not really exposed, even if goalkeeper Alisson Becker had to make two decent saves to keep out Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba in the goalless draw.

The top-of-the-table clash failed to live up to its billing and there was not even a penalty incident never mind a controversy, one of the major points of debate leading up to the fixture, to talk about over the course of 90 minutes.

Speaking about the performances of Henderson and Fabinho, Solskjaer told BBC Sport: “Fair play to them – with two central midfielders at the back and to defend as well as they did shows their quality.”

Asked whether Man Utd warranted all three points Solskjaer added: “No we didn’t because I don’t think we played well enough. We didn’t impose ourselves on the game, especially first half. I think we grew into the game and towards the end you felt it was here for us to win and we created two massive chances and two brilliant saves by the keeper.”

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Jurgen Klopp was also pleased with the performances of Fabinho and Henderson in their unorthodox roles.

When asked if they were just as good as a regular pair of centre-backs, Klopp said: “Yeah, and football-wise probably better.

“So look, the way we played in the first half it was really flexible and you have two midfielders in the last line so that helps in football moments.

“I’m really happy with how we did it, that was good, absolutely good. But in the end we had to be good to get a point. I think we were good enough to get all three but we didn’t because we didn’t score.”

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