Jurgen Klopp revealed that Philippe Coutinho dropped three kilograms of weight in three days due to illness before putting in a man-of-the-match performance during Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Stoke.
Coutinho came on at halftime together with Roberto Firmino and they both scored in the space of three minutes after John Walters had opened the scoring for Stoke.
Earlier last week Klopp had said that Coutinho wouldn’t even travel with the team to Stoke. However, he was full of praise for the Brazilians who had replaced Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Asked if he initially intended to introduce the pair later in the game than half-time Klopp said, “That was the plan really, but of course you never know, Coutinho lost three kilograms in three days, maybe a few people would love to have this but it’s not good for a professional football player! Firmino after the last game had a bit of a groin problem and was a bit tired, maybe he could have started but we had to leave him out of training for three days, so it was his first session today!”
Klopp wasn’t pleased with the way the team played in the first half but was delighted with the win, “First half wasn’t very good, it was very difficult. It wasn’t a great football game for both sides. We knew we had problems today, but it’s not about moaning about the problems, you have to take the situation as it is. Of course people say why don’t we use the two Brazilians from the start, but you can see even last 15 minutes we had low battery.”
Liverpool have managed to climb to third and are nine points above Arsenal, but they have three games in hand and Klopp is aware that Arsenal could catch them, “Arsenal are a good side and they can win three games in a row, no problem, but we don’t think like this, we only think about our situation.”