Roberto Firmino has signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool, the club has announced.
The 26-year-old Brazil forward has become a key player for the Reds since arriving at Anfield from Hoffenheim in 2015, scoring 50 goals in 140 appearances.
Firmino has netted 27 times this season to fire Liverpool to the brink of a top-four spot in the Premier League and on the verge of the Champions League final.
His brace last Tuesday helped Jurgen Klopp’s men build a 5-2 lead over Roma in their European semi-final, with the second leg taking place in Italy on Wednesday.
“It was an easy decision,” he said.
“The club has taken me in in an incredible way and I’ve grown a lot here with my work with the support of the whole team. I am very, very happy here.
“Everything fits in the best possible way. My team-mates are fantastic and I am very grateful to be able to play with them at this club.
“I love to play for Liverpool FC. The fans are excellent and fantastic in how they support us all the way. They support us throughout the games and the work they do during the match is beautiful.”
Meanwhile, Joe Gomez insists Liverpool cannot afford to change their game-plan against Roma if they want to secure a place in the Champions League final.
Klopp’s side take a three-goal lead to the Stadio Olimpico but the Reds will look to extend not defend that advantage.
“We have shown this season our best form of defence is attack so we will probably just do that again,” said Gomez after Saturday’s disappointing goalless draw at home to Stoke, which saw Liverpool creep closer to securing a top-four finish.
“Obviously we will be wary they have their threats and the two goals they scored will keep us on our toes and we will be defensively aware.
“But I don’t think we can go there and afford to just sit off and try to defend the whole game because that will bring pressure and that is not the type of football we play.
“We want to go there on the front foot and try to add to the goals.”
Klopp (below) admits he has had worse days than Saturday’s stalemate but felt his side were unlucky not to get the benefit of some refereeing decisions.
After Mohamed Salah uncharacteristically missed a sixth-minute one-on-one, Trent Alexander-Arnold was denied by Jack Butland and Danny Ings had a goal ruled out for offside, the Reds toiled against resilient relegation-threatened opposition.
Salah was well man-marked by Erik Pieters but Klopp was unhappy with some of the challenges which left Jordan Henderson nursing an ankle problem and Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez also sustaining minor niggles.
On the close attention Salah received, Klopp said: “Mo is the most attacked player probably in the Premier League but he deals with that.
“I am not responsible for judging the rules, that is the ref and if he thinks that is okay and sets that level I cannot change it.
“It is not a grey area. It is rules. If it is a foul, it is not a grey area.
“It is football, it is physical but if it is too much, it is too much: free-kick, yellow card, whatever. I cannot change that.”
Second-bottom Stoke now have only two games left – home to Crystal Palace and away to Swansea – to secure their Premier League status.
Source: Belfast Telegraph.