Roberto Firmino was able to produce a man-of-the-match display in Brazil’s 1-o win against Venezuela on Saturday, with the Liverpool man scoring the only goal of the game to earn Seleção the victory.
The 29-year-old featured on the left of a front three and picked up a 7.6 rating for his display, after scoring the only goal of the encounter in the 67th minute (per SofaScore).
The former Hoffenheim man has come under some criticism in recent weeks for his lack of goals for the Reds, with the pressure on Jurgen Klopp to drop him significantly increased after Diogo Jota’s superb start to life at Anfield.
However, the German manager hit back at the Brazilian’s critics ahead of Liverpool’s game against Manchester City before the international break, suggesting that:
“Who is with us, I don’t have to say one word about Bobby Firmino and how important he was for us, I don’t waste time with that,” he said.
“Who is not with us, I don’t care if they know about it, to be honest.
“He was in so many games the difference-maker without scoring maybe, I’m not sure, but with scoring as well in other games, so I would feel really embarrassed if I had to mention now the qualities of Bobby Firmino.
“I can’t help these people, sorry. If they don’t see it, I cannot help them. That’s how it is.” (per Evening Express)
Despite his other qualities, the 29-year-old has just one goal in eight Premier League appearances for the Reds this season, although he has still averaged a fairly sold 6.88 rating (per WhoScored).
Therefore, one can perhaps understand some criticism of the striker, especially when Jota has already grabbed seven goals in all competitions for Klopp’s side this season.
However, Firmino has been a big part of Liverpool’s success in recent years, having contributed 79 goals and 62 assists in 256 games for the club, so his importance cannot be underestimated.
Hopefully, the £64.8 million-rated man’s goal for Brazil will give his confidence a boost so that he can get back to scoring ways when he returns to Anfield after the international break.