So far this season, Roberto Firmino has five goals and four assists in 11 games across all competitions. Philippe Coutinho has five and five in as many. It’s a return on par with any of Europe’s top scorers; it’s a return that’s world class.
Together, the duo have been nearly unstoppable this season for Liverpool, and Firmino credits their mutual understanding on the pitch for the improved performances both, who were already amongst the league’s best attackers, have been having so far this season.
"We think the same way,” noted Liverpool’s unexpected first choice striker. “We know what we're going to do before possessing the ball. We always understand each other in the games and with our skill everything turned out well.”
It certainly has so far. Firmino has a goal or assist every 105 minutes he’s on the pitch and has been key to Liverpool’s press, using his role to pressure the opposition towards one side of the field so that Liverpool’s midfield can swarm.
This tactic, effectively cutting the pitch in half and allowing Liverpool to focus on closing down just one side of it, is key to Jürgen Klopp’s counter press, and Firmino’s ability to read, react, and instigate that press is just as important as the goals and assists.
Coutinho, meanwhile, has cut down on the low percentage long shots and returned to more of a playmaking role, seeing his assist numbers shoot up—along with his goals. He’s registered a goal or assist every 82 minutes he’s played.
Everything has, indeed, turned out quite well for the duo. It has also turned out rather well for Liverpool as a team, and as long as Firmino and Coutinho can keep clicking, it’s likely the Reds can maintain their current title-challenging form.
“Philippe is a magician who makes magic in each shot,” added Firmino of his compatriot. “[He] is always helping with scoring goals and his incredible moves. He is always doing his best on the field."