BBC pundit Gary Lineker has labelled Philippe Coutinho’s 86th minute winner on Twitter as utterly stunning as the diminutive playmaker helped Liverpool to a 1-0 win at Stoke City.
Brendan Rodgers named four summer signings in his starting XI, with Christian Benteke and James Milner giving the visitors a bit of steel and physical presence throughout the spine of the team.
It was a fairly dull contest overall, with the two clubs putting in a very workmanlike performance, cancelling each other out and for long spells looking fairly content with a point apiece.
Only a mistake or moment of magic looked like separating the sides and it was the latter which duly arrived - Coutinho netting a fabulous, late 25-yard strike which prompted quite a reaction from Lineker.
What an utterly stunning goal from the diminutive and brilliant Coutinho— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 9, 2015
There seemed little danger with the Reds keeping possession, yet the Brazilian ace received Joe Gomez’s pass, opted to cut inside and unleashed an unstoppable, dipping drive past the hapless Jack Butland.
It was an incredible piece of individual quality from Coutinho, and one which Liverpool supporters want to see more of as his five goals last year shows there is work to be done on his end product.
With Chelsea and Arsenal dropping points this weekend, getting off to a winning start regardless of the performance is a big plus for Brendan Rodgers’ side in their bid to finish in the top four.