What Liverpool fans have been tweeting Philippe Coutinho after beating Man City 2-1

Jurgen Klopp deserves huge credit for the way that Liverpool have performed in the second half of the season without Philippe Coutinho.

Many people feared the worst for the Reds after Coutinho sealed his dream move to Barcelona in the January transfer window.

Klopp was desperate to keep the world-class Brazilian at Anfield until the summer but failed in his attempts to prevent the move from being finalised after Barça tabled an astonishing £142 million bid.

Liverpool reacted by trying to bring Naby Keita to Anfield six months earlier than planned but RB Leipzig were having none of it.

In the end, the Merseyside outfit sensibly decided to invest most of the Coutinho money on a new centre-back. Virgil van Dijk finally arrived from Southampton, in a deal worth £75 million, and what a difference the Dutch centre-back has made over the past few months.

As well as defensively, Liverpool have also looked even better going forward without Coutinho.

In his absence, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have all performed magnificently. If anything, Liverpool are now a more fluid team without the gifted South American playmaker.

Klopp’s side look certain to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League – they currently sit in third place – and now have a real chance of winning the Champions League after knocking out Manchester City in the quarter-finals.

Following their 2-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night, many Liverpool fans have been tweeting Coutinho calling him the new Michael Owen.

Why? Because like Coutinho, Owen decided to leave Anfield in the summer of 2004 and ended up missing out on a Champions League winners’ medal less than a year later.

Liverpool lifted European football’s most prestigious trophy at the end of the 2004-05 campaign, beating AC Milan in one of the greatest finals of all time, and now the club’s fans hope Coutinho pays the same price for leaving their club in the lurch midway through the current campaign.