Over the past several seasons, Philippe Coutinho has become a legitimate threat from dead ball situations, and in particular from direct free kicks.
Whether going over the wall, or under it, as he did on Saturday, the Little Magician has added yet another tool in the very sharp Liverpool attack kit, one which can hurt teams in a variety of fun and unique ways.
However, the Brazilian international does not seem ready or willing to share his free kick duties with anyone else in Red.
“Philippe is one of the best players in the world and his free kicks are amazing,” Sadio Mane explained in the pre-match press conference.
“I always try to learn from him but I think he doesn’t want to teach me! He is always practicing and that’s why it’s easy for him to score in the games.”
Well, that’s not so nice! Especially if he takes those magical free kicks to Barcelona without so much as helping out those he leaves behind. Maybe Phil is just jealous that he’s been replaced by Mane and Salah as the darlings of the Kop.
Anyway, hopefully the Reds won’t have to resort to bits of magic from outside the box to break down Spartak tonight.