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Klopp: Firmino opens up 5,000 gaps for us

Brazilian forward gets praise after taking on deeper role

Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp has praised the "unbelievably valuable" Roberto Firmino after the Brazil forward ended his two-month English Premier League goal drought in the 3-0 victory against Watford.

Firmino also had a hand in Mohamed Salah's opener on Saturday and won the free-kick for Trent Alexander-Arnold to make it 2-0.

Firmino, who is playing a deeper role, has just six goals for club and country this season - and only two in his past 15 outings - but Klopp is in no doubt about the player's quality.

GROUP C
PARIS ST GERMAIN LIVERPOOL

"In the game against Fulham, 20 German coaches were in the stadium," said Klopp.

"I'm not sure how the critics were but, when I saw them and we had a drink together, they were saying 'Bobby Firmino. What a player'.

"Because of the small things he's doing, he's working so hard, he's here, he's there, he's got six goals, but he opens 5,000 gaps for everybody.

"He's doing the job. That makes him so unbelievably valuable for us. I'm really happy for him."

Unbeaten Liverpool have a club-record 33 points at this stage of an EPL season and are just two points behind leaders Manchester City.

However, the Reds have not set pulses racing as much as they did last season, when they got to the Champions League final and finished fourth in the EPL, but Klopp feels their new-found patience and pragmatism is paying off.

"I don't read what you make of it, but I sometimes see in your eyes that you don't understand me," he said.

"The thing is we have to win football games, but people compare a game against Watford with a game against AS Roma.

"It's not really the same, but it's in their mind about the sort of football we played last season. In some games, we played not-that-nice football and didn't get a result, but nobody remembers it."

The Reds need to beat PSG at the Parc des Princes tomorrow morning (Singapore time) to keep qualification for the last 16 in their own hands.

To do so, they must shake off their poor away displays in Europe.

They failed to muster a single shot on target in losing 1-0 to Napoli on Oct 4.

Earlier this month, Red Star Belgrade enjoyed their biggest night since winning the European Cup in 1991 when the Serbian side beat Liverpool 2-0 in their first Champions League victory for 26 years.

Defender Virgil van Dijk and midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri both expressed their desire to end their losing streak with a victory in Paris.

Shaqiri, who did not play in that defeat in Belgrade, told the club website: "We don't know how the coach is going to make the starting XI, but everybody has to be ready.

"It's going to be a difficult game in Paris and a good game to show how good we are. We go there to try to win, for sure."

GOING FOR THE WIN

Van Dijk echoed the Swiss winger's thoughts, telling the club website: "We want to win in Paris. We're not going to go there for a draw; we're not going there for anything else other than trying to produce a good performance and trying to win the game.

"It's going to be unbelievably tough because they are still unbeaten in the league and haven't lost at home for a long time.

"Personally we need to play our own game, try to put them under pressure and stop them from doing what they're good at, which is playing football. We will see what happens on the night.

"We need to show we've learnt from our last two away games in the Champions League and we will." - AFP

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