There was probably a collective biting of nails when it was revealed that Philippe Coutinho was ill throughout the week after coming off during the match against Bournemouth. Despite apparently losing something like three kilos through this illness and throwing up at halftime mid-week, he still appeared on the bench on Saturday and was the game changer when it came to Stoke yesterday. The last thing the squad needs is to lose the man for a decent amount of time just as he’s coming back into form, and the equalizer coming from him definitely led to a heavy sigh of relief.
“I wanted to be involved with the team,” the Brazilian said to the club today. ““I want to keep going, to keep scoring and helping my team, and keep learning from my manager. This was a big win. There are a lot of points to fight for and every game for us is important.”
Like his teammate before him, though, he asserted that the victory couldn’t be attributed to just him or Roberto Firmino, who also came off the bench at halftime. The duo seemed to prove the catalyst needed to put the Reds ahead, but of course it wasn’t just them.
“It wasn’t just about Roberto and me. The team played well [in the second half], we created more chances and then we scored the goals. I think the team played well, not just individuals,” he continued.
Thankfully, Coutinho’s 70th minute equalizer was just the push that the Reds needed to fight back against the Potters and secure a vital win in the run up to the end of the season. Not only that, but with that goal Coutinho became the highest scoring Brazilian in the Premier League ever, but also securing the record for the most assists by a Brazilian in the league as well.
Long may our magician stay Red.