Full Time: Stoke City 1-2 Liverpool
Liverpool were back to winning ways in what was one of their most satisfying victories in the Premier League season. Fatigue and injuries saw Liverpool start the game with a front two of Divock Origi and Ben Woodburn while Trent Alexander Arnold was used at right-wing back in a 3-5-2 formation. It looked like they would lose all three points when Jon Walters found the back of the net just minutes before half-time.
Klopp understood the need for change and decided to get Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho in at half time and the Brazilian duo came up with a goal each in the space of two minutes early in the second half, to steal all three points. This victory took Liverpool 9 points clear of Arsenal and Manchester United. Here’s how the Reds performed against Stoke.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Simon Mignolet (8)
Hardly put a foot wrong as he made a couple of point-blank saves and was also confident with every dead ball situation, giving Liverpool a much-needed victory.
Trent Alexander Arnold (6)
Did not do much wrong as he worked hard up and down his flank. But he had to make way for the big guns as the Reds went for all three points.
Dejan Lovren (5)
Not his best game at the back for Liverpool but did just enough to keep them in the lead the dying minutes of the game.
Joel Matip (6)
Comfortable at the heart of the Liverpool defence for most of the game and could not do much to prevent Walters from scoring.
Ragnar Klavan (4)
Had a poor game as he picked up a booking and was beaten a number of times at the back. Also, he lost possession quite cheaply and will be relieved that they went on to win the game.
Nathaniel Clyne (5)
A poor performance from the English star, who did a decent job defensively but was just not smart enough in the final third.
Emre Can (7)
Growing in form and confidence, Can had a superb game in the midfield, driving Liverpool forward in an exciting second half performance.
Georginio Wijnaldum (6)
Made a horrible mistake that almost cost them the game but picked up the assist for Firmino’s wonder goal to win his side the game.
James Milner (6)
Put in a decent performance as a part of the midfield three but was more productive on the flank in the second half.
Ben Woodburn (6)
The youngster almost drove his team forward a couple of times in the first half and did no harm what so ever to his reputation. Also almost won a penalty for his side just before Stoke’s goal in the first half.
Divock Origi (6)
Though he did not find the back of the net, Origi put in a tireless performance, acting as the outlet and also helping his team by providing width in the attack as the Reds pushed on for a victory.
Roberto Firmino (7)
Scored a sensational goal and added the cutting edge to the attack that Liverpool missed for most of the game before he came on.
Philippe Coutinho (7)
The playmaker came on and had an instant impact as he created a couple of half-chances before finding the back of the net to get Liverpool back in the game.
Daniel Sturridge (6)
Though he did not have any real effect on the scoreline, Sturridge helped Liverpool brighten up their play late in the game.