Philippe Coutinho arguably put forth his best performance in a Bayern Munich shirt in their comprehensive 6-1 win over Werder Bremen. After going 1-0 down inside of 25 minutes, Bayern battled back to score 6 unanswered goals, 3 of which came from the “Little Magician.” In addition, he assisted two of Bayern’s 6 goals; one to Robert Lewandowski and one to Thomas Muller.
Coutinho hardly put a foot wrong in his 78-minute shift and the hat-trick hero was given an incredible reception by the Allianz Arena when he was subbed off for Sarpreet Singh. He’ll surely take all the confidence he can get from this performance and speaking after the match, Lewandowski said that Coutinho finally showed what he’s truly capable of (Bild):
That was his game today. With the ball, with his movements — how he did it today, that was outstanding. We need a player like that. I am very glad that he showed today how good he is and how great his potential is.
He’s taken a while to hit his stride at Bayern, but with 4 goals and 2 assists from his last 2 matches, it looks as if Coutinho has finally turned a corner for the better. He hasn’t been a regular starter under either Hansi Flick or Niko Kovac, but Lewandowski feels that the Brazilian has shown why he should be a regular presence in Bayern’s lineup. The Bremen performance, he said, is the barometer of what Coutinho can do:
When you score three goals, then you don’t have to speak about signals. That, what he did in this game, is a clear matter. He worked hard before the game in training. You also see that afterwards in the game.
David Alaba also echoed Lewandowski’s affirmation that Coutinho has shown why he should always be in the starting eleven, sending the proper “signals” to Flick and his coaching staff:
If you see that game, I would recommend that we pick him up.
With the injury to Kingsley Coman, Flick might have to play Coutinho on a continued basis, but it remains to be seen if that will be the case once Coman returns from injury in the rückrunde. At least for now, it’s clear that Coutinho’s teammates have all the faith in the world that he should be a regular outfit for Bayern moving forward, especially since he’s starting to hit his best form in a red shirt. He seems to have solid chemistry with Lewandowski, in particular when the two of them are on the pitch together.
Highlights from Coutinho’s brilliant, hat-trick performance:
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Sometimes. Rotation is key.