Dropped to the bench following a long haul flight on international duty with Brazil, the meeting with Leicester City on Saturday was all but wrapped up by the time Liverpool attacker Philippe Coutinho was only introduced into the fray with just under 15-minutes to play. Roberto Firmino would go on to double up with a minute left to play after opening the scoring early in the first half while goals from Adam Lallana and Anfield debutante Sadio Mane confirmed the rout.
“He’s a fantastic player,” said the Brazilian ace of the Senegalese attacker. “He’s very quick, he’s got very good feet, so that helps us to create a lot of chances to score,” added Coutinho, quickly switching gears to spread the praise across the whole forward line. “But it’s not just him but as we saw in the game with Daniel [Sturridge], [Roberto] Firmino and [Adam] Lallana up there too,” continued the 24-year old. “It was an excellent performance by the team. Everyone played very well, we did what the manager asked us to do.”
Really, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp would have been hard pressed to expect more — which, of course, is exactly the kind of performance you want when you’re squaring up against the defending Premier League champions and have a trip to Chelsea on the cards less than a week later.
“Everyone was very committed from the outset and we got a great result against a great team,” mused the Reds forward, who is expected to be restored to the starting eleven when the club run out at Stamford Bridge on Friday. “Attacking we were virtually perfect so it was a great game that gives us confidence,” enthused Coutinho, quick to praise, but just as quick to confirm that they’re trying to get even better. “We’re on the right track, we’ve started the season well. Of course we’ve dropped points, but the competition is very long. We’ve beaten teams that, theoretically, will be up there fighting for the title so that boosts our confidence.”