It was almost a magical end to a storied Anfield career, and it still was.
Holding onto the slimmest of hopes of qualifying for next year’s Champions League and down 1-0 at home to a resolute Aston Villa side, Liverpool turned to Roberto Firmino off the bench in what was to be his last ever match on Merseyside.
Destiny appeared to beckon. Bobby must have his say on proceedings.
There’s something that the Kop want you to know / The best in the world his name is Bobby Firmino
A raucous Anfield crowd seemingly had the foresight that their no. 9 would come to the rescue one last time, as the song they had crafted just for their cult idol echoed around the grounds from the moment the Shankly Gates opened. Or maybe they simply sang just because they loved a man nobody could in good conscience hate.
Si Señor / Give the ball to Bobby and he will score.
And with 89 minutes gone, Mohamed Salah took that sage advice, tapping into that telepathic connection with Firmino forged over six legendary years together in red to curl a cross into the area his old strike partner has popped up countless times before.
Bobby Dazzler, in that inimitable, irreplicable combination of flair, graft and joy, suddenly appeared and with his trademark kung-fu kick, cannoned the ball into the back of the net.
Ultimately the Reds were not able to replicate the improbable 2019 2-1 comeback win over the Villains and had to share the points. Combined with wins for Newcastle and Manchester United elsewhere on the matchday all but assured Liverpool will be in the Europa League next year.
But it none of it even matters because our Bobby is leaving us.
We will not rehash our previous odes over here at TLO Towers in paying tribute to a player spent eight years first winning our hearts with his joyous spirit before winning us trophies with his unmatched quality.
Instead, we will simply leave you with some images and some videos that every Red the world over will hold in their hearts forever.
There’s something that the Kop wants you to know… pic.twitter.com/KtRQpIYTHv— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 20, 2023
Forever and always, a Liverpool ❤️pic.twitter.com/GT3ONcm4mg— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) May 20, 2023