Milot Rashica gave Werder Bremen a shocking lead in 24 minutes. At the Bundesliga, this season, Bayern Munich seem to have been habituated to such things. The defending champions were at the seventh place before this match, which indicates how badly they fared so far. Despite Robert Lewandowski’s firepower, Bayern’s struggles created a lot of headaches for the fans, critics and officials. Even the neutrals could not accept Bayern’s lean-patch. But they are a top side and know very well how to pull up the socks.

Their resurgence was evident in the dead-rubber against Tottenham Hotspur last week in Champions League. Bayern tore apart the English side and someone named Philippe Coutinho started to exhibit his lost touches. He dished out a brilliant display and which is what Bayern needed – apart from Lewandowski, the rest of the stars were not shinning.

Especially, Coutinho’s loan to Bayern came under scrutiny. Bayern fans all over the world understandably wanted to see Coutinho benched more often. He struggled to accustom to the German system in the first three months and thus performed in patches. The world demands results and Coutinho was found anting to produce those – many thought, his days are over.

Werder were still leading by 1-0 and half-time was approaching. Coutinho decided to take the matter to his hand. At the stroke of half-time, he converted Serge Gnabry’s pass across goal. Bayern levelled and Coutinho wanted to head towards the tunnel with a lead – he set up Lewandowski to chip over the backline in the stoppage time. That assist had been a piece of magic – a slicing lob with the inside of his boot, which put Lewandowski in a 1 vs 1 situation with Pavlenka. The Bayern striker made no mistake to put Bayern ahead.

In the second-half, Coutinho scored one of the goals of the seasons. It was a 180-degree-turn-chip, which sent Pavlenka scrambling. The little magician was in a mood to destroy the opposition with a Samba-dash. He would provide the second assist of the match when Thomas Muller scored the fourth. A few minutes later, Coutinho unleashed an absolute belter of a bending-and-powerful shot to bag a hat-trick –typical Brazilian style to create an impact: when a Brazilian shines, the others have no chance at all.

It was the Coutinho, which the fans wanted to witness. He broke the lines with his typical diagonal runs from the flanks and then cut down to strike from centre. Straight run towards the centre and provide silky passes. Delicate touches in last minutes to raise the tempo of the game. Oh yes, powerful strikes from the distance had been the highlight of the match.

“This Christmas is brought to you by Phil Coutinho” celebrated Bayern Munich’s social media accounts after the sparkling display, and later thanked him in his native Portuguese.


Coutinho is making a comeback and one can expect such shows to happen more often.

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