LIVERPOOL -- Brendan Rodgers hailed Philippe Coutinho as "a joy to watch" after the midfielder scored a spectacular winner against Manchester City and claimed it is "frightening" to think what the Brazilian could be worth.
Jordan Henderson also struck in a victory that took Liverpool, who were 12th in November, up to fifth and Rodgers believes it will rank as a greater feat to take them into the Champions League this season than last.
For the second successive campaign, Coutinho scored the decider as Liverpool beat City 2-1 at Anfield and Rodgers believes the Merseysiders got a bargain when they signed him from Inter Milan.
"He cost 8.5 million pounds," he said. "It is frightening to know what he could be worth.
"He is a joy to work with and a joy to watch. He is a kid who has so much ahead of him in the game. He is 22 years of age. People forget he came to us at 19. He is a sensational footballer. To beat Joe Hart at that angle and power was a phenomenal shot. So was Jordan's."
Coutinho recently put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at Anfield until 2020 and Rodgers added: "Since he signed his contract he has started to score goals.
"He is a player that has always assisted and made the final pass in his career. He is a very selfless player and a very humble young guy and would rather create for others. But his technique is at a high, high level so he is going to score more goals."
Rodgers was delighted with Liverpool's efforts and energy, especially because they only arrived back from Turkey, after their Europa League tie against Besiktas, in the early hours of Friday morning.
"It was a brilliant result and an equally brilliant performance," he said. "We thoroughly deserved the victory. The players worked with their intensity and great quality in our football. I was very, very pleased.
"You have to take your hat off to the players. The performance was at a real top level. I have nothing but admiration. Their focus was good. As the game went on we created more chances and restricted Manchester City to one shot on target."
Liverpool are the only team who are yet to lose a Premier League game in 2015 and Rodgers said: "If we can get into the top four, it is a bigger achievement than last season because of our starting position."