Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praised Philippe Coutinho after the Brazilian struck on either side of half-time against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday to hand the German the first Premier League win of his career.
Liverpool came from behind thanks to Coutinho’s brace and a late strike by Christian Benteke, lifting them to eighth in the league table and four points below the Champions League places. “Phil is a brilliant player and we don’t have to talk about his qualities,” Klopp said. “Sometimes you have to work really hard to make football look easy. That is what he did.
“It was not a perfect start for Phil. But he came back and he was cool enough in the right moment, to shoot at the right moment.”
Coutinho was understandably thrilled to get on the scoresheet for the first time since grabbing the winner in Liverpool’s opening game of the season against Stoke City on August 9. “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,” the 23-year-old told the Liverpool Echo.
“The manager was pleased -- he gave me a big hug. 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.”
Klopp said he was happy with the squad at his disposal and played down suggestions that he would buy players in January. “I don’t read newspapers but everyone tells me: ‘You want to buy this player, this player, this player’.
“But development is to work with the players you have. It’s like if you have a problem with your wife, you don’t want to change every day,” the German said.