Made the difference: Roberto Firmino off the bench to show why Liverpool aren’t the same without him

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By Scott Mason – @ScottMason00

Liverpool beat Newcastle United 3-1 at Anfield in Saturday’s early kick-off. Jürgen Klopp’s side have now won five out of five in the Premier League and are the only side to have a perfect record still intact.

Jetro Willems early stunner was later cancelled out by Sadio Mané in the 28th minute. The Senegalese forward grabbed his second of the game in the 40th minute to put the Reds into the lead. Mohamed Salah secured the three points by adding a third 20 minutes from time.

Whilst Salah and Mané were the ones who got the goals against the Magpies, it was their Brazilian partner who ran the show despite not being in the starting line-up.

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Liverpool had struggled to break down a well-organised Newcastle team in the opening stages of the game. Roberto Firmino – a man bang in form – continued his magnificent start to the new season by adding to his assists tally against Steve Bruce’s side.

The crafty attacked set up Salah’s goal at Anfield, taking his total to three assists in five games so far this term. His through-ball also led directly to Mané’s second strike, but it didn’t go down as an official assist due to goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka’s touch.

When Firmino came on for the injured Divock Origi, who was given the nod ahead of the No.9, the Reds attacked more with more fluidity and were finally able to get in behind the defensive wall that had held firm to that point.

His impact was noticed almost immediately. Bobby came on in the 36th minute and, just three minutes later, would play that pass to Mané which led to Liverpool’s second goal. Firmino’s defensive play has been praised throughout the years and his excellent pressing was what started the counter-attack for the goal.

However, it was Firmino’s second involvement that showed the true skill and class that he possesses in his locker.

Mo Salah passed the ball into the feet of the skilful attacker who would complete the unconventional one-two with an incredible piece of skill and footwork. The Egyptian went on to score the Reds’ third of the game and secure the three points.

It was said when Firmino was benched for the UEFA Super Cup tie that he is a massive part of the team. His influence on the way Klopp’s side attack is noticeable whenever he is not in the team. On Saturday, Liverpool looked more confident in their attacks and were also able to get into spaces they couldn’t prior to the Brazilian’s introduction.

Firmino has been the Anfield club’s most dangerous and in-form player so far this season. The No.9 just oozes confidence now and that can only be a good thing for Klopp going forward.

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