Firmino scores late equalizer against Villa to keep alive Liverpool's Champions League hopes
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Roberto Firmino kept alive Liverpool’s Champions League qualification dreams with a goal as a substitute in his last game for the club at Anfield.
The Brazilian striker poked in a finish in the 89th minute to earn Liverpool a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.
A loss, coupled with fourth-place Manchester United’s 1-0 victory at Bournemouth on Saturday, would have guaranteed Liverpool could not have finished in the top four.
Instead, Liverpool is not quite out of it, with Jurgen Klopp’s team three points behind third-place Newcastle and Man United, which each have two games left to play. Liverpool only has one game remaining, at already-relegated Southampton next weekend.
Ollie Watkins missed a penalty for Villa in the 22nd but Jacob Ramsey put the visitors ahead five minutes later by sidefooting home at the far post from Douglas Luiz’s cross.
Firmino is one of four players — along with James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – leaving this summer at the expiry of their contracts and the Brazilian came on in the 72nd minute for his final home game.
And he got behind Villa’s defense to convert Salah’s right-wing cross with the outside of his left foot.
Firmino has played for Liverpool since 2015.
Klopp watched the game from the stands while serving a touchline ban for questioning the integrity of a referee.
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The Associated Press