Philippe Coutinho captained his country for the first time on Tuesday night as Brazil completed an impressive 4-0 rout of Australia in Melbourne.
You can’t ask for much more than a win on your captaincy debut but Philippe Coutinho’s Brazil team went one step further as they annihilated Australia’s Socceroos in front of a crowd of 70,000+ fans at the MCG on Tuesday night. The 25-year old was handed the armband by Tite for the first time and was given 70 minutes to trick and flick his way past Australian defenders as he pleased.
Philippe Coutinho working his magic for Brazil 🇧🇷pic.twitter.com/7Dt03qoA3q
— Rousing The Kop (@RousingTheKop) June 13, 2017
Personally, Coutinho was deployed in a deeper role similar to the one we saw him fill for Klopp’s Liverpool against West Ham and Middlesbrough late in the 2016/17 season. This saw him handed a higher defensive and creative responsibility, slightly limiting his ability to get forward but it was his corner delivery that led to Thiago Silva scoring the Seleção’s second goal.
The Brazilians opened the scoring in the 12th second of the game, when a defensive error from one of the three Australian centre halves allowed Diego Souza of Sport Recife through on goal and he buried the chance with aplomb. Thiago Silva’s header for the second goal came just after half time before Shakhtar man Taison netted the third to cap off a stunning team goal that looked like something out of a glorified training ground drill.
Another angle to Taison’s goal, which highlights the nice team play. pic.twitter.com/7z7I13QHgz
— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStat) June 13, 2017
Coutinho was subbed off in the 70th minute for Chelsea winger Willian and while the final 15 minutes petered out slightly, there was still time for the Brazilians to score once more with Diego Souza grabbing his second of the game to put the icing on the cake.
The friendly win caps off a sublime season for the Reds little magician who will now head off on his summer holidays. Coutinho enjoyed a career-best goal return of 14 along with 9 assists in all competitions this campaign for Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, while also finally cementing his place as a key part of the Brazilian national team.