Bayern Munich hat-trick hero Philippe Coutinho delivered the deadliest display of his career in their 6-1 victory over Werder Bremen on Saturday.
The Brazilian has produced many moments of magic before, but his masterclass in Munich – during which he also got two assists – was his most productive game to date.
The 27-year-old had previously scored two hat-tricks in his career, coming in Liverpool’s 7-0 UEFA Champions League win over Spartak Moscow in December 2017 and Barcelona’s 5-4 defeat at Levante in May 2018.
But Coutinho’s Man of the Matchday performance against Bremen – described as “pure class” by Bayern head coach Hansi Flick – surpassed both those achievements. Never before had the former Inter Milan attacking midfielder had a direct role in so many of his team’s goals in one game.
“Everyone at the stadium enjoyed it,” said Flick afterwards. “It was just superb.”
Coutinho has now scored five goals and set up another three in his last five matches, bringing his overall tally to seven goals and as many assists in his 20 games for Bayern across all competitions.
The Brazil international’s close-range finish after 45 minutes got the record German champions back on level terms against Bremen, before a wonderful scooped pass set Robert Lewandowski free to score in first-half injury-time.
With the game still in the balance, the Rio de Janeiro native ran on to a ball over the top from David Alaba before coming up with a perfectly judged lob over Bremen goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka that went in off the bar.
The man on loan from Barcelona then saved the best for last, dropping his shoulder to beat a man on the edge of the area before curling a trademark shot high over Pavlenka and in off the far post.
With eight minutes remaining, Coutinho was withdrawn to rapturous applause at the Allianz Arena. Still six points behind Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig, Bayern will be hoping that Saturday’s performance is just a sign of things to come from their brilliant Brazilian.