Jurgen Klopp has described the performances of both Fabinho and Roberto Firmino as “sensational” after the Brazilian duo helped Liverpool beat Arsenal 3-1.
This Sunday the Reds maintained their perfect start to the Premier League season as they inflicted a fourth consecutive Anfield defeat on Arsenal.
Fabinho and Firmino irreplaceable at Liverpool? The good-to-know facts and stats…
- Firmino has created at least 35 more league chances than any Liverpool player in the last three seasons (178 total).
- Firmino averaged the second-most tackles per 90 minutes (1.2) among all Premier League forwards last season (15+ apps only).
- Fabinho has made more tackles than any ‘Big Six’ midfielder in the Premier League this season (10).
- At Liverpool, he has also won the second-most duels (16), alongside Firmino.
- A couple months ago, Firmino revealed he “talked up” Fabinho to Klopp ahead of his £45m transfer last summer.
- Elsewhere, Fabinho revealed Firmino is the only player able to dispossess Virgil van Dijk in Liverpool training.
Goals from Mohamed Salah and Joel Matip were enough see off Unai Emery’s men with this early top of the table encounter offering the Spaniard a rude awakening of how big the gulf in class remains between these two sides.
Salah’s brace took the headlines, and most of the plaudits, headed in his direction; and while Klopp was not reluctant to jump on the bandwagon in that regard, he did reserve a special praise for his Brazilian duo.
“Roberto Firmino what a player he is, unbelievable,” Klopp told BBC Sport post-match.
“I am really happy with the performance. I did not see a bad player tonight or a player that played under his level. Fabinho played sensational.”
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Van Dijk’s greatest teammate?
Prior to the match at Anfield on Saturday, Virgil van Dijk named Firmino as the greatest footballer he has ever lined up alongside.
The PFA Players’ Player of the Year has played with the likes of Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder, Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Mohamed Salah, but opted to place Firmino at the top of his pecking order.
When asked who his greatest ever team-mate has been, he said: “I’m going to be a little bit biased and say one of my team-mates; I would say Roberto Firmino.”
So far Van Dijk and the Brazilian have played alongside each other 72 times, even combining for two goals (both scored by Firmino), and they will line up once again when Liverpool take on Burnley next week.