Liverpool 5 Swansea 0: Rodgers hails ‘wonderful’ Coutinho
Liverpool 5 Swansea 0: Brendan Rodgers singles out Philippe Coutinho for special praise after Brazilian scores first Reds goal
Brendan Rodgers singled out Philippe Coutinho for special praise after watching the Brazilian net his first Liverpool goal in Sunday’s thrashing of Swansea City.
The 20-year-old scored a wonderful solo effort to double Liverpool’s lead after Steven Gerrard had put the hosts in front from the penalty spot.
Goals from Jose Enrique, Luis Suarez and a Daniel Sturridge spot-kick then capped off a impressive attacking display at Anfield to hoist Rodgers’ men into seventh place in the Premier League table.
And the Liverpool boss was full of compliments for Coutinho, who arrived on Merseyside from Inter Milan in January.
“Coutinho is a really talented player,” Rodgers said. “He’s only 20 but he’s had good experience of playing at the highest level.
“He’ll take a little bit of time to adapt to the whole tempo of the English game. He’s come from Italy where the game is a little slower but he’s a wonderful technician.
“You saw the quality and the speed of his passing all game – he’s got wonderful game-knowledge.
“I’ve got high hopes for him. He’s the type of player that we are trying to bring in here – a technician who has a strong character and good mentality. I’m sure he’ll progress very well.”
Rodgers could not hide his delight at seeing his side claim victory after suffering back-to-back defeats by West Bromwich and Zenit St Petersburg.
“It was an important three points,” said Rodgers. “We’ve been down a bit of a rocky road this week in terms of the games on Monday and Thursday.
“But the Premier League is very important to us and we knew we had to go out with commitment today against a Swansea team that has been brilliant this season.
“It was an outstanding performance and we really showed our character and mental toughness today to get a performance like that. Going into the game it was about keeping a clean sheet because in the last four games, we haven’t been at our best defensively. So I was very pleased.
“We looked to dominate and create chances and we did. Like in any game of football, it’s important that you start the second half well and in that little period, we scored three goals and that really gave us extra confidence.”
Liverpool host Zenit St Petersburg in the return leg of their Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday as they look to overturn a 2-0 deficit.