It's like he's dancing with the ball - Bayern boss Kovac hails Coutinho impact

By Sports Desk September 28, 2019

Philippe Coutinho plays as if he is "dancing with the ball" and fans of Bayern Munich and Paderborn would have enjoyed his display in Saturday's Bundesliga encounter, said head coach Niko Kovac.

Midfield playmaker Coutinho, on a season-long loan from LaLiga champions Barcelona, was influential as Bayern defeated Paderborn 3-2, assisting Serge Gnabry's opener and scoring when his team-mate returned the favour.

Coutinho has impressed early on in his Bayern career and Kovac was full of praise for his showing at the Benteler-Arena.

"He [Coutinho] speaks for himself. At the end of the day, everyone who was at the stadium today, everyone who saw today's game, was able to see once again the skills that he possesses, what kind of qualities he has with the ball," Kovac said. 

"At times it really looks like he's dancing with the ball, you have to say it like that. He knows exactly what to do when, how and where with the ball. 

"The first goal he assists magnificently, but immediately after the pass he sprints into the box because he also wants to score.

"And for his goal, the combination was the other way around. Serge [Gnabry] assists him after a superb pass. That's individual quality. 

"He will definitely help us even more, he's already contributing well, he's integrated and happy here. 

"And when a player from South America, from Brazil, is happy, with that kind of quality, you can see how fantastic that is. 

"No matter whether you're a Paderborn, Bayern or any other supporter, you have enjoyed [his performance]."

Bayern were coasting at 2-0 after Coutinho's goal in the 55th minute but efforts from Kai Proger and Jamilu Collins either side of Robert Lewandowski's strike ensured a nervy ending.

"We made the game difficult for ourselves," Kovac admitted. "We could've decided the match during the first half. 

"In my opinion we had to decide it. Second half, going into it with a 1-0 lead, even when it's 2-0 or 2-1, that's always a small advantage. 

"We brought them back into the match, we didn't play the way I wanted in the second half, but I'm satisfied with the result. 

"With the way we played, obviously I'm not satisfied. Therefore, there's not much more to be added."

Related items

  • Dortmund's 15-year-old prodigy Moukoko wanted in first team by Favre Dortmund's 15-year-old prodigy Moukoko wanted in first team by Favre

    Youssoufa Moukoko has proven prolific in Borussia Dortmund's youth ranks and head coach Lucien Favre wants to promote the 15-year-old striker to the first team.

    The Dortmund prodigy was selected for duty with Germany Under-19s last week, returning to the international fold after making his U16 bow at the age of 12.

    Moukoko, who turned 15 in November, scored 50 goals and supplied nine assists in 28 appearances as BVB finished as runners-up in the U17 Bundesliga last season and has maintained his stunning form at U19 level.

    He has netted 31 times in 18 league outings and has another four in seven in the UEFA Youth League.

    Ahead of Dortmund's Bundesliga meeting with Freiburg on Saturday, Favre revealed he hopes to have Moukoko involved with the first team before the end of the season.

    "We have a plan with him, but I can't say exactly when he'll be with us," said Favre on Thursday. "Maybe in March, but we still have to wait for a few things."

    Moukoko could make his bow for Germany U19s in a European Championship qualifier against Wales on March 25. They play Austria three days later and Serbia on March 31.

    Nuri Sahin became Dortmund's youngest player at 16 years, 11 months and one day when he made his debut in August 2005.

  • Anything can happen in El Clasico – former Real Madrid captain Hierro Anything can happen in El Clasico – former Real Madrid captain Hierro

    Anything can happen when Real Madrid host Barcelona in El Clasico on Sunday, according to Fernando Hierro. 

    Barca head into the clash at the Santiago Bernabeu top of LaLiga, having capitalised on Madrid drawing with Celta Vigo and losing to Levante in their previous two matches to go two points clear. 

    Following a 2-1 home loss in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Manchester City on Wednesday, Zinedine Zidane's side have won just one of their past five games in all competitions. 

    While the form book therefore suggests Barca have the upper hand, Hierro – a five-time LaLiga and three-time Champions League winner with Madrid – believes it is impossible to anticipate the outcome of any match between the clubs. 

    "The most important thing, given the rivalry, is the joy everyone feels: the club, the fans. And how it really gives you a boost. But anything can happen in El Clasico, as we've seen," said Hierro, courtesy of LaLiga. 

    "We lost when we were LaLiga champions, we lost at home when we virtually had LaLiga wrapped up, we've won in Barcelona when nobody expected us to. There are no guarantees in El Clasico. 

    "The standings don't matter; your form doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if you're top of the table, or if you're LaLiga champions. 

    "They're special games. Anything can happen, and that's fantastic." 

  • Former Waterhouse, Jamaica player Irvino English shot dead on Ash Wednesday Former Waterhouse, Jamaica player Irvino English shot dead on Ash Wednesday

    Former Reggae Boy and Waterhouse midfielder, Irvino English, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Waterhouse on Wednesday night.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.