Kovac Hails "Football Intelligence" Of Coutinho

Getty Images

 

Niko Kovac believes Philippe Coutinho has brought "another dimension" to Bayern Munich after he impressed in their Champions League win over Red Star Belgrade.

Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller goals earned Bayern a 3-0 victory over Red Star in the German giants' Group B opener.

However, it was Coutinho – on loan from LaLiga champions Barcelona with a view to a permanent move – who particularly caught the eye pulling the strings in Munich midweek.

 

"He played a really good game and with his football intelligence he brings another dimension to our game," Bayern head coach Kovac told Sky in Germany.

"I think we can be very happy. The team has been very focused and we scored three goals, that's befitting."

Muller came off the bench to make a club record 106th appearance in the Champions League for Bayern, but he played down its significance.

Muller said: "Such game records are something for after the career, and I'm not going to give up my shoes up in the near future, so it's not that important."

Red Star captain Marko Marin came agonisingly close to an equaliser before Lewandowski and Muller's strikes late on, and the 30-year-old attacker insisted the result was not a fair reflection of the game.

"We saw that Bayern are on another level," Marin said. We could have scored from our chances. They deserved a win but not the last two goals, they hurt the most. 

"Let's not forget that this is our first group match and playing away, so I hope that we will make up against Olympiacos."

Olympiacos held Tottenham to a 2-2 draw in the group's other game and head coach Vladan Milojevic added: "As I said before the match, Bayern and Tottenham are the favourites in the group, and we saw why tonight. We are aware that we played against a possible winner of the Champions League."