Roberto Firmino is playing better than ever and showed it against Norwich City. And he was already brilliant.
Liverpool beat Norwich thanks to a wonderful goal from Sadio Mane. That will rightly take the headlines and the substitute showed yet again that he’s a true match-winner.
Before that, however – and particularly in the first half – Firmino shone. The Brazilian is truly playing better than ever, even when he’s not scoring.
It’s the touches and movement that show off Firmino at his best. There was one moment in that first 45 where he plucked the ball out of the air after a 40-yard pass.
He did it as though it was the normal thing to do. Surrounded by two defenders and in Norwich’s penalty area, Firmino took the ball down and spun to take a shot. Only a last-ditch tackle kept him from a Goal of the Season contender.
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Then there was that pass to Gini Wijnaldum. The Dutchman had dribbled towards the edge of the box and found Firmino. The Brazilian then went to pass it on again but instead spun the ball back to Wijnaldum who had made the run behind him. It was all in one movement and caught everyone off-guard.
Firmino kept this going all game. Whether it was dropping back into midfield to use the ball or pulling of tricks and flicks, he is playing with the confidence of a world-class player.
That’s exactly what he is, of course, but it’s games like this against Norwich where Firmino looks as though he knows he’s world-class. He’s trying everything that comes to mind and pulling it off.
For a player who was already one of the best in the side, he’s pushed up another level. Champions League opponents beware.