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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was in buoyant humour after watching Philippe Coutinho inspire the Reds once again in pre-season, pledging that he would pay to see the Brazilian play.
The 21-year-old scored the first goal of the club's pre-season programme, at Preston North End, before notching the opener against an Indonesia XI and the Thailand national team yesterday.
Coutinho's strike on Sunday was one of supreme individual skill and brought glowing praise from the manager for the No.10 and the attacking comrades stationed around him.
Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo: "Coutinho had me up off my seat. He's a player you would pay money to watch. He's just a delight on the ball.
"There was real quality in the final third. I thought that part of our game, on a difficult pitch and in that heat, was very good.
"Some of our football was fluent and the movement was clever. We have some outstanding talents who can make the difference.
"The idea was that Aspas would give us another dimension up there and he's done that.
"He's a very effective player. Sometimes he's not always easy on the eye but when you actually monitor how efficient he is - he creates goals and scores goals.
"It was a lovely touch into space by him for his goal and he finished really well. Then he showed good vision to set up Stevie, who finished magnificently.
"Our defensive mentality was also very good. We've been working on organisation with and without the ball and I thought we saw that in the game.
"Simon Mignolet didn't have a lot to do but his presence was excellent and he made one great save to his left. He's a 'keeper who is hungry and has slotted in very well."
The Reds' summer tour of Indonesia, Australia and Thailand proved an unqualified success on and off the pitch - with the squad and staff offered sensational receptions at every stage.
Equally encouraging for Rodgers was the work-rate and effort of his players, who are moving ever closer to the opening fixture of the season at home to Stoke City on August 17.
"It's been an amazing couple of weeks," the Northern Irishman added.
"We came out here with a number of objectives on and off the field and I think we have achieved them all and more.
"We got a lot of work done over here and we're in good shape at this point in pre-season. We still have a few weeks yet to really step it up but I'm pleased with where we're at.
"The biggest thing has been the application of the players. They have been absolutely brilliant in everything that they have done.
"We scored three fantastic goals but equal to that was our work-rate. You could see that the focus and mentality of the team is very good.
"It's very much a collective effort. Everyone out there was fighting, pressing and working to get the ball back quickly and then we earned the right to play.
"Now we'll fly back, have a recovery period after all this travelling and then we'll get going again."
Author: @shawct Tagged:
, Philippe Coutinho
, lfc tour
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