Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho a shining light but he must do better

Taking a closer look at how Liverpool's Brazilian play-maker performed against Crystal Palace.

Liverpool’s last home game of the Premier League season did not go quite as they would have hoped, with Steven Gerrard’s farewell dampened by the fact that Crystal Palace left with a 3-1 victory.

But things could have been very different if Liverpool play-maker Philippe Coutinho had been slightly better.

There is absolutely no doubt the 22-year-old has been one of the Reds’ standout stars this season and he rightly deserves any and all plaudits that come his way. But Saturday’s performance was a microcosm of the good and the bad of his season to date.

  Passing AccuracyGoal AssistsKey PassesShotsOn-target Shooting AccuracyDuels WonDribblesPossession LostMins Played
Philippe Coutinho 73% 0 2 3 0% 8 5 18 90

Coutinho had three goal attempts against Palace but his on-target shooting accuracy was zero. When he gets it right he is capable of scoring absolute beauties, but scrappy goals can be just as vital and the Liverpool youngster needs to add those to his game sooner rather than later.

Similarly his passing accuracy of 73 per cent was well below his best and, at home especially, he should have done much better.

If he wants to be an effective play-maker he has to dominate and manipulate possession and that was not on show at the weekend.

He did play two key passes to set up goal-scoring chances for a teammate but in losing possession 18 times he again demonstrated that he is far from the finished article.

In time there is every chance Coutinho could become of the best players in his position in Europe, but for now Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has plenty to work on in the close-season and beyond.

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