In yet another Man of the Match performance from Liverpool’s number 10, Philippe Coutinho and his stunning strike stood out in a rather bleak affair at St James’ Park as Newcastle held the visitors to a 1-1 draw. It was another hugely frustrating afternoon for the Reds, who have now drawn three of their opening seven league games, scoring just 13 goals and conceding 12 in the process. It is also the second 1-1 draw in a row for Liverpool, having drawn with Spartak Moscow earlier in the week with the same scoreline and essentially similar performance.
The Brazilian was on hand once again after a poor enough start from Liverpool, failing to find the net from decent chances early on. After 29 minutes of play at St James’ Park, Coutinho then took the game by the scruff of the neck and controlled a loose ball well outside the box, before dribbling past three Newcastle players and curling a 25-yard strike into the back of the net to give his side a deserved lead.
It was, however, more of the same for Liverpool as Coutinho and his fellow forwards failed to take advantage of possession and shots on goal, and they could only watch on as the defence once again failed to deal with a through ball as Joselu’s fortunate effort trickled over the line to even the scores.
With 68% possession and 17 shots in total, Coutinho was at the centre of everything the Reds had going forward, yet much like previous games, neither Coutinho nor the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Mohammed Salah could produce the key finish.
Jurgen Klopp’s frustration continues, expressing after the game that: “It will be like this until we score. We play like this it makes sense that we play like this usually we score in situations like this. We have to accept this and carry on.”
The little magician has now scored 17 goals from outside the box in the Premier League, three more than any other player since his debut in February 2013, while Liverpool have now scored 295 Premier League goals from outside the box, 33 more than any other side.
Coutinho and the Reds must now have a prosperous international break free from injury as Manchester United visit Anfield on the 14th October, a hugely anticipated affair that will undoubtedly challenge Liverpool’s ability to dominate the top six teams, a feat which they managed last season and have already managed this season after thumping Arsenal 4-0.