Pundit: This Liverpool star deserves huge credit

Garth Crooks has heaped praise on Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho for his performance at Stoke City

Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho Photo: The Sport Review

Philippe Coutinho deserves credit for refusing to duck out of Liverpool’s trip to Stoke City despite feeling ill, according to Garth Crooks.

The Brazil international was forced off in the second half of Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Bournemouth at Anfield on Wednesday night despite the attacking midfielder scoring a first-half equaliser.

Liverpool were looking to get their top-four bid back on track on Saturday afternoon with Arsenal and Manchester United breathing down their necks in the race for a Champions League spot.

Coutinho was named on the bench after the Liverpool number 10 travelled to Stoke in a car before making the bench despite his fitness problems.

And the Liverpool star came off the bench to equalise before his fellow Brazilian Roberto Firmino netted a sensational winner with 18 minutes to go.

Writing in his BBC Sport column about Coutinho’s performances in the Liverpool team, Crooks said:


“Philippe Coutinho didn’t feel great on the morning of the match and arrived in the Potteries by car feeling OK before deciding to declare himself fit for the game against Stoke City. That was the beginning of the end for the Potters.

“From the moment Coutinho came on the pitch at the start of the second half, I knew it was a game-changer.”

Crooks added: “Coutinho hung around waiting for something to happen – anything that might give him an opportunity to pounce. When it came he was equal to it. All credit to Coutinho for getting to Stoke.

“The easy option would have been not to play and no-one would have blamed him. Instead he put himself on the line for his team-mates and his manager. I hope Jurgen Klopp remembers that in the future when Coutinho is having a bad time.”

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Coutinho moved to Liverpool from Inter Milan back in the 2013 January transfer window.

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