Liverpool needed Firmino's 'big impact' against Newcastle, says Andy Robertson

Roberto Firmino "showed his class" with two assists against Newcastle United, according to Liverpool team-mate Andy Robertson.

Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino.   -  Getty Images

Andy Robertson has praised Roberto Firmino for his key role in lifting Liverpool to a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Newcastle United on Saturday.

Brazil forward Firmino stepped off the bench before half-time and provided assists for Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah as the Premier League leaders recovered from an early deficit. Jurgen Klopp had intended to give the regular starter some rest following his involvement in two Brazil friendlies in the United States during the international break.

'Gutted'

But a twisted ankle forced Divock Origi from the pitch in the 37th minute, when the scores were level at 1-1, and proved the catalyst for a stronger Liverpool performance. "We're gutted for big Div coming off, hopefully it's not too serious but he had to come off at that time," left-back Robertson told his club's website.

"But to bring Bobby on is always a nice sub to have. Obviously he came back late from internationals and the manager decided to put him on the bench.

"When he came on he showed his class and could probably have had three or four assists. He had a big impact and that's what we needed. Luckily we had enough for the three points."

 

The victory moved Liverpool five points clear of second-placed Manchester City, who lost 3-2 at Norwich City.

The Reds now turn their attention to this week's Champions League opener away to Napoli, the first of four games before the end of the month. "August was relaxed in terms of what we're used to but September is back to the busy schedule," Robertson said.

"The Champions League starts on Tuesday and we'll be on a flight on Monday.

"So it's all about recovering, we need to recover properly and we need to be ready to go on Tuesday. September is a busy period. We need to come through it firing and get the results we need."

- Firmino makes everything tick – Heskey hails striker as Liverpool's most important player -

Roberto Firmino is Liverpool's most important player as he "makes everything tick" for Jurgen Klopp's side, according to former striker Emile Heskey.

Heskey, who spent four years on Merseyside and was often used as a link between midfield and strike partner Michael Owen, believes Firmino turns Liverpool into a stronger side as he makes life easier for his attacking team-mates.

"I would say Firmino [is most important] and the reason I say that is he's the one that makes everything tick when it comes to the front three," Heskey told Omnisport.

READ| Premier League report: Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle United

"Take him out of there, yes, they will get you goals, yes, they will cause havoc but they won't do it in the same fashion that they do with him.

"He makes everything tick, everything goes through him and it just looks smoother when it goes through him, and they create more chances when he's in the team."

While Firmino's selflessness is an asset to Liverpool, Heskey believes Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford would benefit from being more single-minded.

Rashford's penalty gave United a 1-0 win over Leicester City on Saturday and took his tally to three goals in five league games this term, but Heskey thinks the England forward's versatility is perhaps holding him back from becoming a more ruthless finisher.

"I would like to think Marcus Rashford's best position is centre-forward," Heskey said. "But as you say, he can play all along the front line because he's got that ability. He's very direct, he's very quick, he's got a skill in him, and he doesn't mind providing.

"Now, if you're a centre-forward that wants to score goals, and goals only, you don't want to be pushed on the left or the right because you know you're not going to score from there. You want to be right in the middle where you can score goals. He's more of an unselfish player that you could actually play in different positions."

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