Liverpool attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho has just opened the scoring in the FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa with a fine goal.
The Brazil international displayed some excellent samba skills to dribble past three Villa defenders, before steering a finish past goalkeeper Shay Given with the aid of a slight deflection.
While a fine goal from the 24 year-old, Villa manager Tim Sherwood will be stunned at his team’s inability to clear the ball prior to Coutinho receiving possession – both Jores Okore and Fabian Delph had clear opportunities to remove the danger but failed to do so.
Still, wonderful close control from Liverpool’s star player this season gave Liverpool the lead in what has been an even game so far; Coutinho only needed a few touches to burst between Villa lines and finish with a neat dink.
Coutinho has now scored seven goals this season, and five of those have come in 2015. The biggest criticism aimed at the Reds playmaker has been that he doesn’t score enough, but it seems that he is doing his best to put that right.
Liverpool will meet Arsenal in next month’s final if they overcome Villa today.
The Gunners booked their place in the end-of-season showpiece by edging past Reading 2-1 after extra time on Saturday.
Coutinho has been Liverpool’s star performer this season – his fine form was rewarded last week when he was shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year award.