Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has defended Roberto Firmino following calls to drop the Brazilian after Diogo Jota’s hat-trick against Atalanta.

The former Hoffenheim striker was dropped to the bench as Jota, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane tore Atalanta apart in a 5-0 win in Bergamo.

Diogo Jota bagged a hat-trick against Atalanta

Jota’s hat-trick takes his tally for the club to seven already this season, while Firmino has just one goal to his name so far this campaign.


Liverpool face title rivals Manchester City at the Etihad this weekend and Klopp is under pressure to drop Firmino in favour of the Portugal international.

However, the German has defended his first choice forward and says he does not have a selection ‘headache’.

‘Without Bobby Firmino we would not even be in the Champions League,’ said Klopp.


‘For us it is important that we have more than 11. Tonight, Diogo played a super, super game but that says nothing about Bobby, and has nothing to do with me causing headaches.

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Bobby Firmino

‘In the moment when somebody is shining we immediately speak about another player who played what feels like 500 games in a row.’

Liverpool’s win means they’ve maintained their 100% start in a tough-looking Champions League group.

While ten points is likely to be enough to progress to the next round, a win against Atalanta at home next week would seal Liverpool’s passage through to the last-16.