An intuitive understanding on the pitch, and a strong friendship off it – Philippe Coutinho certainly enjoys the company of Roberto Firmino, who he describes as a ‘clever player’ and a ‘great guy’.
Coutinho and Firmino joined forces to devastating effect in the second half of Liverpool’s 2-1 victory over Stoke City on Saturday, scoring a goal apiece to overturn a one-goal deficit after being brought off the bench at the break.
With the former struggling with illness and the latter battling fatigue, the Brazilian duo were named among the Reds’ substitutes at the bet365 Stadium, but their introduction at the interval changed the course of the game.
Their celebrations in front of a delirious away end following Firmino’s stunning half-volleyed winner will live long in the memory, and Coutinho has lifted the lid on what it’s like to share a dressing room with Liverpool’s No.11 for both club and country.
“Roberto is a clever player. He makes those diagonal runs that are so important to our play at Liverpool,” the 24-year-old, who has now scored in three consecutive Premier League games, told the official Liverpool FC magazine.
“He’s always available to receive the ball on his own up there and, even if he doesn’t get a chance on goal for himself, he helps to create opportunities for us.