Thailand 0-3 Liverpool: Magical Coutinho goal sets up comfortable friendly win

Phillipe Coutinho starred once again as Liverpool cruised to 3-0 Tour of Asia win over Thailand on Sunday.

A superb solo effort from the Brazilian provided the difference between the two sides in the first half, though Simon Mignolet was forced into making two important saves before the break.

Coutinho then teed up Iago Aspas after half-time, before skipper Steven Gerrard converted a third to complete victory.

Brendan Rodgers made six changes from his side’s 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory but it was Suarez who made the headlines yet again, the Uruguay forward being kept on the bench for the second friendly running.

As is becoming a regular fixture, though, Coutinho provided the early creativity for Rodgers’ side as he combined with Fabio Borini to good effect inside the opening few minutes.

And the Reds’ first big chance came after more incisive running from the 21-year-old, though Aspas’ powerful shot was deflected for a corner.

Borini was next to threaten, first with an acrobatic volley and then a run at goal from distance.

But there was only ever going to be one man to open the scoring, and Coutinho did so with a splendid move on fifteen minutes. Receiving the ball in the Thailand area, the Brazilian did what he does best, twisting past two defenders and placing the ball into the bottom corner.

Thailand hit straight back, however, and Teerasil almost got them back on level terms with a curling shot that flashed just wide of Mignolet’s near post.

Disappointingly for boss Rodgers, Liverpool then subsided into a defensive shell, allowing the home side to dictate play for an extended period.

Thailand’s subsequent dominance forced keeper Mignolet into action on two occasions, though the Belgian responded in fine fashion with two fantastic saves.

Aspas then fired across goal from a tight angle, before the half-time whistle signalled the end of a satisfactory half for the Reds.

After the break, however, Aspas would make no mistake with a clinical short-range finish, though credit was again due to Coutinho for a simple yet genius pass into the area.

Liverpool’s second signalled an end to Thailand’s admirable resistance and the Spaniard was involved yet again as Gerrard converted a third.

Another intricate move from Brendan Rodgers' side saw Aspas unleashed in the area and he duly cut the ball back to his skipper, who sent a fine chip over the Thailand keeper and into the back of the net.

From thereon in, the priority for the Reds undoubtedly became keeping a clean sheet: they had not conceded a single goal thus far in pre-season.

But there was still time for Suarez to come on amidst loud cheers from the Bangkok crowd – and hit the bar with a thumping header.

Gerrard had played the Uruguay forward in with a dangerous free kick but the 26-year-old stopped short of adding a fourth.

The captain himself then clipped the crossbar with a chip but Rodgers' side would have to make do with just the three.

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