One Liverpool playmaker unused, one has quiet game and outshone by rival in Brazil victory
By Dominic Toner
Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho endured a quiet game for Brazil on Wednesday and team-mate Willian starred for the South American giants.
The five-time World Champions recorded a comfortable 2-0 win against Venezuela, with Gabriel Jesus and Willian scoring the goals.
Coutinho’s Liverpool colleague Roberto Firmino was an unused substitute in the victory.
The result leaves Brazil top of their qualifying league and in a strong position to reach the World Cup finals.
Brazil coach Tito recently revealed that Coutinho was higher in the pecking order than Chelsea star Willian, claiming the Liverpool playmaker was a “magician”.
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“Why Coutinho instead of Willian? There’s a reason he is called the Magician [by Liverpool fans],” Tite said, as quoted by Sky Sports. “It was a difficult decision for me, but right now this is Coutinho’s moment. And in football, you have to follow the moment.”
Coutinho, 24, was substituted in the 83rd minute against Venezuela and failed to continue his recent goal scoring form.
The Liverpool ace did score in their 5-0 win against Bolivia and has become a major player for his national side.
Willian, 28, proved his worth against Venezuela and doubled Brazil’s lead in the second-half with a clinical finish.
Coutinho has seemingly surpassed Willian in recent times and has started the season in better form, scoring four goals and supplying three assists domestically.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has deployed the Brazilian on the left wing and he has excelled.
Willian has registered two goals for Chelsea this season and is a regular pick under Antonio Conte.
Tite will have been reminded by the qualities of the pair during the international break and could have a difficult choice for their next match against rivals Argentina, which takes place in November.
In other Liverpool news, their former chief claims he was sacked over a £20million signing.