Aston Villa 1 Liverpool 2: Rodgers praises ‘outstanding’ Coutinho
Aston Villa 1 Liverpool 2: Brendan Rodgers singles out Philippe Coutinho for special praise after Reds seal win at Villa Park
Brendan Rodgers singled out Philippe Coutinho for special praise after Liverpool came from a goal down to clinch victory at Aston Villa.
The visitors went in 1-0 down at the break after Christian Benteke’s 31st-minute opener at Villa Park.
But Jordan Henderson latched on to Coutinho’s brilliant through-ball and dinked a shot over Brad Guzan in the 47th minute, before Steven Gerrard scored a penalty on the hour mark after Nathan Baker had tripped Luis Suárez in the box.
“Phillipe has got great quality,” Rodgers told Sky Sports. “I was actually surprised he didn’t take his one-on-one opportunity [in the second half] because he’s normally clinical in those situations.
“He’s an outstanding player. He creates goals, scores goals and works hard.”
Reflecting on Liverpool’s equaliser, Rodgers added: “It was one of those passes from the side. The most obvious one looked the ball to Luis Suárez.
“But the pass, and Jordan Henderson’s determination and desire to go and make that forward run, was outstanding. It was a wonderful pass and Jordan’s finish was fantastic.”
The win keeps Liverpool in seventh place in the Premier League table and three points behind Everton, who have a game in hand on the Reds.
And Rodgers was thrilled with his side’s response following the 3-1 defeat by Southampton in their last league game.
“I thought our character was outstanding today,” he added. “We played reasonably well in the first half but we made a mistake and got punished. We upped the tempo in the second half.
“It’s a terrific win for us. Overall I’m very pleased and obviously when you lose a game, the next thing that you want to do is bounce back – and we did that.
“Our drive and determination we key. Some of our play was very good and I think we tactically adapted very well.”