Philippe Coutinho is routinely counted amongst Liverpool's top three players, but the diminutive Brazilian hasn't quite lived up to his status so far this season. A slow start had many openly wondering whether or not he should be dropped from the starting line up all together, but Coutinho silenced his critics by firing not one but two goals into the back of the net against Chelsea on Saturday.
“I am so happy to score those goals,” Coutinho told the Liverpool Echo after the match, dedicating his brace to the travelling Kop. “It had been a long time since I last scored. I haven't been playing so well but I knew I just had to keep working and things would change for me. That's what I did.
“I kept going and I knew that good things would come. Hopefully I can go on to score many more goals. I'm most happy about the fact I was able to help the team to get the three points. "
Coutinho's poor form during the period of turgid football that characterized Brendan Rodgers' tenure since the season began was less than ideal in a team that would benefit from his creativity, but the midfielder has seemingly found a new lease on life under Jürgen Klopp.
“The manager was pleased - he gave me a big hug!" Coutinho exclaimed. “Everyone in the squad is enjoying the football he asks from us. He's a manager who demands a lot of hard work. That's what we try to do every day. We have to continue this way.
“He is a manager who gives you confidence. We have had some difficult moments as a team but now we're in a good way. We have to keep it going.”
It's Liverpool's confidence — nay, character — that shone through at Stamford Bridge, with the Reds coming from behind to not just equalize Chelsea's goal from the first five minutes of the match but add two reserve goals to their tally for extra security. It's a comeback that Liverpool would never have accomplished earlier this season, and a further example of how far the team has come in just a few short matches under Jürgen Klopp.