Rodgers hails 'magic' Coutinho after Liverpool winner

The Reds left it late to seal all three points, as a stunning strike from the midfielder with five minutes remaining was enough to earn the visitors a win

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was pleased to see his side avenge last season’s 6-1 defeat against Stoke, and reserved praise for matchwinner Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian struck on 86 minutes after at the end of a closely fought contest to hand his side a 1-0 win at the Britannia Stadium, during which there were few goalscoring opportunities at either end.

After the game, Rodgers said: “It’s always difficult coming to Stoke. Defensively we were strong and we always know we have the quality to win a game.

“It was embarrassing [the 6-1 loss in May] but today you’ve seen the determination and the quality. It was definitely one for [the fans]. They’ll be proud of the team tonight.

“How close was I to taking Coutinho off? Very! I can’t profess to be a genius! Danny Ings was going to come on but I’m obviously happy he scored and stayed on.

“Coutinho is already is a star. He’s only been back three weeks training so he’s not even at his peak.”

Liverpool now look ahead to the visit of newly promoted Bournemouth to Anfield on August 17.

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