Liverpool have been dogged by defensive frailties all season. They have been even more suspect when defending set-pieces. So when Christian Eriksen lined up a free-kick at Anfield on Saturday, they took all measures to stop him, putting Coutinho on the line!
The Reds had raced into a 2-0 lead within the first twenty minutes, thanks to a Sadio Mane brace. As Spurs tried to stage a comeback, they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of Liverpool‘s box, to be taken by danger man Eriksen.
As the wall was set-up, Coutinho took up a bizarre position crouched behind the wall. This was presumably to prevent Eriksen from rolling the ball under the wall.
This wasn’t the first time someone had tried this trick before though. Brazilian defender Marcelo took up a similar position in Brazil’s 3-0 win over Argentina in November. Coutinho was on the the Brazilian team then and he probably was inspired by this.
Coutinho might also have remembered that he himself had scored from under the wall against West Ham last season. This goal was hailed as genius and the play maker didn’t certainly discount Eriksen’s instincts.
The Denmark international did try the aerial route though, and just flashed the ball over the bar. Liverpool went on to preserve their lead, and win their first Premier League game of the calendar year.