After Manchester City’s loss to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Southampton the day before means they are now six wins away from the Premier League trophy. Goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jordan Henderson and a brace from Mohamed Salah secured the victory and continued the Reds’ unbeaten streak.
It was a tough first half for Jürgen Klopp’s side as Allison found himself doing more work in between the sticks as he is used too. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Saints were brave and they came to Anfield with an attacking intent.
The second half proved more fruitful for Liverpool, though, and the Reds struck four goals past the visitors without reply.
Roberto Firmino wasn’t one of the names on the scoresheet, but the Brazilian was instrumental throughout the second half — the No.9 assisted three of the Reds’ four goals.
The forward’s first assist came with Oxlade-Chamberlain’s opener. The Brazilian got on the end of Andy Robertson’s attempt at keeping the ball in play and with a clever heel flick found the path of the No.21. The Englishman took a touch inside before firing a low driven shot past Alex McCarthy.
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Firmino assisted captain Jordan Henderson for his second. The former Hoffeinheim man had two Southampton players chasing him down in the box but he managed pull the ball back to find Henderson who had made the run forward. The midfielder put the ball past the helpless Alex McCarthy to make it 2-0 to Liverpool.
His third and final assist was for Salah’s second and his side’s fourth. Firmino collected a through ball after the Egyptian found his run in behind. Liverpool’s false nine extraordinaire then played a pass across the box to return the pass back to Salah. The No.11’s shot bundled into the net to seal the win.
Liverpool’s Brazilian forward demonstrated his importance and effectiveness as a false nine. He didn’t score but he unselfishly set up his teammates and helped his side pick up the three points.
Roberto Firmino hasn’t managed to score at Anfield this season with all eight of his league goals coming away from home. If he can perform to the level in which he did against Southampton, the goals will eventually come.
Liverpool’s first team don’t return to action until February 15 against relegation-threatened Norwich City. However, Neil Critchley’s u23s will hope to keep the Reds fighting for the FA Cup when they host Shrewsbury Town at Anfield on Tuesday night.