Football: Coutinho can become as good as Suarez, says Liverpool manager Rodgers

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho celebrating after scoring his team's second goal during their FA Cup fourth round replay against Bolton Wanderers. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho celebrating after scoring his team's second goal during their FA Cup fourth round replay against Bolton Wanderers. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BOLTON, Britain (AFP) - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Philippe Coutinho can scale the same heights as Luis Suarez after the Brazilian's stunning injury-time winner against Bolton Wanderers secured their place in the FA Cup fifth round with a hard-fought 2-1 victory.

The Reds had looked to be heading out of the competition with four minutes of their fourth-round replay at the Macron Stadium left after Eidur Gudjohnsen had put second-tier side Bolton ahead from the penalty spot.

But Raheem Sterling equalised before Coutinho, who signed a new contract which will keep him at Anfield until 2020, produced a sublime finish from 25 yards.

Uruguay striker Suarez inspired Liverpool's Premier League title challenge last season, with 31 goals in 33 matches, before he left for Barcelona, and the Liverpool boss claims 22-year-old Coutinho could follow in his footsteps.

"You would just pay money to watch that kid," Rodgers said.

"He is a great role model for lots of technical players in this country, young British players that for maybe many years would have been discarded because they were technically good but not as big a stature.

"Signing a new deal shows he is really committed to Liverpool and his development."

Liverpool's victory, in Steven Gerrard's 700th career appearance, ensured the Reds kept alive the dream of the captain lifting the FA Cup in his final act with the club before he leaves for Major League Soccer outfit LA Galaxy when his contract expires.

Rodgers said even though his side trailed initially, he always felt they would progress to face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the next round.

"At 1-0, I expected us to win it. The confidence at the moment is very high. Our composure to falling behind was very good. We scored two, could have had many more."