Klopp explains timeline of Firmino recovery as duo earn praise

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has lifted the lid on the timeline of events that saw Roberto Firmino declare himself fit to face Paris Saint-Germain following a rapid recovery from a nasty eye injury. The Brazil international was set to miss the Champions League opener because of anabrasion on the cornea of his left eye sustained in Saturday’s win over Tottenham.

He did not train with the squad on Monday but, having said he was ready to play in the build-up to the game, came off the bench to score the added-time winner in the thrilling 3-2 victory over PSG at Anfield. “There was no chance yesterday, absolutely no chance the day before, and this morning he came in and said, ‘I’m fine, I can open the eye again’. That helps. It was good,” said Klopp, who had seen his side squander a 2-0 lead given to them by Daniel Sturridge – Firmino’s replacement – and James Milner’s penalty.

“Yesterday it didn’t look really well, we had only one session, which we really used, this morning and Bobby tested a little bit but then he went in. “And I really think it is a moment where you have to show faith in the squad. Yes, when you have Bobby Firmino available, you actually always think, ‘Come on, bring him’.

“But it was nice to see how Daniel performed tonight and he paid 100 per cent back so that’s so cool for him, for us, such an important sign. “Then bringing Bobby after 70 minutes, it’s a nice tool to be honest, I really like that. So it was good.” Klopp’s replacement for Firmino, Sturridge, scored on his first Champions League start for the club he joined in 2013 to justify his manager’s faith. “Great performance of Daniel,” added the Reds boss.

“The three in midfield did an outstanding job, but they only can do it when the two wingers in how we play and the number nine are helping in all these situations to keep the formation compact. “It was fantastic. I said to Daniel before the game he is the best shape since I’ve known him, physically, and now he had to use it – and that’s what he did.” Speaking to BT Sports, Klopp also revealed what he thought of the Brazilian’s celebration.

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