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    Coutinho shines in Derby as Reds move to third

    Coutinho fires in Liverpool's second of the afternoon. (Telegraph.co.uk)

    Phillipe Coutinho scored and assisted in a magnificent performance to inspire Liverpool to victory in the Merseyside Derby at a packed Anfield. 

    Liverpool started the game on the front foot and pressed Everton high up the pitch. It paid off when Sadio Mane dribbled through a couple of weak Everton challenges to fire the Reds into the lead in the eighth minute.

    The home side had the momentum and were pushing for the second goal. However, Everton found an equaliser just before the half-hour mark completely against the run of play. A well delivered corner from the far side caused panic in the Liverpool defence and Matthew Pennington pounced inside the six-yard box to tap home for his first goal in his first start of the season.

    Liverpool retook the lead almost immediately - two minutes and 56 seconds to be precise,  with a brilliant solo strike from Brazilian Coutinho. He dribbled into the box and dropped his shoulder to get past Pennington onto his right foot and curled the ball into the top right corner beyond Joel Robles.

    The Reds deserved their halftime lead and came out in the second half looking to kill the game off. The killer blow came on the hour mark through substitute Divok Origi who latched on to a perfect pass from Coutinho to finish emphatically beyond Robles to give the Reds control.

    Mignolet was barely troubled in the second half but was forced into a smart save from a Holgate drive which was deflected. Liverpool saw out the remaining minutes and Everton's long wait for a win at Anfield continues. The win takes the Reds temporarily into third place, level on points with second placed Tottenham.

    As for Everton, they are now seven points off the top four and have played more matches than their rivals. Ronald Koeman will be disappointed with the lack of influence on the game from the Premier League's leading goalscorer Romelu Lukaku, who was well marshalled by the Liverpool defence.

    A definite cause for concern for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be the injury suffered to star man Sadio Mane, who limped off the pitch midway through the second half with what looked like a nasty knee injury.

    There was also controversy surrounding Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, who possibly should have seen red following a late challenge on Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren. The Everton man only received a yellow card from referee Anthony Taylor.

    Lovren on Barkley's challenge: "Listen, I don't want to talk about this. You can expect in the derbies tackles like this. I'll leave it to the manager."

    Jagielka on the game: "In the first half it was an exciting derby. We showed character to get back into it. Losing a derby hurts and we won't be taking too many positives."

    Everton boss Ronald Koeman: "Tackles are a part of football. It's all about football but we don't make a show from the bench like Liverpool. I don't like coaches from the bench the whole time shouting to referees and linesmen, making a big show about tackles. They were crazy."

    "I am proud, really proud about the team. Of course we lost but the result is not reflecting our performance."

    Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: "The boys did everything and it was a well deserved win. We did what we had to do and got the points."

    Klopp on Mane injury: "I've met Mane in the dressing room. It doesn't look too good."

    What were your thoughts on the game? Leave a comment below!




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    Item Reviewed: Coutinho shines in Derby as Reds move to third Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdullah Mulla
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