Roberto Firmino doesn’t face any pressure to score against Chelsea. That’s despite zero Premier League goals at Anfield this season.
Firmino has played very single home game in the Premier League this season. Despite those 18 games, though, he hasn’t managed a single goal.
That’s quite a remarkable statistic, especially as he hasn’t struggled away from Anfield. Firmino has eight Premier League goals, all coming away from home.
So when Liverpool take to the field to face Chelsea on Wednesday, Firmino does so knowing he’s 90 minutes away from going to entire season with a home league goal.
That would usually be a worrying thought for any player wearing the no.9 on their back. But not for Firmino.
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The Brazilian shouldn’t feel any pressure to bag a goal against the Blues. Because, quite simply, it’s not why he’s in the team. He’s not a traditional no.9, after all – he’s a ‘false’ one.
Firmino creates goals for the team and he’s absolutely incredible at it. He can do it through passing – hence his seven assists. He can’t do it through movement, as documented here. And he can do it through his incredible work-rate and pressing, winning the ball back and allowing the Reds to counter.
So Firmino may well set this bizarre record of being a title-winning no.9 without a home goal. But that isn’t what sets him apart.
What sets Firmino apart is that he can set that unwanted record and still be regarded as one of the finest forwards in the country. Liverpool wouldn’t swap him for anyone right now – and with good reason.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane get the goals from the wing. Firmino creates them from the middle. It makes him a special player and one Liverpool are lucky to have.
Goals or no goals.