Stoke 0 Liverpool 1: Brendan Rodgers heaps praise on Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says he is happy the Reds managed to keep Philippe Coutinho on the pitch after his winner

Brendan Rodgers spoke in glowing terms about Philippe Coutinho’s winner after Liverpool edged past Stoke City thanks to the Brazilian’s late strike.

The Britannia Stadium clash appeared to be heading for a stalemate after neither side managed to fashion a clear-cut chance in the opening 86 minutes of Sunday’s late kick-off.

What a goal. His body work to turn Steve and get away and hit the strike at that stage of the first game…

Brendan Rodgers

However, Coutinho managed to turn substitute Steve Sidwell before the Brazil international unleashed a powerful long-range effort past Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland.

And Rodgers, whose side lost 6-1 at The Britannia on the final day of the 2014/15 season, heaped praise on the reigning Liverpool player of the year after his winner.

“He has only come back into the fold a lot later than the others,” Rodgers told Sky Sports.

“We changed his position and we wanted to keep him on the pitch as long as he can. We felt Glen was getting forward more and we were losing a bit defensively on that side.

“We were trying to keep him on as long as possible because you lose that magic. What a goal. His body work to turn Steve and get away and hit the strike at that stage of the first game…

“It was a wonderful, wonderful goal.”

Liverpool had just three shots on target in a tight game at The Britannia.

The 23-year-old scored five times in 35 Premier League games last season.

More: Henderson hails Coutinho’s winner

Coutinho was named the club’s player of the season for his performances in 2014/15 campaign.

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