Klopp praises Firmino as Brazilian ends goal drought

Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino celebrates after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Watford and Liverpool at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, north of London on November 24, 2018. – Liverpool won the game 3-0. (Photo by OLLY GREENWOOD / AFP) /

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has praised “unbelievably valuable” Roberto Firmino after Brazil forward ended his two-month Premier League goal drought in the 3-0 victory against Watford.

He also had a hand in Mohamed Salah’s opener on Saturday and won the free-kick for Trent Alexander-Arnold to make it 2-0.

Firmino, who is playing a deeper role, has just six goals for club and country this season — and only two in his past 15 outings — but Klopp is in no doubt about the player’s quality.

“In the game against Fulham, 20 German coaches were in the stadium,” said Klopp. “I’m not sure how the critics were but when I saw them and we had a drink together, they were saying ‘Bobby Firmino. What a player.’

“Because of the small things he’s doing, he’s working so hard, he’s here, he’s there, he’s got six goals but he opens 5,000 gaps for everybody.”

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“He’s doing the job,” added Klopp. “That makes him so unbelievably valuable for us. I’m really happy for him.”

Unbeaten Liverpool has a club-record 33 points at this stage of a Premier League season and is just two points behind leaders Manchester City.

The Reds have not set pulses racing as much as they did last season when they got to the Champions League final and finished fourth, but Klopp feels their new-found patience and pragmatism is paying off.

“I don’t read what you make of it but I sometimes see in your eyes that you don’t understand me,” he said.

“The thing is we have to win football games but people compare a game against Watford with a game against Roma.

“It’s not really the same, but it’s in their mind about the sort of football we played last season. In some games, we played not that nice football and didn’t get a result but nobody remembers it.”

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