Klopp Hails ‘Unique’ Roberto Firmino
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has paid tribute to Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino, after the player laid on another two goals for teammates during Saturday’s 4-0 home win over Southampton in the Premier League.
The win puts the Reds 22 points clear at the summit of the table and Klopp was quick to recognise the contribution of Firmino, even though he didn’t get on the score sheet himself. “He is [unique],” said Klopp. “He is just exceptional, a very football-smart person, obviously.
“In the first half, in between a really tight formation of Southampton, the way he drops and keeps the ball, how he makes things happen is very special, absolutely. Then even a player like Bobby needs an address where he can send the ball, because he cannot take the ball and turn and run alone.
“How he uses the skills of his team mates is special. I do not know a player like him, that is true.” Firmino enjoyed an unprecedented 2019, winning the Copa América with Brazil and the Champions League and World Club Cup with Liverpool.
His 2020 looks set to be pretty special too, with Liverpool certain to win their first league title in 30 years. Even among UK bookmakers, the general consensus is that Liverpool will no doubt come out on top of the Premier League table – so much so that all the betting sites reviewed here are offering odds of 1.001 for Liverpool to clinch the title. Hence, their triumph is taken for granted at this point.
Firmino remains one of the team’s most important cogs as they have accumulated an amazing 70 points out of 72 available in the league lhis season.
Klopp also suggested that a tactical tweak involving Fabinho was key to his side winning the game against Saints at the weekend. Liverpool were held to a goalless first half with the visitors causing their hosts trouble, forcing Klopp into a half-time rethink.
Four second half goals put paid to Southampton’s resistance thanks to strikes from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jordan Henderson and a double from Mo Salah. But Klopp says a change he made in defensive midfield changed the game for his team.
“It was easy to move Hendo. Fabinho is naturally more a defensive-orientated player than Hendo,” explained Klopp. “We had to control the counter-attacks of Southampton. He [Fabinho] has struggled with rhythm.