Rodgers tips Coutinho to be a star for Liverpool

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers praised Coutinho's first performance for the club as the 20-year-old marked his debut with a goal in the Reds' 5-0 rout of Swansea.

Liverpool vs Swansea: Philippe Coutinho

Coutinho made the move to Liverpool in a £8.5million late-January move from Inter Milan and had a debut to remember as he skipped past the Swansea defence and slammed the ball into the back of the net 16 seconds after the break.

And Rodgers revealed that he was delighted with what he had seen of the Brazilian midfielder.

"He is a really talented player. He's only 20 but he's had good experience of playing at the highest level," Rodgers said.

"He'll take a bit of time to adapt to the whole tempo of the English game as he's come from Italy where the game is a little slower.

"You saw the quality and the speed of his passing all game - he's got wonderful game-knowledge.

"I've got high hopes for him. He's the type of player that we are trying to bring in here - a technician who has a strong character and good mentality. I'm sure he'll progress very well."

Rodgers accepted Swansea's lacklustre showing had helped his side but insisted that should not detract from his team's performance.

"It was an important three points," he said.

"We've had a bumpy road this week in terms of games Monday and Thursday (2-0 defeats to West Brom and Zenit St Petersburg) but the Premier League is very important for us and we knew we had to show focus and determination.

"I think we showed character and mental toughness to get a result like that.

"There obviously was a part (of the cup final) in it.

"They were still a strong side and they will be disappointed with the performance but if you don't have Ashley Williams or Michu, who has been brilliant since he came in, then that can affect your team.

"I don't think you can take anything away from the Liverpool players but it (the final) was something they were thinking about next week."

On the flip side forward Fabio Borini walked off with a serious shoulder injury less than 10 minutes after coming on as a substitute.

"He will probably be out for the season. It looks like he's dislocated his shoulder," said the Reds boss.

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup accepted some of the blame for the "accident" of their defeat at Liverpool but felt the players had to also take responsibility.

The Dane made seven changes - leaving 15-goal striker Michu and captain Ashley Williams on the bench - with one eye on next weekend's Capital One Cup final against Bradford.

It backfired spectacularly as his side were never in the match and barely managed to raise a competitive element to their game.

"We could have lost seven or eight nil easily had it not been for (goalkeeper) Michel Vorm and that is not good enough," said Laudrup.

"It is a little difficult to explain because I made a lot of changes so the first to blame is me because I picked the team.

"But I will not exclude players who were thinking about the game next week, which in a certain way is human logic because it will be the biggest game in the history of the club.

"One thing you can always ask is your team is competitive and after 45 minutes we were still in the game (at 1-0) but they came out and scored three goals in 10 minutes - you cannot do that.

"I don't want to believe that it was a lack of concentration because we had just talked about it in the dressing room after the first 45 minutes.

"I don't regret making the changes because I still think, until now, even when we lost we were competitive but (we were) never like this.

"I was sure this team could do well. It is obvious why Williams and Michu were not there.

"You can't put it only on those two, there were still some very good players on the pitch who had performed a lot of other times.

"I want to see this as a single accident maybe caused by what is going to happen in seven days - at least I hope so."

Swansea trailed at half-time to Steven Gerrard's penalty but they conceded another to Reds debutant Philippe Coutinho within 16 seconds of the kick-off after the interval, sparking a 10-minute spell which brought further goals from Jose Enrique, Luis Suarez before Daniel Sturridge converted a 71st-minute spot-kick.



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