Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho defied the club’s medical staff to take his place on the substitute’s bench and score at Stoke on Saturday.
The 24-year-old came off the bench to score the important equaliser as his side recovered from going behind to win 2-1 at Stoke.
It was his 30th top-flight goal and put him one clear of former Middlesbrough attacker Juninho.
Team-mate Roberto Firmino – who scored a brilliant winner at the bet365 Stadium – is only 10 behind after 61 matches compared to his compatriot’s 131 but Coutinho plans to add many more having already equalled his best Premier League season tally of nine with seven games still to go.
“I am happy for that. I want to keep going to keep scoring and helping my team and keep learning from my manager,” said Coutinho, who only joined up with the squad on the morning of the match after losing three kilograms in three days because of illness.
“They (the club) asked me to stay at home because I was not feeling well but I wanted to be here.
“I wanted to be involved with the team. The manager decided (to put him on the bench) because I was not 100 per cent.”
The Brazil duo’s introduction completely transformed the game but Coutinho was keen to deflect the credit.
“No. The team played well, created more chances and then we scored but I think the team played well not just individuals,” he added after the victory which kept them in third place and put the pressure on Arsenal, in fifth and nine points behind with three matches in hand.
“Of course. It was a big win. There are a lot of points to fight for and every game for us is important.”