Coutinho Was Brilliant, Now Give Rodgers The Credit For His January Signings

Liverpool's other South American superstar stole the show in their 6-0 rout of the Magpies.
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Liverpool's other South American superstar stole the show in their 6-0 rout of the Magpies.

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Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho - "If you can keep your head while all around you are losing theirs...."

So, what do you do when your most valuable player is banned for the next ten games? (and I'm not going to start an argument about the ludicrousness of that nice round number, it's done, there's no appeal; move on).

What is your reply when the whole world is telling you that you're a one man team and that your season is effectively over? When your next game is at a ground where your last visit saw you thoroughly humiliated, your all time record signing ineffective against his former club, your left back - also an ex-'magpie' - ending the game replacing your red carded goalkeeper? Easy. You travel up to St James' Park and you inflict Newcastle's worst home defeat in 86 years whilst showing the watching world that you possess more than one little South American genius. A victory so emphatic that even Fabio Borini finally managed to put his name on a Premier League scoresheet adding the fifth of a 0-6 rout.

Today was, without a doubt, the Philippe Coutinho show, he may not have marked up a much deserved goal but he ran everything else with a full repertoire of flicks, feints, through balls, possession, harrying, vision, rage of passing; everything that we have seen from him so far this season tied together in one match winning masterclass. A flick with the outside of his right foot cutting through Newcastle's entire back line setting up Sturridge to square to Henderson for Liverpool's second goal following a third minute Daniel Agger header, showing the strength to win the ball in midfield before chipping a perfectly weighted pass for Sturridge himself to blast Liverpool's third into the roof of the net. Brendan Rodgers summed him up perfectly as a master technician.

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Sturridge himself led the line perfectly once again, the defence was solid, the midfield controlling, the question became were Liverpool impeccable or were Newcastle truly, utterly abject. Certainly the Geordies rallied just before and just after half time, Liverpool's 2-0 lead was not yet insurmountable. We gave them eight minutes before scoring our third. Thereafter the evening became a party for Liverpool's travelling contingent and purgatory for the ever diminishing home fan base. The jeering at the end of the match would have been significantly more pronounced if there had been any Newcastle fans left in the ground. Liverpool's fourth was an embarrassment for the Newcastle back four, the sixth a crossed free kick that somehow found the net without a black and white shirt challenging followed from Mathieu Debuchy's sending off for a second yellow card which fully merited a straight red. All somewhat indicative of a defensive unit with the worst record in the Premier League having completely lost the plot.

Suddenly the idea of presenting Alan Pardew with an eight year contract looks ever so slightly foolish. Brendan Rodgers though can only be happy with the way that a thoroughly dispiriting week has ended, his team won magnificently playing the brand of football that he has aspired to all season, his January purchases are demonstrating their worth, two of Rodgers' signings appeared in the goal tally and the most influential man on the pitch was a magical little South American but not the one that everybody had been talking about.

The only concern now is that the last time we embarrassed Newcastle to this extent Steven Gerrard headed for a night on the town with an appetite to hear some Coldplay. A quiet night in might have been a good idea this weekend.