Ashley Preece described Philippe Coutinho’s performance against Manchester United as ‘a frustrating 45 minutes’, as Aston Villa rescued a late draw in pre-season.
The Midlands club left it late to secure an impressive 2-2 against Erik Ten Hag’s Man United side, after Jadon Sancho found the back of the net and Matty Cash scored an own goal to put the Manchester club ahead. An unlikely hero then emerged in the form of Calum Chambers to equalise at the death.
Speaking on Coutinho in his player ratings for Birmingham Live, Preece said: “A really frustrating 45 minutes for the Brazilian who was carded for dissent after just 15 minutes. Fred did a job on him, while Coutinho did pop a few good balls out to Digne but, again, Villa attacks fizzled out.”
The former Barcelona man will hope to have shaken off any remaining rust in a difficult afternoon for Villa. With only a matter of weeks until the Premier League kicks off, Steven Gerrard will be hoping to see his Brazilian playmaker begin the campaign with a bang, and, therefore, put in an opposite performance to the one in the most recent fixture of pre-season.
TIF Thoughts on Philippe Coutinho…
Coutinho started his Aston Villa career with a bang when scoring against Manchester United after arriving in January, and he only continued to gradually show the signs that he is well on his way to returning to his best.
The Brazilian’s brace against Manchester City on the final day of last season sent one last reminder before his first full campaign back in the Premier League; a reminder that he can be an important player for Gerrard.
So, whilst his performance was far from perfect against United in pre-season, by the time the season starts, if Coutinho has shaken the rust away, then Villa will have themselves a key contributor.