Coutinho lauds 'clever' Firmino

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Philippe Coutinho has lauded compatriot Roberto Firmino as integral to the way Liverpool play under Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds are firmly in the hunt for Champions League qualification after the Brazilian duo scored a goal apiece to secure a 2-1 come-from-behind win at Stoke City on Saturday.

Having both started on the bench, the pair underlined their importance to the team with second-half strikes and Coutinho heaped praise on his team-mate.

"Roberto is a clever player. He makes those diagonal runs that are so important to our play at Liverpool," Coutinho told the official Liverpool FC magazine.

"He's always available to receive the ball on his own up there and, even if he doesn't get a chance on goal for himself, he helps to create opportunities for us. 

"We're playing together here and we know each other well, so when we're playing for Brazil, we're already familiar with each other's movement. Whenever we get the chance to play or train together, it's great that we already have that understanding.

"Roberto is a great guy. He has a lot of quality on the ball and is physically very strong too.

"He's not as tall as other forwards, but you can see that he's very strong. He's really important for us. His movement creates space for others and for him too. That's very important for the way we play."

Klopp's side sit third in the Premier League, six points ahead of fifth-placed Manchester United, who have two games in hand.