• News

‘Jota impact has affected Firmino in one way’

Jota, Firmino
Getty Images
Advertisement

Diogo’s Jota instant impact at Liverpool has prompted Firmino to up his game and improve his standards, says Dominic Matteo.

A fellow Brazilian in Dominic Matteo was pleased to see Firmino grab the winner for Liverpool in a top-of-the-table clash against Tottenham.

As the game looked to be heading for a stalemate, the 29-year-old headed home a late winner to seal all three points for the Reds.

Over the past few years, Firmino has forged a partnership with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane to make for one of the best attacking trios in football.

However, the Brazilian has seen his goals dry up of late and has only three goals across 20 appearances in all competitions this term.

It didn’t help that a new signing in Diogo Jota eased in seamlessly and took to an impressive scoring record from the onset. The former Wolves man already has nine goals from 17 appearances in new colors and there even were calls for the 24-year-old to replace Firmino in the starting lineup.

With Jota now on the treatment table, Firmino has a chance for a steady run upfront, and compatriot Matteo has backed the forward to step up to the challenge.

The former Reds defender told Stadium Astro: “Jota has been outstanding – every time he gets on the ball you think he’s going to score a goal. Definitely, that might push Firmino forward.”

“When you are up against a player who will score goals and make chances, you have to do something to influence the game. Firmino has done that now and hopefully he will get the confidence out of that.”

“He had looked a big leggy in the last few games but maybe now after that goal [against Spurs] it will refresh him.”

“His keeping of the ball needs to be a bit better, he was so good at that last season. This season he hasn’t kept it as well but people learn a lot about you as a player. Firmino has still got that ability to change a game. I’m sure he will get confidence out of that.”

ADVERTISEMENT