Saturday Night Takeaway: Firmino and Coutinho shoulder Liverpool responsibility

And Tottenham should keep more than one eye on completing their FA Cup journey successfully

BY Raf Diallo 19:35 Saturday 8 April 2017, 19:35 8 Apr 2017

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino (left) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with teammate Philippe Coutinho during the Premier League match at the bet365 Stadium, Stoke. Nigel French/PA Wire/PA Images

"Philippe Coutinho lost three kilos in the past three days, which some people wish - but for a professional footballer it's not too cool."

If there was surprise at the fact that Jurgen Klopp had left Coutinho out of his starting side to face Stoke, illness for the Brazilian attacking midfielder explained the situation.

However, alongside Coutinho on the bench were Roberto Firmino (rested) and Daniel Sturridge, meaning teenagers Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander Arnold would start, with Divock Origi leading the line.

And until Klopp introduced Coutinho and Firmino to the fray, things weren't looking good for Liverpool as they trailed 1-0.

But the Brazilian duo would get the goals that would turn the match on its head on a warm, sunny afternoon at Stoke which keeps Liverpool third.  

While Klopp explained that he left out Firmino because he "felt the intensity of last few weeks", it was a risk in the circumstances since Coutinho was not at 100%.

And with Liverpool's most consistent attacking force Sadio Mane out for the remainder of the season, the way the win at Stoke panned out shows how much really rests on the shoulders of Liverpool's two attacking Brazilians.

Tottenham Trophies Tilt

After Chelsea dug out a 3-1 win at Bournemouth, it looks like they are going to make it all way to the Premier League title in spite of Tottenham's best efforts.

It's unfortunate for Spurs that two excellent seasons will now see them fall short of two sides who found peerless momentum in the shape of Leicester and Chelsea respectively.

All of which makes the FA Cup semi final against Chelsea all the more important on April 22nd.

This is arguably the greatest era for the club since the 1960s and if a title win proves a bridge too far for this generation, then adding trophies to the cabinet is a consolation.

Spurs haven't won an FA Cup since 1991 and their last silverware came in 2007-08 when a team featuring Robbie Keane, Ledley King and Dimitar Berbatov beat Chelsea in the final. 

On one hand a trophy is a calling card for people to remember a team by but also it could have a galvanising effect for what remains a young team with hope for the future.


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