Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino looked “terrified” in front of goal against Leeds United on Saturday, and might find his position in Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI under threat if he keeps missing chances. That’s the verdict of Reds icon Steve Nicol, who was critical of the striker after the 4-3 win at Anfield.
Firmino’s dry spell in front of goal continued on Saturday as the Premier League champions began their title defence against Leeds.
The Brazilian forward was played at centre-forward against the newly-promoted side, but had a quiet game in front of goal.
His chances were few and far between, and he squandered a good opportunity in the second half to give Liverpool a boost in the game.
As he was set through on goal, he opted to shoot with the outside of his foot rather than try to smash the ball past Illan Meslier, only for the ball to be blocked by Luke Ayling.
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Liverpool went into the transfer window expected to sign a striker to provide competition for their formidable front three of Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
And Nicol believes the Brazilian needs to shape up in front of goal and be more confident in himself.
Speaking to ESPN FC, the club legend explained that Firmino simply isn’t doing enough at the moment, and is too gun-shy.
“I think the closer to the goal he gets, he seems to tighten up,” he said.
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“He certainly looked gun-shy.
“He was through at the start of the game, he should have dinked it or had a shot at goal but he cut it back.
“Then the one in the second half when he was through in the middle of the goal and hit it with the outside of his foot, it was actually going wide.
“He just looks terrified when he gets close to goal.
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“Now, his other play is great, as we know.
“There’s only so long he can keep missing chances like the ones he’s had today.”
Firmino’s strike partner Salah won the game for Liverpool with a hat-trick, scoring a penalty in the first five and last five minutes of the match.
The Egyptian also produced a brilliant strike as he hammered into the top corner after an Andy Robertson free-kick was nodded down for him.
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