Fabinho praises Liverpool defending against Messi

Fabinho helped contain Lionel Messi, but he praised his Liverpool team-mates for their efforts against the Barcelona star.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi and Liverpool midfielder Fabinho   -  Getty Images

Fabinho praised Liverpool's defending against Lionel Messi and Barcelona after their incredible Champions League semi-final triumph.

The Brazilian led the way in containing Messi as the Premier League side thrashed Barca 4-0 at Anfield on Tuesday to claim a stunning 4-3 aggregate triumph.

While Fabinho impressed in keeping arguably the world's best player quiet, the 25-year-old was full of praise for his team as a whole.

"The whole team defended, as I said, we left our life on the ground," he told RMC Sport.

"I tried to do everything so that the ball does not reach him."

Braces from Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum helped Liverpool become the fourth team to overturn a deficit of three or more goals from the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie to progress.

Fabinho, who felt Liverpool played well despite a 3-0 first-leg loss, said Origi's seventh-minute opener was crucial.

READ | The numbers behind Liverpool's famous Champions League comeback

"We did not have a lot of time after a very difficult game in Newcastle but we are preparing a whole season to experience moments like that," he said.

"After the first game I told you that the result was not good but that our performance was.

"We tried to do the same thing, to press, to give everything but we scored quickly and that made the difference.

"We still had the strength to keep the ball in the end. After the match with our fans it was amazing."

 

Georginio Wijnaldum was surprisingly left out of the starting XI despite injuries to Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

The Netherlands international was introduced at half-time to replace the injured Andy Robertson, though, and scored twice in the space of two minutes to pull the Reds level on aggregate before Divock Origi's second goal 11 minutes from time secured a famous win.

ALSO READ | Suarez laments Barca's consecutive Champions League collapses

"It's unbelievable. After the game in Spain we were confident we could score four and win 4-0. People outside doubted us and thought we couldn't do it but we showed that everything is possible in football.

"It's really emotional because I was angry at the manager for putting me on the bench. I had to do something when I came on and I'm happy that I could help the team with two goals. We believed from the start that we could win and we managed to do it."

Liverpool will face either Tottenham or Ajax in the Champions League final in Madrid on June 1.