Liverpool were dealt another crushing blow to their Champions League hopes at the weekend.
Jurgen Klopp watched on helpless as his side’s woeful run of form at Anfield continued against Newcastle United, conceding a stoppage-time goal from Joe Willcock that cost them two points.
Liverpool had led within the opening minutes on Merseyside thanks to a stunning switch-and-shoot maneuver from Mohamed Salah, before proceeding to produce a hatful of opportunities.
Liverpool 1-1 Newcastle United
But with every wayward effort from Salah, Sadio Mane and Robert Firmino, the Magpies gradually grew in confidence and looked to have scored a dramatic equaliser through Callum Wilson.
However, their jubilance was short-lived with VAR brutally ruling out the goal because the ball had made contact with Wilson’s hand, seemingly saving the win for Liverpool. Or so we thought.
That’s because there was another shocking twist in the tale as Newcastle did indeed secure the goal they so badly deserved with Willcock’s deflected strike going unpunished by the technology.
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Another Liverpool setback
And on the back of Anfield defeats to everyone from Fulham to Brighton & Hove Albion, there was a crushing feeling of inevitability that came with Liverpool throwing away two points so late on.
However, that didn’t make it any less gutting for the Reds players who had fought tooth and nail to try and elevate themselves into the Champions League places.
And the heart-wrenching nature of Willcock’s goal was finely demonstrated by the instant reaction of Firmino, which has since emerged in new footage from Liverpool’s ‘Inside Anfield’ feature.
Firmino’s unique reaction
No, we’re not talking about a standard drop to the knees or head in hands, we’re talking about Firmino literally crashing to the Anfield pitch as though he was a mighty tree being felled.
It clearly summarised the feelings of Kopites very well, too, because a clip from Twitter user @ScouserChrisLFC attracted over 800 retweets and 6,500 ‘likes’ for declaring: “Firmino was all of us.”
But enough build-up, you want to see Firmino in action, don’t you? Well, be sure to check out the Brazilian’s heartbreak live on camera down below:
A crushing blow for Liverpool
Does anyone remember the dance in Smooth Criminal where Michael Jackson leans incredibly far forward? Yeh, Firmino might just have invented the reverse of that with this reaction.
Ok, jokes aside, there are few harder-working players in the Premier League than the 29-year-old, so his absolute disbelief at Newcastle smuggling a point is as gut-wrenching as it is amusing.
And to be honest, we suspect that so many Liverpool fans are finding it funny merely because dropped points at Anfield have become such a strangely familiar feeling over the course of 2021.
We might never put our finger on why exactly Liverpool’s title defence has come crashing down so quickly, but Firmino’s reaction certainly felt like a cruelly apt illustration of what it’s looked like.