Philippe Coutinho for Barca

Philippe Coutinho for Barca

Philippe Coutinho for Barca

Ferdinand is right in that since the past summer's transfer turmoil and Barcelona's numerous reported bids, Coutinho has got back to what he does best, with nine goals and six assists in 14 games across all competitions.

Sturridge's clash with Matip was a more competitive affair with the defender emerging the 2-1 winner after keeping his nerve/failing to understand: 'What's my favourite Christmas song? Good, because now it's time to talk about how Philippe Coutinho could be heading to Barcelona in January. To distract from the incident Fjortoft quickly made a quip about it being a call from Barcelona.

"Of course a lot happened in the summer but my will is always to play and do the best wherever I am - that has not changed".

Coutinho will leave Liverpool in the not too distant future, that much seems simple fact at this stage.

Liverpool supporters are reluctantly aware their days of seeing the Brazilian in red are limited, but the conversations with Barcelona could - not should - wait until the summer, especially when Liverpool can bed in their new potential superstar, Naby Keita. The romantic fans in The Kop would have been hoping their talisman, who skippered the side, might well have pledged his future to the club after such a showing from the players and fans alike.

Barca, who failed in their attempts to sign Coutinho over the summer, are still very interested in signing the 25-year-old and will try again next month. Firmino raced onto the loose ball and curled home a shot with the outside of his right foot.

"For sure this is my most important hat-trick.

Last summer there was a job offer and in the same way that happens with any employee I was interested in it. Since I stayed, I have played with will and desire".

Coutinho completed his hat trick three minutes later by firing in a shot that deflected off Salvatore Bocchetti and flew inside the near post, leaving Selikhov wrong-footed.

Liverpool squandered a three-goal lead with a second-half collapse at Sevilla two weeks ago, which cost them a chance to clinch first place with a round to spare, but there was to be no repeat here.

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