His catalogue of outstanding assists was already bulging, but Philippe Coutinho feels he may have topped all of his previous efforts with the flick he produced at Anfield on Sunday.

With Liverpool easing their way into a pre-season friendly against Borussia Dortmund, passing and probing for an avenue, the Brazilian's impudence drastically altered the tempo.

Dejan Lovren skimmed a precise delivery into the Reds' No.10 around the halfway line and, with defenders crowding around him, there seemed little opportunity.

But an instantaneous, unexpected twist of Coutinho's boot directed the ball around and over the Dortmund defence, allowing striker Daniel Sturridge to open the scoring.

"It may just have been my best assist," the playmaker admitted to Liverpoolfc.com, having had days to consider an act that occurred in the blink of an eye.

In typically modest fashion, though, the midfielder quickly offered context to the clamour: "However, it was just a friendly and I hope I can reproduce it in the league.

"I always try to be confident and stay confident with what I do. Sometimes things don't go your way but I'm constantly trying to make them right.

"The last match was a friendly and I hope similar things can happen throughout the league season."



A matter of minutes had elapsed in the second half before Coutinho collected an infield tee-up from Raheem Sterling, shimmied and placed into the Kop net for 3-0.

The German outfit had no response to the searing team move - centred on his vision and control - that ultimately brought a fourth from Jordan Henderson either.

That combination play, notably with fellow forwards for the day Sterling and Sturridge, was an obvious highlight of the fixture - so what is their secret?

Coutinho's explanation befits the smiling character that arrives at Melwood each day. "I'm constantly trying to learn from them and from my other teammates in training," he said.

"We try to perfect the combination in training. They are fast players, which makes it easier for us to pass the ball into them, as they're always running into free space.

"I try to have the most fun I can on the pitch, as playing football is what I like to do most in my life. Hence I'm always looking to have a good time and enjoy the experience."

With eight pre-season ties behind them, attention inside the Reds camp is now wholly focused on their Barclays Premier League opener, at home to Southampton this Sunday.

After the hard hours of training, travelling and preparation during the past six weeks, Coutinho is confident that Liverpool are in ideal shape to kick off their campaign.

He added: "All of the team have improved gradually throughout pre-season. The first game was the most difficult as we hadn't been playing or training for six or seven weeks.

"Overall, it was a good pre-season, we worked hard and I believe we are ready to start the Premier League."