Firmino conducts Mane, Salah’s magic for Liverpool

16 September, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Virgil van Dijk labelled him the greatest teammate he has played with. Jurgen Klopp doesn’t believe there is a match in world football for his “exceptional” combination of skill and effort. Andrew Robertson said he can “do it all” and Liverpool wouldn’t trade him for anyone, reports Espn.

If you were somehow still in the dark about the luminary qualities of Roberto Firmino, Liverpool’s 3-1 swatting away of Newcastle United at Anfield on Saturday afternoon was the latest stage to illustrate the Brazil international’s brilliance. He was introduced on 37 minutes owing to Divock Origi suffering a twisted ankle, but was comfortably — and strikingly — man of the match.

Firmino did not score, but came off the bench to conjure Liverpool’s second and third goals for Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, respectively.

He would have started Saturday’s encounter but for his international exertions with Brazil. He only returned to Melwood late on Thursday following lengthy travel, which makes his showing all the more special.

The 27-year-old managed to not just change the game, but inject joie de vivre into it. Liverpool started sluggishly, and seven minutes in Christian Atsu was afforded the time and space to find Jetro Willems, who sold Trent Alexander-Arnold with a drop of the shoulder before directing a stunning finish into the top-right corner.