Liverpool kept the pressure on league leaders Manchester City after beating Leicester 2-0 at Anfield on Thursday night.
Jurgen Klopp’s side came into the game knowing that only a victory would suffice, and a brace from Diogo Jota did the job.
While the Reds boss will no doubt be delighted with picking up all three points, one man who blew his opportunity to impress the manager was Roberto Firmino.
The Brazilian has been one of the main benefactors of seeing both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane head off to AFCON over the last month, but with that tournament over, he knew the clash against the Foxes would be his one last chance to really showcase why he shouldn’t be the man to come out of the starting line-up.
Instead, he fluffed his lines, with Klopp promptly hooking him for a returning Salah early on in the second-half.
As per Sofascore, he lost possession a whopping 17 times in his 60 minutes on the pitch, the second-most of any Liverpool player on the night. He also won just five out of his ten duels as he struggled to get to grips with the pace of the game, finding himself on the periphery of things.
Indeed, his total of 16 passes was actually one less than goalkeeper Alisson who managed 17, and failed to provide any key passes whatsoever or complete any of his two attempted dribbles either.
Writing in his post-match player ratings for The Liverpool Echo, Ian Doyle gave him the joint-lowest score of a six, as he wrote: “Flitted in and around the Leicester back line while linking the play in trademark fashion and forced the corner for the opener. Twice tested Schmeichel, but a little loose on the ball at times. Booked and subbed.”
Having started the past three games in the Premier League, Thursday’s clash against Brendan Rodgers’ side represented the perfect opportunity for Firmino to make that final statement to Klopp before Salah returns to full match fitness and Mane makes his comeback after Senegal’s AFCON triumph.
Instead, the Brazilian forward failed to grasp his chance with both hands.