Garth Crooks: Coutinho ‘neck and neck’ with Manchester City trio

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Garth Crooks isn’t always an easy man to agree with when it comes to footballing opinions, but he very rarely disappoints with his praise of Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian was in the spotlight yet again on Sunday, producing a majestic solo effort to open the scoring in Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth.

His dominant performance earned him a deserved spot in Crooks’ BBC Team of the Week, with the analyst identifying the No.10 as a serious competitor for the Player of the Season crown.

“He is a genius as far as I am concerned, and Liverpool should think themselves very lucky to still have him. Against Bournemouth he was his usual self – running the show with his normal brilliance,” he wrote.

“His goal was just fabulous. His touch around the corner which started the move was simply gorgeous. He then went on to complete a solo run before planting the ball past a helpless Asmir Begovic.”

“I have Coutinho neck and neck with De Bruyne, David Silva and Sergio Aguero for my player of the season.”

Philippe Coutinho
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The little magician conjured a moment of class to break the deadlock in the 20th minute, launching a bursting run down the left-hand side, before fooling two Bournemouth defenders on the inside and slotting nonchalantly into the bottom corner.

Besides his goal, the playmaker regularly dissected Eddie Howe’s defence with incisive exchanges with Mohamed Salah, as well as turning provider for Roberto Firmino’s second half goal.

Another sublime outing served as a reminder of how important it is to keep him at Anfield beyond the January transfer window, in aid of Liverpool’s fight for a top four spot.

Sunday wasn’t the time for talk of a potential departure, but instead a moment to appreciate a genius at work.

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