Jurgen Klopp made the decision of Roberto Firmino, which changed Liverpool and let Jose Mourinho go up in smoke.


The German had taken the helm at Anfield after the dismissal of Brendan Rodgers, and although he enjoyed an unbeaten start to the Reds’ tenure, the fans had not yet seen the true effect of his methods on the training ground.

Jurgen Klopp had been Liverpool manager for almost a month before he really made his mark in the Premier League.

Jurgen Klopp took his first Premier League win at Stamford Bridge to put pressure on an angry Jose Mourinho – and he gave Liverpool fans a first glimpse of a tactic that would shape his team in the years to come

Although Chelsea boasted players like Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Cesar Azpiliecueta, Willian and Cesc Fabregas, they had already been beaten five times in the league and the pressure on the unusually subdued Mourinho was beginning to mount.

So when Klopp and his team competed at Stamford Bridge on Halloween 2015, it was unclear who would fall for the trick and who would show up with the tidbit as Jose Mourinho’s champion was in turmoil.

Klopp had recorded only one win since taking the Liverpool Hotseat, a narrow 1-0 win over Bournemouth in the League Cup, and despite some encouraging performances had seen his side draw against Tottenham, Southampton and Russian club Rubin Kazan. The latter two at home.

But as it turned out, Klopp had to struggle with his own starting difficulties early on.

It was clear that if Liverpool could implement the pressing tactics that had brought Klopp such success in Dortmund – including a famous win against Mourinhos Madrid in 2013 – the Reds could use the game as a launching pad for German managerial rule.

Meanwhile, Christian Benteke, who was signed for 32 million pounds in the summer, had caught up with Klopp in the draw against Southampton, but it was clear that Klopp was not convinced that the former Aston Villa man really suited his style of play.

The Reds’ new boss had played his first four games as Divock Origi, with Danny Ings and Daniel Sturridge on the sidelines due to injury, and although the young Belgian striker had impressed with his pressure, he had yet to score goals for the club.

A knee injury, however, prevented Origi from travelling to Chelsea, and as Benteke received a blow, Klopp came across a tactical change that would determine Liverpool’s success in the years to come.

Former boss Rodgers simply didn’t know what to do with the Brazilian, and he fought both in the distance and in the role of number 10.

Roberto Firmino, who had also arrived in a big money move the summer before Klopp got the job with the Reds, had a difficult start in life at Anfield.

But Klopp, who later expressed his surprise that Liverpool could attract a player outside the Champions League who had shone in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, was determined to make sure he found the right role for Firmino.

And while most observers felt that Klopp had simply put a square peg in a round hole when Firmino was named Liverpool’s sole striker for Chelsea, the Reds’ boss had indeed found the perfect player to implement his style of play.

Coutinho had struggled to maintain his form under Klopp, but as the industrious and inventive Firmino fell deep into the dugout, he was given the freedom to tear Chelsea apart.

After a difficult opening, in which Ramires took the home side in the lead, Liverpool got a grip on the game and urged Chelsea into submission.

And so he helped to reignite the form of another Brazilian and a man who had been Liverpool’s best player last year, Philippe Coutinho.


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