UEFA Champions League [Spotlight on Neymar & Firmino]: “Neymar is not a Defender”

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE IS BACK!!! It’s no longer news that the UCL is back and teams are already slugging it out all over Europe. Match day 1 started on Tuesday and Liverpool FC was in action at Anfield stadium against PSG (Paris St. Germain).

Liverpool starts the Champions league campaign with a dramatic win over the giant of France, Paris Saint Germain (PSG). According to Jürgen Klopp after he watched his side’s success, he  had this to say: “It was good, really good in all departments pretty much. It is so difficult to defend them, but we did.Good organization and a big heart is always a good combination for defendingwere the key to Liverpool’s victory.

The Reds carry on where they left off last season, beating the big teams from different leagues. The previous season ended with a heartbreak after they were defeated by Real Madrid at the Champions league finals. It seems Jürgen Klopp and his players are determined to take down anyone on their way to lift the cup at the end of this season.

 

Liverpool started off strong with two goal thanks to Daniel Sturridge and James Milner but they were replied by Thomas Meunier and Kylian Mbappe for the French champions. The Reds later gave a final blow at stoppage time from the heroics of Firmino to secure memorable result for Liverpool.

In celebration of his goal, the 26 year old attacker made light of his eye injury in front of the Liverpool fans by covering the injured eye with one hand, then turning to enjoy the moment with his delighted teammates before Sadio Mane in his usual fashion copied the celebration.

Firmino one eyed goal celebration.
Firmino celebrating scoring the winning goal in Liverpool’s UCL game against PSG.

At the end of the match, Neymar Jr congratulated Roberto Firmino in the tunnel after his late winner at Anfield. Though Neymar will have been disappointed with the result, he still felt the need to congratulate his Brazilian teammate.

 

It may not be surprising for some Liverpool fans that their in-form attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino was not in the starting lineup for the opening game. Firmino who sustained a grueling eye injury in their last premier league game against Tottenham Hotspurs started the game from the bench. The Brazilian player who turned 26 was involved in a struggle with Tottenham defender, Jan Vantonghen in which the defender’s finger got stuck in his eye socket during their 2 – 1 win over Tottenham at Wembley stadium on Saturday.

Even if Neymar was involved in creating Kylian Mbappe’s equalizer at the 83rd minute, blames fell on the Brazilian superstar over the 2-3 defeat of  his club, he was unable to deliver like he regularly do in the French Ligue 1. Some twitter users speculated that he was overhyped and he is not among the best forwards in the world of football and he isn’t worth the price PSG bought him.

Here are some tweets about Neymar’s performance:

 

“Kylian Mbappe will win the ballon d’or before Neymar”

“Just Sadio Mane sending Neymar back to the shadow realm”

“Sometimes you wonder if Neymar is just a scam.”

 

The Liverpool manager revealed that he deliberately targeted the PSG left wing because he knew Neymar would not follow Alexander Arnold when the defender got forword.

“Neymar on the left side was not a bad idea and makes defending more difficult, we needed more focus and we felt we did really well”. The Liverpool manager went on to say

“Neymar is world-class but not a defender so we tried to do that”.

 

Meunier said to RMC Sport: “We have done what we could, trying to introduce a new tactical plan and for a moment we are not doing too badly, nothing catastrophic, we have all the cards in hand for qualification, we could take Liverpool as an example with their deep, simple fast game, with alot of intensity.”

 

Firmino said after the game: “I felt well when I came on the pitch. Thank God nothing serious happened. It has been three days since the incident and the recovery went well. The recovery was also good for the next game. I took the recovery very seriously and my family helped me a lot too, so I am very happy.”

 

Speaking about Firmino’s performance after the game, his team mate Milner said: “I can’t say enough good things about Bobby. To come off the bench after his injury at the weekend is incredible really.”

 

The Liverpool FC manager, Jürgen Klopp speaking on why Firmino began the game on the bench was quoted on Liverpoolfc official website: “How I said, the day before yesterday it was no chance, yesterday it didn’t look really well and we had only one session, which we used, and that was this morning. Bobby tested a little bit and then he went in and you think it’s the moment when you have to show faith in the squad”.

Liverpool’s next game is against the Saints on Saturday 22nd, we hope Firmino will be back to full fitness and continues to provide a scintillating performance to the delight of Liverpool fans worldwide.

 

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