Liverpool attacker Roberto Firmino this evening put to bed a tired narrative regarding the centre-forward position for the Reds, following his opener versus Southampton.
The two sides went head to head at St. Mary’s, with Jurgen Klopp’s men eager to get back to winning ways after Tottenham’s late-show saw the Reds drop two points last time out.
Southampton, meanwhile, headed into today’s clash on an impressive 6-match unbeaten streak across all competitions, with the Saints’ last outing culminating in a thrilling 3-2 victory over West Brom at the Hawthorns.
The teams are in!
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) February 11, 2018
📋 Team news time 🔴
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 11, 2018
Liverpool were viewed as the clear favourites heading into this evening’s matchup, with the Merseyside giants taking little time to prove exactly why following kick-off.
With just 6 minutes on the clock, a long ball forward towards Mohamed Salah saw Wesley Hoedt fluff his attempted clearance, allowing Salah to slide a perfectly-weighted ball across to the incoming Roberto Firmino on the edge of the home side’s box.
Firmino slotted his ensuing finish home with aplomb, before the Reds’ brilliant attacking duo combined once again to double Liverpool’s lead shortly before half-time.
Firmino was the creator on this occasion, though, with the former Hoffenheim star having produced what many have since referred to as the ‘assist of the season’ in setting Salah up.
After Salah played the ball into Firmino’s feet 5 yards outside Southampton’s box, the South American proceeded to slide his teammate through on goal with the most sumptuous of flicked passes with his instep, with Salah going on to finish in typically-cool style.
And this is how things stayed for the remainder of the clash, with the Saints struggling to create clear-cut goalscoring opportunities over the course of the second-half, whereas Liverpool could easily have added to their goal tally through the likes of Salah, Firmino and Sadio Mane.
Following his opening goal this evening, droves of fans took to social media to point to the fact that, despite having not been considered as an ‘out-and-out’ goalscorer ahead of this season, Roberto Firmino has now found the net 20 times across all competitions to this point in the campaign.
As such, calls for the Reds to bring in a 20-goal-a-season centre-forward before the season’s start now look wholly unjustified, as highlighted at length below:
Finally, we can put to bed the nonsensical narrative around Liverpool needing a 20-goal striker. Firmino on 20, Salah on 29, with more than 3 months of the season still to play.
— Joel Rabinowitz (@joel_archie) February 11, 2018
🗣 “Liverpool need a 20-goal-a-season striker.”
Roberto Firmino nets his 20th goal of the season.
It’s only February. pic.twitter.com/SbK4LtHVRl
— bet365 (@bet365) February 11, 2018
Do we still need a 20 goal a season striker @Realaldo474 ? Firmino not doing too badly don’t you think?
— Carl Douglas (@douggie78) February 11, 2018
— John Paul Walsh 🗽 (@jpwred316) February 11, 2018
Everyone who wanted Lacazette because Firmino wasn’t a 20 goal a season striker pic.twitter.com/mm9p7thK2M
— Ben Goodwin (@BGinge8) February 11, 2018
Our “20 goals per season striker” – Mr. Bobby Firmino 🇧🇷🔥😉 pic.twitter.com/miTrlBvP4o
— ٠•●G●•٠ (@Proud__Scouser) February 11, 2018