What a year Roberto Firmino is having. Since the start of 2016, the Brazilian attacking midfielder has been in sublime form and he was again on target against Crystal Palace on Sunday. While his side was losing 1-0 against Crystal Palace and was a man down as well with James Milner sent off with a second yellow card, the Brazilian scored the equalizer for the Reds. Liverpool went on to secure all three points courtesy of a late penalty from Christian Benteke.
Liverpool found themselves on the backfoot following a strike from Joe Ledley and Milner made the job even harder for them following his second yellow card and getting sent off. It is never easy to come back from behind and that too away from home with a man down but the Reds did it in style. Jurgen Klopp’s high-intensity pressing game worked brilliantly for the Reds and Liverpool did not look like a team with a man down.
Roberto Firmino’s brilliant form in 2016 is an effect of Klopp’s philosophy of pressing the opponent defence high on the pitch. It was due to Liverpool’s pressing for which Eagles goalkeeper Alex McCarthy clumsily clear the ball into his path just outside his own area and eventually the ball came to Firmino who did not fail to punish McCarthy for his mistake.
With his strike against Palace, Firmino is now Liverpool’s top scorer in the Premier League this season with eight goals to his name. He has not only been decisive with his scoring boots but also made seven assists in the Premier League for his teammates. For his debut season in a new League, Firmino’s stats are very impressive. But a point to be noted is that Firmino has done brilliantly since the start of 2016. He had a slow start at Anfield after high big-money transfer from Hoffenheim in the summer. He could not get into the plans of Brendan Rodgers directly and even if he did, he was being deployed in his unnatural positions which made his shining in Liverpool colours even more difficult.
Liverpool attacker Roberto Firmino has scored and assisted more goals combined than any other Premier League player since the turn of the New Year. Firmino has been the most dangerous attacker in the Premier League in 2016. He has 7 goals to his name in 2016 and he has also made 4 assists for his teammates. From nine appearances in the League, he has contributed 11 goals plus assists outshining all the other attackers in the League including Sergio Aguero.
Firmino took his time to gel into English football and as soon as he adapted to it, he has been showing what he is capable of. With his skills, technique, versatility and selfless display, Firmino will only grow more and more and can be a huge player for Liverpool in future. He is that type of player who never gives in and that makes him a player to watch out for. If Firmino keeps up his form, he can be someone who can finally replace Luis Suarez at Liverpool. Firmino has that quality and determination which the Uruguayan sensation had and what Liverpool missed since his departure. Firmino can help the Kops become optimistic once again, at least, his early days suggest so.