Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp heaped praise on Roberto Firmino after he scored the winning goal in the 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
The Brazil international's first-half strike was enough for the Reds to earn a victory in the capital. The triumph put Liverpool 16 points clear at the summit of the table ahead of third-place Manchester City's trip to face Aston Villa on Sunday.
After the game, Klopp said Firmino was apologetic because he felt he should have been on the scoresheet on more than one occasion, per Guy Atkinson of Goal:
"When I went to him and wanted to give him a hug after the game, he wanted to stop and talk first. "He said: 'I know I should have scored more goals'. It was absolutely not what I wanted to say!
"It is true probably. He should have scored immediately with the first chance. He is a super player, super. I don't say this for the first time and will hopefully not say it for the last time. [He's] pretty impressive."
Here are the highlights from the narrow win for the Reds:
The win was Liverpool's 20th from 21 Premier League games this season. Sky Sports Statto put their form into perspective and also provided the numbers behind Firmino's impressive display:
Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto
📊 Liverpool ✅ W20 D1, best ever record after 21 games in a season in any of Europe’s big 5 leagues ✅ Scored in club record 30 successive league games (passing 29 in Div 2, 1957-58) ✅ 6th successive PL clean sheet - club’s best run since under Rafa Benitez in 2006 https://t.co/N3JwahwtJt
Klopp added that "it was not our best game" from a performance perspective, although he would have been delighted with the manner in which Liverpool were able to see out the match.
Firmino has been a critical player for the Reds under the German, as he leads the line with intelligence, intensity and incision.
The Brazilian has been overshadowed by Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah this season, and his best work often goes unnoticed. As of late the Liverpool No. 9 has started to find his goalscoring touch again, with five strikes in his past six appearances.
After the game, former Manchester United defender Gary Neville said Firmino would get into any side in the world:
Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL
“I think any manager in the world would have him as their centre forward in their team. I think he’s absolutely incredible." @GNev2 is full of praise for Roberto Firmino, after the Brazilian sent Liverpool 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League table. https://t.co/2OcpYjTmAy
Former England international Gary Lineker also enjoyed the forward's display:
The 28-year-old sets the tone for Liverpool's play with his pressing from the point of the attack, and there's a case to be made for him being the most important cog in the revered Liverpool front three.
Following a slow start to the season, Firmino gradually found his form over the festive period and looks in fine shape going into the new year. If he can start chipping in regularly with goals during the second half of the campaign, it feels like there's no limit as to what the Reds can accomplish this season.