Roberto Firmino on how Liverpool have adapted to life without Philippe Coutinho

Roberto Firmino admits Liverpool had to change the way they played following the January exit of Philippe Coutinho.

And the Brazilian has revealed he always felt “calm” during the investigation in which he was cleared of racially abusing Everton’s Mason Holgate.

Firmino has been in outstanding form for the Reds this season, with his 23-goal haul already the best of his career.

Liverpool have scored 34 times in 14 games since Coutinho’s final appearance in December before his big-money move to Barcelona.

But his compatriot Firmino admits: “We changed the way we played after his exit. Which team in the world would not like to have a player of the quality of Coutinho?

“But he continued his life at Barcelona and Liverpool remained strong, as we always were.

“I just worry about playing well and helping Liverpool go as far as possible in the Premier League.

“If that is achieved by me scoring goals, even better. Thank God, the goals are coming! Winning the title is difficult this season, so we will fight to secure a Champions League place again. That’s one of the goals.”

Speaking to Goal, Firmino says he feels no pressure in trying to keep up with team-mate Mohamed Salah, who has notched an astonishing 36 goals in 41 games this season.

“No way!” he insists. “We have very good chemistry here at Liverpool.

“Many speak of the strength of our attack, which also has (Sadio) Mane, but we have a team full of great quality that is effective in attack.

“We have to think collectively. The more players score, the better. Liverpool are the ones who win in this situation.”

Firmino’s season could have been affected in January when he was accused by Everton defender Mason Holgate of racist abuse after a flare-up between the pair during the FA Cup third round tie at Anfield in January.

An FA investigation ultimately proved Firmino had no case to answer, and the player said: “I always felt calm about it (the allegations) because I knew I had not said what they were accusing me of.

“I have suffered racial prejudice and I know how painful it is. People need to take this issue more seriously and engage in this fight against racism.”

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