Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho handed the Reds a 1-0 lead over Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, courtesy of a classy solo effort on the half-hour mark.
The in-form Brazilian, who has already scored crucial goals in this competition against Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers respectively in previous rounds, came up with the goods again despite his side creating little beforehand.
He took advantage of some hesitancy in the Villa ranks. Tim Sherwood’s side failed to clear the ball when they had ample opportunity to get it away, with midfield man Fabian Delph arguably the biggest culprit.
The England international gifted possession to the Merseyside outfit and Coutinho glided through the backline before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Shay Given, who has been recalled by Sherwood for the Wembley showdown:
This represents Liverpool’s only chance of winning a piece of silverware this season, so Coutinho’s strike took on added significance.