Premier League match details
Top Brazilian scorers in the Premier League Gabriel Jesus (Man City) Pages 12-13
Klopp’s view of Firmino was backed up by the players, with leftback Andy Robertson admitting that Liverpool would be “lost without him”.
The Scotland international added: “I don’t think there is anyone like him, with his work rate, his technique, his goals and his allround play. People will say there are better strikers, but for me what he does is so important to our team.
“He’s world class. He does everything and that’s the beauty of Bobby. He can do it all.
“He’s our first line of defence, and I’ve not seen anybody better at doing that. He presses the defenders and doesn’t give them a minute. He comes back and nicks the ball in midfield for us.
“He’s so important for us defensively and then he goes up the park and scores goals and makes assists. That’s what we need him to do.”
The only note of caution surrounding Firmino would be his intense schedule. He helped Brazil win the Copa America in July, so his summer break was a brief one.
Now, as the Premier League takes time to catch its breath during the international break, the striker will fly to Miami and Los Angeles for his country’s friendlies against Colombia and Peru. All Klopp can do is cross his fingers and hope his player returns fit and healthy when action resumes on Sept 14 at home to Newcastle.
While Firmino was smiling at Turf Moor, Mane was growling when taken off, still unhappy about not getting the ball off Salah when better placed in an attack. But given the Egyptian’s sensational goal record, Klopp knows it is hard to be too critical.
“I could describe five or six situations where everyone thought, ‘pass it, pass it, pass it’ and Mo scored,” he said. “That is the freedom of the player.
“It is not a big challenge, but you can always have this with a striker. We will leave it 100 per cent because we won 3-0 and everyone goes away in different directions. No one will talk
about this in a week.” Though they failed to win, the fault lay much more with the lack of ruthlessness in attack than any deficiencies in defence – just as in the previous games against Wolves and Crystal Palace. “I feel like we’ve been fairly solid defensively, but the fine margins are the set plays and they’re punishing us and we’re not being clinical at the other end,” said defender Harry Maguire. The long-term future may be bright for United given the form and promise of their younger players, but no manager can look too far ahead. Mason Greenwood (left), in just the eight minutes he was given, did more than both Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira, who started. Aaron Wan-bissaka was again impressive. It was a less impressive showing from Marcus Rashford, but Scott Mctominay was busy and industrious.
Vital presence: Roberto Firmino scored one goal and made another in Liverpool’s win at Burnley