Arsene Wenger hits back at Roberto Firmino criticism after Liverpool’s defeat to Leicester

Roberto Firmino provided a sublime assist in Liverpool's defeat to Leicester City
Roberto Firmino provided a sublime assist in Liverpool’s defeat to Leicester City (Getty)

Arsene Wenger believes you ‘cannot fault’ Roberto Firmino following Liverpool’s defeat to Leicester City on Saturday.

Firmino provided a sublime assist for Mohamed Salah’s opener but a late Liverpool’s collapse saw Leicester score three goals without reply to secure a 3-1 win for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

The Brazil international has been heavily criticised this season due to his scoring record of six goals in 24 appearances.

But Wenger has defended Firmino’s contribution and feels the 29-year-old is a rare striker as he improves the performances of his teammates.

‘I think you have types of strikers like [Luis] Suarez at Liverpool and now Firmino,’ Wenger told beIN Sport.

‘You have the kind of striker who makes the wide players good and the kind of strikers who kill the players around them.

‘Suarez and Firmino are players who make people around them good.

‘You see many strikers who, in Firmino’s position [for Salah’s goal], would have tried to force the shot or to dribble.

‘He’s the kind of striker you do not find a lot, they work hard for the team and they make the players around them better.

‘He is always ready to work for the team and puts his body on the line for the others, so I respect that, and he scores goals as well.

‘Maybe he’s a bit short of goals but all the rest, you cannot fault him.’

The defeat to Leicester has left Liverpool 10 points behind leaders Manchester City, while Pep Guardiola’s side also have a game in hand.

Asked if he believes Liverpool are still in the title race, Wenger replied: ‘No, I don’t think so.

‘Man City is 10 points ahead, has one game in-hand, they look to be on a run and I don’t think with 14 games to go, you can catch 13 points against a top team.

‘I never seen it, 13 points. If it was eight to nine, yes, but if Man City win their game in-hand, 13 points. It’s impossible.’

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