Steven Gerrard feels Aston Villa can rediscover Philippe Coutinho’s magic following the Brazilian’s debut goal against Manchester United.
Coutinho returned to the Premier League in stunning fashion after a four-year sabbatical, producing one goal and then equalizing just 14 minutes of going on as a replacement.
The Brazilian struggled to reclaim his best form following his £142 million January 2018 move to Barcelona from Liverpool, but instantly appeared at ease in English football.
‘It was an incredible cameo,’ Gerrard remarked. ‘He played a role in both goals, and there will be many more opportunities. He gave me precisely what I want.
‘Even if he reverts to his Liverpool form, he is a world-class player. At his peak, he was one of the league’s best players, which is why Barcelona paid such a high price for him.
‘He has extensive knowledge of the league’s pace and what it needed for him to thrive last time. It’s only a matter of time until he improves and becomes stronger, but this will do wonders for his confidence.
‘You cannot overstate how critical it is to be pleased at work and to be able to smile. We all benefit from the crowd’s love and support. He has been brimming with vitality, and he is not under any duress.’
Given Coutinho’s problems at Barcelona, Gerrard’s bet appears to be paying off.
Bruno Fernandes had just given United a 2-0 lead when the 29-year-old was introduced. Coutinho, on the other hand, set up Jacob Ramsey for Villa’s goal and then scored the second himself.
Coutinho stated, ‘I missed these games and the Premier League.’ ‘I was apprehensive before to the game. I am not fluent in English.
‘I’d rather be on the pitch than always conversing. Since I left the Premier League, there have been several ups and downs. That is in the past; I am here and focused on the club’s and manager’s objectives.
‘I want to work hard and increase my fitness level. I want to perform well in order to benefit my teammates and the club.’
Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick was upset with his team’s inability to maintain control of the contest after conceding twice in the opening five minutes. Cristiano Ronaldo was absent due to an ongoing hip flexor issue.
‘It seems like a defeat after being 2-0 up,’ he continued. He was unable to practice on Friday, and we determined that it made no sense to fly without knowing if he would be able to play. We’re going to check today to see whether he’ll be fit for Wednesday.’