Martin Skrtel hails Liverpool’s ‘big-game player’ Philippe Coutinho
Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel heaps praise on his team-mate Philippe Coutinho after 3-1 win at Chelsea
Martin Skrtel has hailed Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho as a big-game player.
The Brazil international cancelled out Ramires’s seventh-minute opener with a brilliant individual goal on the stroke of half-time.
The 23-year-old nudged Liverpool into a second-half lead with a deflected strike before substitute Christian Benteke sealed three points for the Merseyside outfit.
Liverpool centre-half Skrtel was quick to heap praise on his team-mate after Coutinho’s influential performance against the defending Premier League champions.
“The big players show their quality in the games you need them,” Skrtel is quoted as saying by The Liverpool Echo. “Maybe Philippe didn’t play quite as well in the last few games but today he showed his quality and how important he is for this team.
“We didn’t start well, we knew that. But I think after that 10 minutes we started to play the game we wanted to and the [equalising] goal we scored was a massive help for us.
“In the second half we dominated, scored two goals, and won the game. The performance as a team was outstanding and every single player on the pitch or on the bench, did everything for the win today.
“That’s why we are very happy. It feels great. To beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge is always something special and especially after the performance we showed today.
“I think second half we absolutely dominated and deserved the three points.”
Coutinho has scored three goals in eight Premier League games for Liverpool this season.
The South American moved to the Reds from Inter Milan in an £8.5m deal in January 2013.
Liverpool face Rubin Kazan in the Europa League in their next European fixture.
The Reds are in seventh place and four points behind fourth-placed Manchester United.