Firmino shines as Liverpool reach Champions League group stage

Man of the Match Friends of Liverpool

It was very much a case of one Brazilian superstar replacing another as Roberto Firmino impressed up top in a Liverpool side aiming to finally put the Philippe Coutinho debacle to one side.

The number 10 was involved in all four of the home side’s goals as they overcame a determined Hoffenheim 4-2 at Anfield, eventually winning the tie 6-3 on aggregate. The German outfit were simply overwhelmed by Firmino and co, with the tricky forward grabbing an assist and a goal in the impressive attacking display, where once again defensive lapses were the only cause for concern in a dominant performance from the Reds.

Firmino led the line for Liverpool, who came out of the blocks fastest and caused major problems within the Hoffenheim defence, with the forward key in the first three goals in the first half, before finally getting on the score sheet himself to complete the rout. The fantastic score line means the Reds have now scored 3+ goals in consecutive European home games for the first time since 1997.

The Brazilian’s involvement in the first two goals was key, linking up with fellow forward Sadio Mane and midfielder Emre Can to produce a well worked first goal, before again joining up with his attacking team-mates to allow Mohamed Salah to tap in a second goal just inside the 20th-minute mark. His moment of brilliance arrived in the delivery of Can’s second goal as he clipped a wonderful cross in for the German to steer home, simply proving too hard to handle for a terrified Hoffenheim defence.

Firmino then got his name on the score sheet after the tireless Jordan Henderson capitalized on a mistake from the away side’s skipper Kevin Vogt, who unselfishly played the striker through for a well-deserved fourth Liverpool goal of the night. In an inspired performance at Anfield, Firmino led his hard-working side to a comfortable victory in the end, despite yet another anxious defensive display.

The front trio of Mane, Salah and Firmino were simply unstoppable on a magical night at Anfield, where Liverpool returned to the Champions League group stages for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign, while they have now won six successive European games at Anfield (including qualifiers) against German opposition. Two extremely tough tests await either side of the international break, with a home tie against Arsenal this coming Sunday followed by a tricky test to Manchester City two weeks later.

With this tremendous attacking display at Anfield, Liverpool’s defensive woes have once again been brought to light, and so Jurgen Klopp certainly has some huge decisions to make regarding transfers as the window closes next week, but right now it is undoubtedly time to celebrate as Liverpool become the sixth British team to reach this year’s Champions League group stage.

mo salah egypt

Liverpool and AFCON: 5 players Liverpool should be looking at

The arrival of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Yes, we know it’s 2024), one of the most significant and exhilarating football events on Earth, is here. Several African countries known for producing exceptional players will participate, attracting major clubs who closely monitor their progress and performance in every game. Since the January transfer window […]

Read More
gakpo liverpool

Liverpool stun rivals Manchester United to Sign Cody Gakpo

Could Liverpool’s Boxing Day be any more perfect? If beating Aston Villa 3-1 (Hyperlink previous article) for a valuable three points wasn’t enough, the announcement of marquee signing Cody Gakpo was certainly enough to delight Liverpool fans across the world. And this is how social media reacted. It was firstly PSV Eindhoven that announced the […]

Read More
mo salah warming up before liverpool game

Festive fixtures see Premier League resume but Liverpool need a fast start

The English football season is now back up and running following the completion of the FIFA World Cup, but how much work do Liverpool have to do to catch up? They are currently occupying 6th place in the Premier League, well below their usual high standards. Disappointing defeats at the hands of Leeds United, beaten […]

Read More