This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Just over a month after winning the Champions League – his first major career trophy – Roberto Firmino has gone and doubled his medal tally after Brazil beat Peru 3-1 in the Copa America final.
The Liverpool No.9 was arguably one of the players of the tournament having netted three goals and recorded two assists in just six outings for Tite’s side, whilst he and Gabriel Jesus also developed a blossoming partnership which led to some fans wanting the Manchester City forward at Anfield.
However, despite his heroics throughout the tournament, Firmino played poorly in the final against Peru as he did in the Champions League final as well – he took no shots and recorded a 6.10 rating on WhoScored for his efforts in Madrid.
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The former Hoffenheim man took three shots, all of which were off target, and wasn’t really a goal threat throughout before being substituted for Everton forward Richarlison in the 75th minute.
Firmino was largely ineffective, having just one key pass and one aerial duel to show for his time on the pitch, but one moment proved just how important he is to any side he plays in.
The 5 foot 11 forward has developed a name for himself as an industrious forward who opts to play deeper than an out-and-out striker would – he has become known as a ‘false nine’ at Liverpool.
This part of his game was evident in a defining moment. Firmino raced back towards the halfway line and executed a perfectly well-timed tackle, winning the ball cleanly. Barcelona ace Arthur then picked up possession and raced towards goal, where he squared for Jesus to slot home.
Tackle by Firmino is world class
— LFC FANS (@lfc_allting) July 7, 2019
Significantly, the first-half stoppage time goal helped Brazil regain the lead and take a 2-1 lead into the dressing room, knocking the stuffing out of their opponents.
Firmino may not have played too well, but he is not the type to shy away and go missing – even when he has a bad game, he can still produce untypical moments for a striker that help his teammates rather than hinder them.