Standing up his full-back, Phillipe Coutinho skipped past his marker before cutely lofting the ball past a perplexed David De Gea at his near post to score a goal his manager has described as a “genius moment.”
The Brazilian’s goal came at a pivotal moment in the game, with the visitors trailing beforehand thanks to a well-taken penalty from Anthony Martial.
However, Coutinho’s goal on the stroke of half-time put Liverpool into a comfortable aggregate lead and his manager, Jürgen Klopp, felt that the “brilliant moment” was what “decided the game.”
The German was full of praise for the 23-year-old in his post-match press conference, calling his strike “a perfect goal.”
Klopp said “It was brilliant what he did,” before acknowledging the creativity of the skilful midfielder, stating that “it was the most unexpected thing you could do in a situation like that.”
Midfielder delighed to make the difference against Reds' bitter rivals
Coutinho was also greeted by press after the game at Old Trafford, telling UEFA.com about his goal. He said: “I had the chance to be face to face with De Gea and I've tried this kind of thing before in training.”
The Brazil international then said he simply thought “why not?” as he approached the Spaniard guarding Manchester United’s goal.
Coutinho, whose name was sung by fans in the away end throughout the halftime interval, admitted that it was “one of my best goals in a Liverpool shirt,” but stated that “all that counts is the team, and this evening the team performed at a very high level.”
The overall performance of the team also pleased his manager, as Klopp enjoyed the work rate of his side. “From a working side it was one of the best I’ve ever seen,” he said, before comparing it to the recent fixture against United’s Manchester neighbours.
“It was really good, it was a little bit like at Man City. It was really brilliant.”
Liverpool have been drawn against Borussia Dortmund, Klopp’s former employers, in the quarter finals of the Europa League, travelling to Westfalenstadion for the first leg of the tie on April 7th.