Liverpool: You can always count on Roberto Firmino when it matters

Liverpool, Roberto Firmino (Photo by DAVE THOMPSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Liverpool, Roberto Firmino (Photo by DAVE THOMPSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Liverpool got the job done. Amidst protests that even threatened to harm the bus the players were riding on, the Reds went to Old Trafford and took down their rivals 4-2 in what was essentially a must-win match for a side at risk of failing to make it to the Champions League. And just two years ago, they won the damn thing.

It was a strong performance from a Liverpool side that needs to be carried by its attack in the final matches of the season. And by putting up four goals on their rivals, Liverpool have all the momentum heading into eminently notable fixtures against West Brom, Burnley, and Crystal Palace.

There were a number of standout performers in this win, such as right back Trent Alexander-Arnold. But when it comes to making the difference in the scoreline, nobody had a more profound impact on the match against Manchester United than Roberto Firmino.

Coming into the match, Firmino had not scored a Premier League goal since Jan. 29 against Tottenham Hotspur. There were so many criticisms of Firmino’s record in front of goal in 2020-2021, as the Brazilian had gone very cold again.

Roberto Firmino answered the critics with his brace for Liverpool at Manchester United

Firmino offers so much more than just goals, of course. Everyone knows that. Even his critics. But they could not help but fixate on the lack of goals, which were magnified by the fact that the other parts of his game were also going quiet.

On Thursday night at Old Trafford, Firmino was anything but quiet. With the match tied at 1-1, it was Firmino who gave Liverpool the boost they needed to pull ahead and take command of the match. He scored in the 47th minute of both halves, with the Reds then taking hold of a 3-1 lead that they would not relinquish. Was the lead threatened? Yes. But it was taken by Firmino and reinforced late by his good friend Mohamed Salah.

Firmino has a penchant for playing his best football when Liverpool need a win the most. He is the definition of a big-game player. And although Firmino does not have the goal-scoring record to match the likes of Jamie Vardy, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Harry Kane, he seems to reach those heights in precisely these types of matches. When there are stakes, Firmino is always there to raise the bet.

There is so much to praise about the veteran forward’s game. He is not a striker in how he plays, but he can sure morph into one when Liverpool need that mean streak in front of goal from their man in the middle.

Next. Should Liverpool sell Salah or Mane to buy Sancho?. dark

The top four is calling Liverpool’s name. And Bobby Firmino deserves a great deal of credit for coming up with the goods – twice– at Old Trafford. Doubt him all you want, but before a must-win match, all you have to do is put in a cross. Because Firmino will be there to make the difference in a flash.