Villa looked dead and buried, but Coutinho proved to be the catalyst for an impressive comeback by Steven Gerrard‘s side.
The Brazilian maestro played a key role in the build-up to Jacob Ramsey’s strike that halved the deficit and then scored a dramatic equaliser from close-range.
Debuts don’t get much better than that, do they?
Coutinho’s arrival on loan from Barcelona really could prove to be a game-changer for Villa, as he’s still a ridiculously talented footballer – one capable of dominating the Premier League again.
Aston Villa 2-2 Man Utd – Reaction (Football Terrace)
And if you still don’t fully believe that the 29-year-old has that kind of ability anymore, take a look at his marvellous individual highlights from Villa’s 2-2 draw with United below.
Video: Coutinho’s highlights from dream debut vs Man Utd
As footballing cameos go, that’s right up there with the best in modern Premier League history. Who needs Jack Grealish, eh?
Whenever Coutinho got on the ball, you felt as if something was going to happen and it’s great to see him back performing at a level that’s somewhere close to his very best after a very difficult few years.
Coutinho never lived up to expectation after swapping Liverpool for Catalonia, a £142 million transfer that ranks among the most disastrous in history.
He was even loaned out to Bayern Munich for the 2019/20 campaign, but things are finally starting to look brighter for him and Gerrard was, understandably, full of praise for him in his post-match interview.
“It was a fantastic cameo,” the Villa manager said. “He was involved in both goals and there’ll be many more moments. He gave me exactly what I wanted.
“Even if he gets close to the form he showed at Liverpool he is still a world-class talent. At his best he was one of the top players in the league and that is why Barcelona paid so much money for him.
“He has many experiences of the speed of this league and what it took for him to shine last time. It is a matter of time before he is even better and stronger but this will do him the world of good for confidence.
“You can’t underestimate the importance of being happy going to work and of being able to smile. We all enjoy love and support from crowd. He has been full of energy and there is no pressure on him.”
Fantasy Premier League players, it might be time to consider bringing in Coutinho…