Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers left Philippe Coutinho out of the starting line-up against Real Madrid away from home in the Champions League last week, and his decision was backed by Jamie Carragher.
The former Liverpool defender wrote on Skysports.com: ‘The absence of Philippe Coutinho didn’t bother me, either, as he can’t be trusted to deliver in big away games’ (click here to read more)
Although Saturday’s Premier League clash against Chelsea was a home match, many Liverpool fans would have doubted the Brazil international playmaker’s ability to step up.
Coutinho showed his class last season, but he has been far from his best this campaign and, like the rest of his Liverpool teammates, has struggled for consistency.
However, against league leaders Chelsea, the 22-year-old did step up his game and tried to make things happen.
|Total Shots||Shots on Target||Total Pass||Accurate Pass||Touches||Key Passes||Total Dribbles||Dribbles Won||Mins Played|
As stats above show, Coutinho was a lively figure on Merseyside. The former Inter Milan youngster attempted nine dribbles against a Chelsea side widely considered as the title favourites. And he won six of them - very encouraging indeed.
But perhaps Coutinho should have done more. He could play just one key pass and had just 35 touches of the ball in the 70 minutes he was on the pitch, while having both his shots saved.
Coutinho was not at his best against Chelsea, but his performance was encouraging. He now needs to build on it and help Liverpool get back on track for a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.