Philippe Coutinho was back in the starting XI for Barcelona on Sunday and certainly caught the eye as the Catalan giants ran out 4-0 winners at the Camp Nou.
The Brazilian is back from a season-long loan at Bayern Munich and picked up his first assist of the 2020-21 campaign by teeing up Ansu Fati for Barcelona’s second goal of the night.
Coutinho also showed flashes of his skill, even cruising past the referee in the second half of the encounter.
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) September 27, 2020
Two goals from Fati, a Lionel Messi penalty, and an own goal gave Barca all three points in what was their first match of the season. It’s also a first victory for the club under new manager Ronald Koeman.
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Coutinho Back in the Starting XI
Coutinho was back in the starting XI for Sunday’s match and was part of an impressive attack that blew Villarreal away in the opening 45 minutes alongside Messi, Fati, and Antoine Griezmann.
The Brazilian looks set to be a key player under Koeman in 2020-21 after a difficult first spell at the club before his loan move to Bayern. The new coach spoke about Coutinho’s versatility ahead of the match in his press conference.
“We have to put each player in his best position, he can play as 10, or on the left wing. He also likes to defend and help the team, but I’m interested in him showing his quality close to the goal. Hopefully he will triumph this season.”
Coutinho played 70 minutes before being given a breather for the final 20 minutes, but it was certainly an encouraging performance from the 28-year-old that offers optimism for the future.
Busquets Happy with Barcelona Win
Coutinho’s team-mate Sergio Busquets spoke about Barcelona’s win after the match and was happy with his team’s performance on their first outing in La Liga in 2020-21.
“It was a good game for us, especially in the first half, we were superior, we created a lot of chances and scored four goals. We dropped our intensity a little bit in the second half, but we kept a clean sheet. They made it a bit more difficult, played through the middle but we have good sensations from the first game.”
The victory is a great start for Barcelona ahead of a busy week. The Catalan giants head to Celta Vigo in La Liga on Thursday and then host Europa League winners Sevilla on Sunday.