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Jurgen Klopp: 'Philippe Coutinho is world class'

Klopp: 'Philippe Coutinho is world class'
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes that Philippe Coutinho can be included in the "world class" bracket following his man-of-the-match performance against Everton.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that he believes Philippe Coutinho deserves to be considered as "world class" following his man-of-the-match performance against Everton on Saturday.

The Brazilian scored one and created another as the Reds beat their Merseyside rivals 3-1 at Anfield, marking a timely return to form having struggled to reach his best following his comeback from injury in January.

Even more importance is likely to rest on Coutinho's shoulders after Sadio Mane suffered a suspected season-ending knee injury, and Klopp believes that the 24-year-old is capable of helping to fill the void.

"Sadio's absence provides an opportunity for others to step up and take the chance presented. There were great examples of this on Saturday – some outstanding performances. Philippe demonstrated his credentials as a player worthy of 'world-class' status. And I'm not referring to the goal, which was a moment of beauty," he wrote in the matchday programme for this evening's Premier League clash with Bournemouth.

"I mean his all-round performance, sacrificing himself for the team – working as hard defensively as he did offensively. OK, so the goal was nice, but as a coach and manager it's the entire performance you judge and this was a player fighting and battling for his team.

"For him and Roberto [Firmino] I can only say how impressive this was when you factor in the week previous, with their travelling and involvement for the national team. Attitude to mirror their ability – good combination."

Coutinho is now just one goal and one assist short of his best-ever Premier League tallies for Liverpool.

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Philippe Coutinho in action during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Burnley on March 12, 2017
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Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

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