By Dominic Toner
Philippe Coutinho has confirmed that it was only cramp that forced him off during Liverpool’s sensational 4-3 win over Arsenal.
The Brazilian playmaker scored two stunning goals in a man of the match display but the club’s supporters were left concerned when he was forced off in the second half just when Jurgen Klopp’s team were tearing the Gunners to shreds.
Coutinho has reassured Liverpool fans that he has not picked up an injury and was simply struggling with cramp at this early stage of the season.
“I’m fine. It was just cramp. Nothing else,” Coutinho said, as quoted by the Echo.
Arsenal played a major role in a thrilling opening-day match by taking the lead and mounting a comeback from 4-1 down, but it was the Coutinho-inspired visitors who delivered a statement that will make the rest of the league sit up and take notice.
Coutinho, 24, scored a sublime free-kick just before half-time to level the score at 1-1 and then increased his team’s advantage to 3-1 with a first-time volleyed finish from a superb driven Nathaniel Clyne cross.
The second goal moved ex-Anfield striker Stan Collymore to describe it as “worthy of any Liverpool side in any era”.
Liverpool debutant Sadio Mane completed the scoring for Jurgen Klopp’s side who have begun to play their football in the attacking style associated with the German manager.
Coutinho joined Anfield in 2013 from Inter Milan and has made 146 appearances for the club.
He was named Liverpool’s Player of the Year last season and he looks set to continue his good form again this year.
In other Liverpool team news, Jamie Carragher has given his verdict on the club’s new signing Mane.