Friday, 27 September 2019

I feel part of the family- Coutinho

Coutinho embraces family feeling at Bayern

Philippe Coutinho says he already feels part of the "family" after forging a potent partnership with Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich.

The defending German champions play three games in eight days, starting at Bundesliga bottom side Paderborn on Saturday before travelling to Spurs in the Champions League on Tuesday and then hosting Hoffenheim in the league.

After failing to fill Andre Iniesta's huge shoes at Barcelona, Coutinho is rebooting his career on loan this season, claiming his first goal in Munich's red shirt with a penalty in last Saturday's 4-0 win over Cologne.

Coutinho says the squad's strong spirit was summed up when Lewandowski, who was on a hat-trick, handed over penalty duties to allow him to score against Cologne.

Coutinho said, "It was certainly a great gesture. Lewy had the chance for a hat-trick, but he gave me the chance to score my first goal and I'm grateful for it," .

Niko Kovac,Bayern coach, says the pair's understanding is improving "from game to game" and also praised Lewandowski's penalty gesture.

"It's crucial, it can be the sort of little thing which makes the difference. You saw it with Lewy and Philippe - it's what we need and what we want."

Bayern are up to second in the German league table, two points behind RB Leipzig, and Kovac wants to "keep our place or if not, climb" in the coming week.

The pressure is on with five teams, including arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund who host Werder Bremen on Saturday, just a point behind.

Kovac said healthy competition – both externally and internally – is keeping Bayern on their toes.

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