Liverpool centre-half Joel Matip has praised the impact of makeshift defender Fabinho after the duo combined to keep a clean sheet in Sunday’s thrashing of Leicester, speaking to the club’s official website.

Matip said his temporary defensive partner had the “experience and ability necessary” to shore up the heart of Liverpool’s defence.

The pair combined effortlessly to see out the threat of Jamie Vardy on Sunday. They could also be called on by Jurgen Klopp to do the same against Atalanta attackers Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel tonight.

The Reds host the Italian side in a bid to make it four wins from four in Champions League Group D.

Klopp’s men eased past the Serie A side in the reverse fixture last month, with a Diogo Jota hat-trick helping Liverpool to a 5-0 canter.

After missing out on the first two group matches through injury, Matip returned to the squad for the meeting with Atalanta. He watched from the bench as Joe Gomez and Rhys Williams helped the club to a clean sheet.

However, since Gomez joined the Reds’ lengthy injury list, Matip has returned to the starting XI.

Following his own good performance, the former Cameroon international found time to praise his teammate’s efforts.

‘He is a big help’

“Fabinho made it great,” said Matip. “He was looking like the most experienced centre-back I saw for a long time. But he did it really well and the whole team was really good.

“He directly stepped in and helped the team and each teammate. I think he is a big help.”

Alisson impact hailed

Matip also pointed to the impact of Alisson behind him, explaining the goalkeeper continues to astonish him with his displays in training and in matches.

Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The Brazilian is just two games shy of his 100th appearance for Liverpool, in which he has kept 48 clean sheets.

“As a person first, he is amazing,” Matip said.

“He is kind and everybody knows he is the complete goalkeeper. I am always amazed by what he does with the ball and against the ball.

“Sometimes I can see it from close up – but it’s still amazing.”

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