Brendan Rodgers: Coutinho was outstanding against Hull City

Brendan Rodgers reserved praise for Coutinho despite Liverpool's defeat to Hull.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers saw the club's Champions League qualification hopes dealt a crippling blow last night.

The Reds lost 1-0 away to Hull City thanks to a Michael Dawson goal, failing to capitalise on their game in hand on Manchester United who lost to Everton at the weekend.

United still have a seven point gap with four games left, but Brendan Rodgers told the Liverpool website that despite the gloomy result, he was pleased with the performance of one particular player, Phillipe Coutinho.

He said: "Young Coutinho tonight was outstanding.

"But in games now he's having to hang onto the ball for a lot longer, he's looking for those runs and the type of movement that he's had here for a couple of years that maybe isn't there so much."

Coutinho was voted into the PFA Team of the Year by his fellow professionals last week, and Rodger's comments were positive towards him, but not so in regard to the lack of forward options.

An injury to Daniel Sturridge once again kept him out as it has done much of the season, while he, Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert have scored a combined eight league goals in 2014/15, a paltry amount.

Coutinho had three shots at goal, all on target, and created three goalscoring opportunities. He managed 96 touches, more than any Liverpool player, and completed 86 per cent of his passes. 

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