Jurgen Klopp believes Roberto Firmino is different from any player in the world in the way he interprets his role as a forward and allows his team to flourish with him. He was speaking at the post match press conference following the Super Cup penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea here in Istanbul
Chelsea dominated the midfield in the first half and were deservedly in front at half time, the introduction of the Brazilian Firmino changed the entire dynamic of Liverpool’s play and he was instrumental to the equaliser. Is he the key to how Liverpool play and for the season, I asked the Liverpool manager “he is a really special footballer and different to any other in his role interpretation” the German replied.
“The plan was actually not to play Bobby (Firmino) in the game as he has barely had any break at all. He was back with us for only a week before the start of the season following the Copa America. Yes, he is very important in how we play but Sadio Mane can also play in that role as can Oxlade-Chamberlain and even Divock Origi. They all bring to the role their different strengths”.
Responding to a question from www.aclsports.com on England International Alex Olade-Chamberlain, Klopp said “Yes, I did not have to say anything really much to Oxlade-Chamberlain because the main thing for us was to give him minutes. This was a really intense game for him, he did some things right but this was not his fault. I chose him and so it is my fault – if anyone is at fault”.
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After Mane’s second goal had put Liverpool ahead, Chelsea were awarded a penalty which Jorginho converted. Klopp was not sure about the award even though he believed Stephanie Frappart and her team handled the rest of the match brilliantly. “I told her (Frappart) that if my team played as well as her team did we would have won the game six nil – that is how well they handled the match. However, I am not sure it was a penalty but that is understandable that mistakes can happen”.
Klopp adds a second European Trophy after the Champions League win in June but the German does not see it as him winning it “I say this all the time that I have not won anything, the football club wins these things. It is never about me. It is about the club and winning it for the fans”.
Liverpool travel to Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.
Calvin Emeka Onwuka in Istanbul.