Coutinho magic inspires Liverpool to much-needed victory

Man of the Match Friends of Liverpool

In a somewhat unsurprising turn of events, Philippe Coutinho returned to the Liverpool side and left the field with ten minutes remaining after an impressive Man of the Match performance in the 3-2 victory over Leicester. The Brazilian gave the Reds that vital spark in the 15th minute with a wonderful assist, before getting his name on the score sheet just eight minutes later.

Liverpool started brighter than the hosts, who had beaten the Reds just days earlier in the Carabao Cup, and it was of course the main man who lit up the first half. After an eventful summer, the little Brazilian brought the game to life with a dangerous, whipped cross towards the back post, where Mohamed Salah was eagerly waiting as he somehow managed to steer the ball past Kasper Schmeichel from an almost impossible angle.

The goal gave Liverpool a much-needed advantage in a tense affair, however Coutinho then settled any nerves from Jurgen Klopp and the fans as he curled in a magnificent free-kick from all of 30 yards, bending the ball over the wall and past the helpless Schmeichel in the Leicester goal. It was just the start the visitors needed after some hugely disappointing defeats, none more so than against the same opposition who dumped them out of the Carabao Cup in merely the Third Round.

The Brazilian gave Leicester full-back Danny Simpson a torrid time down the left flank, twisting and turning constantly as he searched for Roberto Firmino further upfield. Concerns were once again raised after the Reds conceded two sloppy goals, but fortunately Coutinho was on hand early on to give his side that all-important bright start. With countless deft touches and flicks, Liverpool’s number 10 held the ball up well while linking the midfield with the attack, before being replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the 79th minute, much to the dismay of the travelling fans who were forced to endure a nervy final ten.

After his wonder goal on Saturday evening – yet another one to save the Reds from danger – the Brazilian has scored more goals from outside the box than any other player in the Premier League since his debut (16). Liverpool will need to keep their main man fit and fighting come next weekend as they face a potentially dangerous Newcastle side, however a trip to Russia and Spartak Moscow is up first for Coutinho and co as they look to get their first Champions League win of the season.