Philippe Coutinho was once again on the score sheet and indeed the star man for the Reds in their latest of several disappointing results, with the number ten scoring the equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Spartak Moscow.
In yet another hugely frustrating night for Liverpool Football Club – who had 16 efforts on the night – Coutinho was the main talking point as he rescued the Reds yet again in a busy yet inevitably unproductive night in Russia. The Brazilian and his fellow forwards managed to guide just six of those 16 shots on target, converting just one of those just after the half hour mark.
With 64% possession and the majority of the chances, it was seemingly just another annoying evening to be a Liverpool fan, dominating games yet lacking the composure when it really mattered in front of goal. After another error from Loris Karius in the Liverpool goal – who arguably could have dealt with the dangerous free kick from Fernando in the 23rd minute – and so the Reds relied on their forward threat to save the day once again.
Fortunately, Coutinho was on hand to do just that, playing a delightful one-two with Sadio Mane at the edge of the box before firing past Artem Rebrov in the Spartak goal to level the scoring. The fine move sent the travelling Liverpool fans into wild celebration, yet that was all they could celebrate as the rest of the game played out in much of the same way, however without Liverpool finding that key second goal.
Coutinho was heavily involved in every attack from the threatening away side, twisting and turning to lose his man before constantly delivering for Roberto Firmino and later Daniel Sturridge, who somehow couldn’t find the back of the net regardless of the amount of chances on offer.
After yet another failure away from home, Liverpool – despite being the better side on many of these occasions – are now without an away victory in the Champions League since 2009, a stat Jurgen Klopp must rectify should his side remain in Europe’s most prestigious competition for the time being.
The Reds will need their star man to continue his fine form in front of goal with a whole host of tricky fixtures arriving, firstly the trip to Newcastle this Sunday, followed by the journey to Old Trafford to face none other than high-flying Manchester United, before returning to European action with a test in Slovenia to face Maribor on 17th October.