Brendan Rodgers hailed Philippe Coutinho as one of the best players in the world after his starring role in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United in the Premier League.
Coutinho shone in a comfortable win for Rodgers’ side having been deployed as a ‘false nine’ in Liverpool’s three-pronged attack, linking play superbly with deft flicks and touches.
Goals from Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen ensured Liverpool moved within four points of Manchester City in the final UEFA Champions League spot, but it was Coutinho who earned high praise from his manager.
“I thought he was incredible,” said the Liverpool boss. “I thought he showed that he’s really up there with the very, very best in the most competitive league in the world, which is the Barclays Premier League.
“I played him in that role just in front of the centre-halves, thinking that we could exploit the space in between their midfield and the centre-halves and create space for players to make runs in behind. I thought he was sensational.
“He was a kid that always had the ability, but he’s become stronger, become more tactically aware and I think you see him now really orchestrating the game for us.
“It was an outstanding performance, he looked very fit and strong, and he’s had a wonderful season.”