May 17, 2021

SportsOnly

Football and other sports news

Jurgen Klopp defends Roberto Firmino after calls for Diogo Jota to replace him

2 min read

Jurgen Klopp has dismissed suggestions Diogo Jota’s Champions League heroics have threatened the role of Roberto Firmino at Liverpool.

Jota scored a memorable hat-trick as the Reds romped to a 5-0 win over Atalanta in Italy on Tuesday night.

The Portuguese, who now has six goals in his last four games, had replaced Firmino as the central striker alongside regular forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

But Klopp is adamant Firmino still has a key role to play at Anfield while explaining why Jota was given the nod ahead of the Brazilian.

Asked if he now had a selection headache up front, the Reds boss said: “Good performances never give me a headache!

“Tonight the decision was clear, it made sense first of all to use the good shape Diogo was in, and secondly because of the way Atalanta plays and defends, we should use the skillset of Diogo to help us.

“But the world is sometimes a bad place, that in the moment when somebody is shining we immediately speak about another player who played what feels like 500 games in a row.

“Without Bobby Firmino, we would not be in the Champions League even.

“He will be in the team, and for a lot of people in the world if you ask them ‘what makes Liverpool special?’ they would say ‘the way Bobby Firmino is playing’.

“For us it is important that we have more than 11. Tonight, Diogo played a super, super game but that says nothing about Bobby, and has nothing to do with me causing headaches.

“I am more than happy that the boys played like they played tonight.”

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