Roberto Firmino’s recent struggles have seen his role at Liverpool come under the microscope.
The Brazilian has scored just one goal and registered only two assists in 12 appearance so far this season in all competitions.
The emergence of summer signing Diogo Jota has put his place in the starting line-up under threat as manager Jurgen Klopp started both playmakers alongside Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah against Manchester City.
With the Reds chasing a winner, it was Firmino who made way on the hour mark to introduce Xherdan Shaqiri prompting further questions regarding his future.
But both Klopp and Salah answered honestly when questioned about Firmino ahead of the game.
And they were in full agreement as they underlined the positive impact he has on their side in a show of support for the struggling striker.
Asked about Jota starting more ahead of Firmino, Salah told beIN Sports last week: “I can’t say about this because I am not the coach, I can’t decide something like that.
“I can’t look at what Firmino has done for the club and what he gives the team and say he should sit on the bench because his recent scoring output isn’t amazing, this is a player who has given everything to the team for five years and creates so many chances.
“The way our system works in a way sacrifices his scoring output slightly as he drops deeper and gives us the ball on the wings, so I can’t say he should sit on the bench or that he isn’t working to the best of his ability.
“Sure, there can be more goals, but he creates so many chances regardless.”
Asked if he believes there has been a change in chemistry in the front three, Salah replied: “No I don’t think so. I don’t count how many goals the three of us have.
“But we have been together for four years, sometimes we don’t score every game, but we play well and the team wins and that is what’s important.
“You won’t find an attacker that scores every single game so I think we contribute a lot in other facets of the game in terms of creation and assists for other players, and that helps the team as a whole.”
Klopp, meanwhile, offered a strong defence of Firmino ahead of the game and questioned how anybody could fail to see his attributes.
"I don't have to say one word about Bobby Firmino and how important he was for us, I don't waste time with that," Klopp said.
"He was in so many games the difference-maker without scoring maybe, I'm not sure, but with scoring as well in other games, so I would feel really embarrassed if I had to mention now the qualities of Bobby Firmino.
"I can't help these people, sorry. . That's how it is.”
Whilst Firmino has been questioned, it is clear both his manager and team-mates recognise his importance despite a recent lack of goals.
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