Jurgen Klopp has lauded the 20-minute performance of Roberto Firmino on his Anfield swan-song today.
The day was all about Firmino, as he made his final ever appearance in-front of the adoring Liverpool supporters. Thankfully, Bobby didn’t disappoint, popping up with his final goal at the Kop end in the 89th minute of the game.
And speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Klopp said both Firmino and fellow leaver James Milner showed exactly what they’ll offer whoever’s lucky enough to sign them.
“I think both boys who played today – Milly and Bobby – showed in 20 odd minutes, who they are, why we love them and what everybody else can expect when they get them,” raved the Liverpool manager. “The fire, mentality, the desire that Milly brings on is absolutely second to none. Bobby comes on and is just a great footballer between the lines, and any opportunity to finish the situation off, he’s there as well. We will miss them.
“But how most good stories in life, there’s a starting point, a middle point and a finish. This story is now finished, not forever but the football part of the story is finished and we have all the chance to write a new one. The boys, somewhere else, us here and that’s what we will try.”
Firmino turns up for last hurrah
It’s a real shame that Liverpool couldn’t mark Firmino’s final home game with a win this afternoon. In truth though, they didn’t deserve to take the points against Villa.
They were sluggish from the outset and lucky not to be two goals down by the half-time break.
But the introduction of Firmino with 18 minutes to play signalled a slight shift in purpose. With their legendary No.9 out on the pitch for the final time, Liverpool fans roared their team forwards.
Inevitably, the goal came, and it came via the flicked right boot of our Bobby.
Unfortunately, with Liverpool needing to push for a potential winner, we didn’t get to see one final trademark Firmino celebration in-front of the Kop.
But what we did see was glimpses that the £29m man will light up wherever he lands next.
He won’t post anything like the 110 goals he has for Liverpool at his next club, that’s a given. He will offer them something that few players in world football can, though.
Firmino’s ability to sniff out space on a football pitch is something that can’t be taught. As Klopp says, you simply won’t find a better player between the lines.
So yes, Bobby – and Milner – showed exactly why we love them in their final outing on Anfield’s hallowed turf. In reality, they’ve barely stopped showing it for the last eight years.