‘I don’t even need to talk about his importance, for everything he has done’: Alisson defends Roberto Firmino’s key role in the Liverpool team amid increasing threat from Diogo Jota after his hat-trick heroics
- Roberto Firmino was dropped to the bench for Liverpool’s clash against Atalanta
- Diogo Jota started instead and scored a brilliant hat-trick as Liverpool won 5-0
- Pressure has ramped up on Firmino in the starting line-up since Jota’s arrival
- However, Liverpool keeper Alisson has emphatically defended his compatriot
Roberto Firmino has been backed by Alisson to show what he is made of after his spot in the Liverpool side came under increasing threat from Diogo Jota on Tuesday.
Firmino was dropped to the bench for Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Atalanta, with Jota replacing the Brazilian thanks to his scintillating form since his £41million arrival from Wolves.
And Jota laid down a huge marker after netting a fantastic hat-trick against the Serie A side, fitting in seamlessly alongside the deadly Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
Roberto Firmino came off the bench with 25 minutes left as Liverpool thrashed Atalanta 5-0
Diogo Jota took his chance in the starting line-up emphatically after scoring a hat-trick
But since Firmino came under more pressure on Tuesday, Alisson has defended his close friend and dismissed the idea that his position is under threat.
‘I don’t even need to talk about the importance of Firmino, for everything he has done for the club and everything he has been doing,’ Alisson told Esporte Interativo after the final whistle.
‘He is a very supportive player, who works for the team. We need everyone on their toes to achieve our goals going forward.’
Jota has seven goals to his name already at Anfield after his big-money move compared to the one of Firmino.
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson has emphatically defended Firmino’s position in the side
The former Wolves player has scored six goals in the last 10 days and already has more goals for the club in 2020 than Firmino (five).
But while he defended Firmino, Alisson was also full of huge praise for the Liverpool new boy following his instant impact upon Merseyside.
Speaking about his new team-mate, Alisson added: ‘He is a very hard-working, high quality and humble guy.
‘He came to help us and has further proved that our team is not just one player. We have a very strong squad and group.’
After Tuesday’s emphatic victory in Bergamo, Jurgen Klopp insisted that Jota’s sensational form has not given him a selection headache when it comes to breaking up his established front three.
Firmino has struggled for form in front of goal in recent times and is under threat from Jota
‘Good performances never give me a headache,’ Klopp said as he now gears up for Liverpool’s crunch clash with title rivals Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday.
‘For tonight the decision it was clear it made sense to use the good shape Diogo is in and because of the way Atalanta plays and defends the skillset of Diogo helps.
‘But the world is sometimes a bad place that in a moment when someone is shining we speak immediately about another player – who it feels like played for us 500 games in a row and we wouldn’t be in the Champions League if Bobby Firmino is not with us – and I have to explain why he is not in the team. He will be in the team.
‘It is important we have more than 11 and tonight Diogo played a super game and that says nothing about Bobby and nothing to do with causing me headaches.
‘I am more than happy the boys played like they played tonight.’
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