A wry smile forms across Philippe Coutinho's face as the Brazilian is reminded that he has yet to score against Manchester United since he joined Liverpool three years ago.

The No.10 is entitled to be especially wistful on the subject given he could not have come much closer during the 2-0 victory over the Red Devils in the first leg of their Europa League tie last Thursday.

David de Gea, who repeatedly thwarted the home side at Anfield, kept Coutinho out with a reaction save from close range and later a sprawling dive to tip away a fierce half-volley from the corner of the area.

So the Reds playmaker is more determined than ever to open his account at Old Trafford tomorrow, where an away goal for Jürgen Klopp’s team would leave their opponents requiring four to progress.

Coutinho told Liverpoolfc.com: “[It would mean] a lot. Whenever we score a goal it is very good. Last week I was close but ended up missing.

“[I have] to continue working to be able to score goals and, of course, to score a goal in a game like this, in the Europa League, would be a very special moment.”

One man who was on target as Liverpool dominated the opening encounter with their rivals was Roberto Firmino, the in-form forward scoring for the third consecutive match with a clinical finish in front of the Kop.

But it’s not just about goals for the Brazil international and Coutinho feels his compatriot is helping to bring the best out of those around him now that he is comfortably settled into life at Anfield.

He said: “He is a great player, as I always said before he arrived. The other players and I are very happy to have him with us. He is a key component in our current team.

As Lucas has said, he is a guy that seems like he is going to score in every game, he assists, so he has been very important and I am happy to see him doing well and helping the team.

“We can see Firmino has adapted very quickly. He is an amazing guy on the field and off the field as well. We are very happy.”

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