Brazlian back at last after injuring his knee against Eibar on December 29 of last year
The result was anything like the one he or anybody else at FC Barcelona wanted, but Tuesday’s game with Bayern Munich was nevertheless a special occasion for Philippe Coutinho.
The Brazilian was playing competitive football for the first time since damaging the lateral meniscus in his left knee almost nine months previously in a 1-1 draw with Eibar last December.
259 days without playing are a frustratingly long time for a professional footballer, but last night he was back, and against the very team where he spent a season on loan in 2019/20.
Coutinho replaced Luuk De Jong for the last 24 minutes of the game, getting all 12 of his passes right and was the only player in his team to have two shots on goal (one went wide and the other was blocked by a defender).
He may not have got much time on pitch, and was introduced at a delicate time with the team already trailing by two goals, but his contribution down the left was very much noticed and played a big part in a considerable improvement to the team in the latter stages of the encounter.