Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho hopes to return to the Liverpool line-up against Chelsea JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images


  • Brazilian said Mane, Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge were virtually perfect against Leicester City.
  • He was rested against the Foxes following international commitments.

Philippe Coutinho has described Liverpool's attacking performance during the Reds' 4-1 victory over Leicester City as "virtually perfect" despite starting the game on the bench. The Brazilian has hailed the increased competition provided by summer's arrival of Sadio Mane to Merseyside as Jurgen Klopp faces a headache to select his strike force in the Premier League trip to Chelsea on Friday (16 September) night.

Coutinho, Mane and Roberto Firmino had seemed destined to be the manager's favourites to lead the line in his 4-3-3 formation in the opening games of the season. However, Klopp gave Daniel Sturridge the chance to prove his worth in the victory over Leicester in order to rest the Brazilian international following his international commitments.

The Englishman took the opportunity with both hands, failing to find the net but assisting Mane for the second goal of the game while contributing to Firmino's brace.

Coutinho, 24, hopes to be recalled for the trip to Chelsea but admits that the competition for places in the Liverpool attack is going to be tough.

"The manager has a lot of options to choose from," the forward told the club website. "Everyone's been working hard in training, so for sure, it's good for the manager to have options to choose from, and it's good for Liverpool."

The Brazilian ace admitted that the Liverpool attack was "virtually perfect" in his absence against Leicester, as he just came on in the 76<sup>th minute of the match.

"It was an excellent game, an excellent performance by the team," Coutinho added. "Everyone played very well, we did what the manager asked us to do. Everyone was very committed from the outset and we got a great result against a great team. It was a great game, attacking we were virtually perfect, so it was a great game that gives us confidence."

Coutinho paid a special tribute to Mane, admitting the former Southampton winger has added a new dimension to the Liverpool attack.

"He's very quick, he's got very good feet, so that helps us to create a lot of chances to score - not just him but as we saw in the game, Daniel [Sturridge], Firmino, Lallana up there too."