While it was hard to imagine the day going any better at the Etihad Stadium for Liverpool, it was equally hard to imagine a worse player to go down crocked during the victory than Philippe Coutinho. Having combined so well with fellow countryman Roberto Firmino and resident stud muffin Adam Lallana to orchestrate the demolition of the Citizens, Coutinho pulled up lame in the second half, clutching his left hamstring, and turning immediately to the sideline to request a substitution.
It was a stinging blow during an otherwise perfect day, and Jürgen Klopp is certainly not interested in losing his talisman if his postgame comments are anything to go by:
"It was a little bit of cramp. He felt something.
"I hope that's all it was because everybody can see that he's very important to us. He's in really good shape in this moment and I hope we could react early enough."
Certainly. The Brazilian will get a scan on the problem early in the coming week, but now that the international break is over, Liverpool are about to enter the masochistic holiday period of the fixture list, while also attempting to juggle qualification through the Europa League knockout rounds. It'd be a wretchedly unlucky time for Liverpool to be stripped of their best, most inspirational player.
So, as the sweet flavor of victory resonates through the weekend, don't forget to cross your fingers, toes, arms, legs, eyes, and anything else worth crossing in the hopes that this is not a serious issue for Liverpool's number ten.