Former UEFA Champions League winner Jamie Carragher has praised Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino for his display against Southampton.
Firmino, who has seen his playing time limited by a combination of injuries and the Reds’ squad depth, started their Premier League match against the Saints. The Brazilian was excellent throughout his time on the pitch and linked up well with fellow forwards Diogo Jota and Takumi Minamino. His exploits played a huge part in the club picking up a 2-1 win at the St. Mary’s Stadium.
Firmino recorded three key passes, four successful dribbles and a shot on target, and won five ground duels (as per Sofascore) as well. He also managed a tackle and an interception to boot in what was a fantastic all-round display. The 30-year-old was eventually substituted in the 83rd minute and replaced by Naby Keita.
Former Liverpool centre-back Carragher, who was on punditry duty for Sky Sports, named Firmino as his Player of the Match and said:
“I thought he was brilliant. He came on at the weekend in the cup final and he wasn’t great, actually, in that. You can understand these players not being up to speed sometimes. But in the first 10 to 15 minutes tonight when Liverpool weren’t at their best, he and Harvey Elliott were brilliant.”
He went on to laud the way Jurgen Klopp has used Firmino as the Brazilian was already at the club before the German arrived:
“When you think what he has done for this football club. He wasn’t signed by Jurgen Klopp, he was signed by Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool weren’t sure what to do with him. Does he come from the side or does he play in the pocket, is he a No 10? Jurgen Klopp then plays him as a No 9.”
“In some ways, it was the last place you would think he’d play because he hasn’t got great pace and he is not the biggest really. But what he has done for this club, the miles he has run and the job he does.”
“When you talk of the great players of the Jurgen Klopp era, and go right through the spine of the team, he is right at the top.”
Roberto Firmino has only featured sparingly for Liverpool this season
Injuries and the arrival of Luis Diaz have largely limited Firmino’s playing time this season. The match against Southampton marked only his 17th start of the season across all competitions.
Overall, he has played 33 times this term, scoring 11 goals and laying out four assists. With two high-stakes matches still to come for Liverpool in the Premier League and Champions League, Firmino’s experience could prove to be invaluable.