Coutinho opens account at Aston Villa, scores vital goal

Philippe Coutinho opened his goal account on his debut at Aston Villa on Saturday, helping them to secure a dramatic 2-2 draw against Manchester United.

The Brazil international, introduced as a second-half substitute, netted an 82nd-minute equaliser from close range to send Villa Park wild and secure a share of the spoils from an enthralling encounter.

New signing Coutinho, from Barcelona, netted an assist from Jacob Ramsey, who had handed Villa a lifeline just five minutes earlier when he bagged his first goal at home in claret and blue.

The late comeback sparked scenes of jubilation among the home faithful and was just reward for Villa’s never-say-die attitude, securing a hard-earned point and what was a first draw since August.

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The hosts, buoyed by the arrival of January additions Coutinho and Lucas Digne this week, found themselves two goals down courtesy of a brace from Bruno Fernandes.

His early long-range strike slipped through the grasp of Emi Martínez before lashing home off the underside of the crossbar in the second half.

But it was the majority of the 41,968 present who were left to celebrate a remarkable fightback at the full-time whistle.

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