Philippe Coutinho's stats from Liverpool's win over Hull are absolutely outrageous
Their bravura victories over Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester had done little to dispel the notion that Liverpool struggle to hit peak levels when faced with the lesser teams, but yesterday’s drubbing of Hull at Anfield demonstrated that the issue is becoming less troublesome.
Liverpool’s 2-0 loss to Burnley on the second day of the campaign now seems like a lifetime ago. Or, more importantly, an unforeseen anomaly that could be chalked down to early season cobwebs.
To date, the Reds have beaten three of last year’s top four and England’s two most recent champions.
The arrival of 13th place Hull yesterday presented the type of challenge Liverpool have struggled to overcome under Klopp, the sort that must be met by any team with genuine designs on the title.
Over the course of any season, the ability to put away the sides scrapping for their very divisional status is just as vital as earning famous wins against rivals.
Liverpool are now behind third place Arsenal by a single goal and, next weekend, travel to struggling Swansea.
At Anfield, and not for the first time in recent memory, Liverpool looked unplayable against Mike Phelan’s hapless charges. Their 5-1 win was facilitated by three first half goals and a brace in the second.
James Miller netted penalties either side of the break, the increasingly impressive Adam Lallana opened the scoring, while Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho also got in on the act.
Unlike his compatriot Roberto Firmino, Coutinho did not require the arrival of Klopp on Merseyside to thrive but, that being said, he has sparkled under the German coach.
His pace, guile and devastating finishing make him among the most potent attackers in the league and, against Hull, Coutinho was a force of nature at times.
Indeed, his stats, compiled by Squawka, were absolutely incredible:
Philippe Coutinho's game by numbers vs. Hull City:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 24, 2016
4 chances created
1 goal pic.twitter.com/m49qrJkHdo