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Roberto Firmino Could Yet Play A Decisive Role As Liverpool Chase History

Roberto Firmino Could Yet Play A Decisive Role As Liverpool Chase History

Liverpool's Champions League quarter-final against Benfica this evening always seemed likely to be somewhat of a non-event, although the 90 minutes at Anfield provided a huge amount of entertainment.

While the home side never really looked in danger of losing the two goal lead they carried into the second leg, the 3-3 had it all in terms of defensive errors and moments of quality up front.

Liverpool will be asking questions about their defence, with the absence of Virgil van Dijk showing as they were opened up far too easily on occasion. Improvements will be needed in that regard, although one aspect of the game certainly would have pleased Jurgen Klopp.

Having been in and out of the team in recent months, Roberto Firmino provided us with a timely reminder of his quality ahead of a pivotal stage in this team's season.

Roberto Firmino impresses as Liverpool book semi-final spot

His first goal came in the second half to restore Liverpool's advantage on the night. While the Benfica marking was questionable, it was some excellent movement from the striker.

He would have another ten minutes later.

His second goal was an excellent finish, although once again you would have to question the defending from the away side.

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A timely reminder of what he can provide to his team.

Once an automatic pick in Liverpool's front three, Firmino has increasingly found himself on the outside looking in in recent times. When the big games come around, Klopp seems to favour Jota in that central position.

The arrival of Luis Diaz in January has pushed him even further down the pecking order, with the Colombian already impressing massively since his arrival. Against Manchester City last weekend, he only got five minutes off the bench.

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However, don't rule out the Brazilian playing a potentially decisive role over the remainder of the season.

With Liverpool's place in the Champions League semi-final now booked, the fixtures will continue to come thick and fast in the weeks ahead. They will be playing twice a week for the foreseeable future, starting with games against Manchester City and Manchester United over the next seven days.

Firmino won't start every game, but as tonight showed, he is more than capable of doing a job when called upon.

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He also offers something a bit different to all those other Liverpool forwards. Jota is an excellent finisher, but his link-up play can be lacking at times. Mane has also operated through the centre at times when Diaz is in the side, although he can't quite drop in between the lines like his teammate.

That attribute could be vital against certain opposition. While goals have been lacking from his game over the last season or so, Klopp will be hoping that tonight's performance provides evidence that he has rediscovered his touch in that area.

Roberto Firmino may be the unfashionable option at the moment, but don't be surprised to see him make a big contribution as Liverpool chase an unprecedented quadruple in the weeks ahead.

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SEE ALSO: Jurgen Klopp Takes Aim At Authorities Over Liverpool's Fixture Schedule

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