Fabinho starred in Brazil’s 2-0 win over the USA men’s national team on Friday night, but found himself the subject of controversy.
The Liverpool man went to ground in the box in the first half following a challenge from Will Trapp, with Neymar subsequently converting the penalty for his side’s second in the 43rd minute.
Replays appeared to show minimal yet clear contact from Trapp on the left leg of Fabinho, causing the Brazilian to trip over his right foot.
Accusations of diving swiftly flooded social media, despite evidence of the slight coming together. That said, a number of fans were also able to see why the referee pointed to the spot.
— Josh White (@joshwhite21) September 8, 2018
The penalty incident aside, Fabinho provided plenty of encouraging signs as he impressed in his secondary right-back position.
Liverpool’s summer signing was excellent defensively, compensating for his lack of pace with intelligent positioning and awareness.
He also showcased his midfield expertise on occasion, shifting centrally at times to contribute in his side’s build up play whilst maintaining a consideration for his value as an option out wide when needed.
Friday’s performance marked timely reassurance for those growing unnecessarily concerned by his lack of minutes since arriving on Merseyside.
Given the impression he made for Brazil, it’s clear there are no worries within the club over his form or his ability to slot in and improve Liverpool.
His defensive dominance proved another welcomed insight into how valuable he can be in unleashing the attacking threat of those beside him.
Club teammate Roberto Firmino opened the scoring on the night when he poked home Douglas Costa’s crisp delivery from the right-hand side in the 11th minute.