Philippe Coutinho bagged a goal and an assist in an outstanding evening for Liverpool, who eased past bottom of the league Swansea with a fantastic 5-0 victory at Anfield.
The Brazilian proved his worth just six minutes into the game with a perfect touch from Mohamed Salah’s fizzed pass, before whipping the ball past Lukasz Fabianski and into the back of the net to open the scoring for the home side. He was the standout performer in a somewhat lacklustre first half performance from Liverpool, and through countless positive runs and expert forward passes, was the sole reason that the Reds ended the first 45 minutes with a 1-0 lead.
Six minutes into the second half and Coutinho was at the centre of the action once again, delivering an inch-perfect long-range delivery for his fellow Brazilian Roberto Firmino, who made no mistake from the edge of the six-yard box to double his side’s lead. Coutinho’s deliveries, both from free-kicks and corners, was simply outstanding all evening, where his dangerous crosses caused huge confusion in the Swansea defence, while also altering the style through short corners and well-worked training routines, whereby Salah came close to benefiting as the second half drew on.
Coutinho’s dazzling footwork, along with his mazy dribbles and ingenious through balls, ensured that Liverpool’s attackers could play with all the freedom that they wished for. The little magician was at the centre of everything going forward for the home side, who washed away their opponents with some fantastic football and several well-worked goals. The Brazilian simply couldn’t be stopped on a joyous occasion at Anfield, which saw Liverpool find the net without conceding, a somewhat rarity for the Reds this season.
Another fantastic evening for Liverpool now sees them up there with the other free-scoring sides of Europe, with Jurgen Klopp’s side now having found the net 75 times in all competitions this season, just two behind Manchester City and 14 behind Paris Saint-Germain. Coutinho himself now has seven in the league for this campaign, while his seven assists have demonstrated just how crucial he is to the Liverpool setup, and this wonderful display against Swansea epitomised his sensational talents on the pitch. His phenomenal strike for the opening goal means that he has now scored 19 Premier League goals from outside the box, one more than Robbie Fowler and second only to Steven Gerrard (33) among Liverpool players.
Liverpool’s number ten proved just how important he is to a side that have often failed to convert their chances throughout a rollercoaster campaign, and he will need to be on similar fine form as his side host Leicester on Saturday afternoon. The Reds sit four points off Chelsea in third, and will need their main man, along with Salah and Firmino, to continue to find the net should Liverpool cement that top four place in a hugely competitive race for the Champions League spots.