Liverpool made light of Philippe absence as they claimed a hard fought 2-0 win over Sunderland. The Brazilian attacker was removed after 34 minutes of the match having suffered possibly an aggravated injury and was stretchered off the pitch. There were reports of him picking an injury while on international duty for Brazil but still managed the Southampton match.
The Reds fans watch in despair as their star player was taken off with many thoughts running through their minds; could that be the end of their Premier League title hope and Champions League ambitions.
It was the type of reactions that would have greeted any slight injury to Steven Gerard during his 12 years spell at the club. But from their win over The Black Cats, Jurgen Klopp’s men showed that the team is more than an individual.
There was almost a repeat of the draw at Southampton, even though that was pardonable, having the same result at home was not inexcusable. The Reds dominated the match as expected but David Moyes’ sides’ defence proved impenetrable. Both Roberto Firmino found it difficult to find a way through Lamine Kone and John O’shea until the 75th when Coutinho’s replacement, Divock Origi broke the deadlock. James Milner sealed the victory in injury time to calm the nerves of their fans.
With the extent of Coutinho’s injury yet to be ascertained, this is the right time for Origi to seize this opportunity to shine and show Klopp the quality he’s got in his stock. The 21-year-old has had a mixed career at Anfield. He joined Liverpool in July 2015 but was loaned back to Lille and returned to the club the following season.
And he has been impressive though he has been limited. A golden chance to transform from being a super sub to a starter has presented itself to him and he should be sensitive enough to grab it with both hands. Five of his six league goals for Liverpool have come from as a substitute, so he is expected to do better if he is included in the starting line up.