Klopp reveals Firmino only felt fit to play PSG on Tuesday


Roberto Firmino was Liverpool’s hero after he came off the bench to score a stunning late winner to complete a remarkable three days.

Jurgen Klopp took the decision to include Firmino in his squad to face Paris Saint-Germain, even though the Brazilian had spent Saturday evening in Moorfield’s Eye Hospital after being accidentally gouged by Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen.

Liverpool’s manager had assumed there would be no chance of including Firmino in his plans but he reported for training at Melwood on Tuesday morning and told Klopp: ‘I’m fine’. They were the only words the German needed to hear.

Firmino thrashed in a 90th minute drive that secured a 3-2 win in the opening Champions League game and he celebrated by mimicking an eye-patch.

Klopp said: ‘There was no chance yesterday (Monday). Absolutely no chance the day before (Sunday). But he came this morning (Tuesday), he came in and said “I’m fine. I can open my eye again.” It was good!’

Man-of-the-Match James Milner said: ‘It was very important. It would have been very disappointing (not to win). It shows the character of this side to go again. I can’t say enough good things about Bobby to come off the bench after his injury.

A remarkable night started with Liverpool racing into a two-goal lead thanks to a header from Daniel Sturridge and James Milner’s nerveless penalty. But from a position of authority, Klopp’s team were pegged back when Thomas Meunier pounced just before half-time.

Liverpool wasted chances in the second half and they looked to have paid the ultimate price when a mistake by Mohamed Salah allowed the French champions to counter and Kylian Mbappe levelled with eight minutes remaining.

Firmino, however, was to have the last word when smashing in an angled drive to spark delirium at Anfield and put Liverpool on top of Group C, with Red Star Belgrade and Napoli drawing 0-0.


Klopp said: ‘The cool element of our club is when you hear Liverpool plays PSG, you don’t think we are without a chance any more. Maybe three years ago we felt it was a mountain we could not climb.’

This was Sturridge’s first start for Liverpool in the competition – five years after he moved to Anfield – and he said: ‘The last time was for Chelsea when we won it, so it is great to contribute to the team today, but it’s early days so we aren’t going to get ahead of ourselves. It is a team here and everybody is going to add to the wealth of the club.

‘It was a great to score and it was a great ball by (Andy Robertson). Him and Trent (Alexander-Arnold) have got a competition going on, so it was good to help him out.’

Klopp was thrilled with Sturridge and said: ‘He had a super game. I told him before the game, I have never seen him as fit as I have now since I came to the club. He was in the box when you needed it and he did it really well.’

PSG boss Thomas Tuchel, however, was crestfallen and insisted the final score was wrong. He said: ‘The score line didn’t tell the story of the game, right at the end we had a chance with Draxler to win the game. But Liverpool put in a great performance in the first half. The score wasn’t logical. It was a crazy game.’