Philippe Coutinho waited in the tunnel to meet his compatriots Alisson Becker and Fabinho. He also met Thiago Alcantara after Aston Villa's 3-1 defeat against Liverpool on Boxing Day.
The former Barcelona and Inter Milan star played only four minutes of the game after coming on as a late substitute for Leon Bailey. Villa manager Unai Emery told Birmingham Live ahead of the game that Coutinho's fitness is not yet up to the mark. He said (via Mirror):
"Coutinho had two or three training sessions when I arrived here. He trained very good, very good. He was very excited to try to show me and show us his best qualities. The injury was in a bad moment for everybody, for him, for the club, for the team. Now, he is training every day, and I am seeing him really training well."
"I expect of him the best Coutinho possible. For him, on Monday, it is a special match playing against Liverpool, and I think he is going to be in the squad. He is not ready to play 90 minutes, but I am looking forward to seeing him on the pitch in the matches, and with his quality, he can help us a lot."
Emery reacted to Aston Villa's loss against Liverpool. He lauded his team for the valiant effort, saying after the game:
"We did a great effort. It's so hard for us. I think the first half we started well. We created chances. We didn't score and conceding two goals from set-pieces isn't normal because we are working well on the set-pieces. The result was a little bit tough for us. The second half, we needed to keep again, our game plan and to try to get chances to score and opportunities to come back. We played for 30 minutes very well. We scored; we created chances, and we were better than them, I think."
How has former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho fared for Aston Villa?
Philippe Coutinho was phenomenal during his time at Liverpool. He scored 54 goals and provided 45 assists in 201 games and was perhaps the Reds' best player before his move to Barcelona.
While he has shown glimpses of his brilliance for Aston Villa, considering the Brazilian's quality, his performances leave a lot to be desired. He has scored five goals and provided three assists in 33 games since arriving at Villa Park.
The 30-year-old, though, is yet to make a goal contribution in 14 games this season.