Klopp says Fabinho would have scored more goals if in the box at set-pieces

Brazil international’s fifth goal in eight matches helps his side grind out victory over Burnley in testing conditions

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits match-winner Fabinho would have scored more goals in his career had he afforded the midfielder more opportunity.

The Brazil international's fifth goal in eight matches five minutes before half-time helped his side grind out a 1-0 victory over Burnley in testing conditions at Turf Moor.

None of his team-mates have scored more since the turn of the year, and Klopp said part of the uptick had been a change in tactics.

“He would have probably scored more goals for Liverpool if I would have put him in the box around offensive set-pieces,” said the Liverpool boss.

“Only recently we put him in and he scores, a great goal. The space where the ball came to Sadio [Mane] was the plan but not at that height, so Sadio made absolutely the most of it – great header, great deflection, timing is perfect and Fab is there to score a counter-pressing goal in the six-yard box.”

It was far from being the kind of performance expected of Liverpool but it was nevertheless a crucial one in ensuring they kept pace with leaders Manchester City, whose advantage was pegged back to nine points having played one match more.

Klopp praised his players for the way they handled what could have been a potential upset against the Premier League’s bottom side.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the way we played the circumstances, it was so tricky,” he added.“Only when you stood on the pitch could you feel the extent of the wind, it was ridiculous.

“The boys stuck with it and over the years have learned to deal with the circumstances. We asked ourselves to use it instead of suffering from it. A really difficult game, yes.

“They had their moments, but I think it felt they had more moments than they actually had because of the late offside flag when Ali [Alisson Becker] made saves he didn’t need to. That is the way it is.”

Burnley boss Sean Dyche was disappointed his side did not make more of the opportunities they created, with January signing Wout Weghorst, in particular, squandering a couple.

“Frustrating with that one, I thought we were very good defensively and in attack. We created some golden chances today, we’ve got to continue doing that and we have got to take them.

“There were two or three, against this level of opposition, that are big chances today.”