Tony Cascarino has lauded Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino for possessing a Gascoigne-esque quality missing from his more illustrious teammates.
The 28-year-old Brazil international scored the only goal as Jurgen Klopp’s men recorded a 20th league win of the season against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
How important was Firmino’s goal against Spurs? Five key things to know
- Liverpool are currently 14 points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a game in hand.
- Firmino’s goal against Spurs means Liverpool are enjoying their joint-best scoring streak from the start of a top-flight season ever.
- Liverpool have also made the best-ever start to a campaign by a club in Europe’s top-five leagues.
- The result also means Liverpool remain unbeaten in the league this season, winning 20 of their opening 21 games.
- Firmino’s strike has drawn comparisons with a certain Paul Gascoigne by Tony Cascarino.
It was his seventh Premier League goal in 2019/20 — all coming away from home — which is more than anyone at the club, bar fellow attackers Sadio Mane (11) and Mohamed Salah (10), both of whom finished inside the top five of last year’s Ballon d’Or standings.
His effort, which came in the 37th minute, was a brilliant piece of individual skill. Firmino collected the ball from Salah, outmanoeuvred Japhet Tanganga, before slotting the ball past Paulo Gazzaniga.
Firmino’s strike, and everything he did in the lead up to his goal, grabbed the attention of former Chelsea striker Cascarino, who feels it was a goal — reminiscent of Paul Gascoigne — that neither Mane or Salah would have been able to score.
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“I initially thought Roberto Firmino’s goal for Liverpool against Tottenham was a clever, yet simple, finish but it is far more than that,” Cascarino noted in his column for The Times.
“Most players would have taken the ball with their right foot and ended up in a tight situation with the defender. But the way Firmino let the ball run across him in order to make space for himself was genius. I have always lauded South Americans for being able to do it because it is such a tricky skill, for which you need vision and awareness.
“Paul Gascoigne used to do it and few players do it now as well as Firmino. He always knows what is around him, all over the pitch. He is the one of Liverpool’s front three who can do things that the other two — Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane — cannot. He is a thinking player who always seems to know what is the best option to take. He makes Liverpool tick.”