Goals: Gerrard (70); Diouf (22 & 26), Walters (30), Adam (41), N’Zonzi (45), (Crouch 86)
Mamadou Sakho made a pleasing return from injury after a prolonged spell on the sidelines, and he came into the team along with Lucas Leiva and Joe Allen.
Dejan Lovren, Jordon Ibe and Raheem Sterling all missed out, with the latter clearly dropped after another controversial week surrounding his future.
It was a rather aimless first 15 minutes to the game from both sides, with plenty of stray passes and an overall lack of quality.
Adam Lallana almost bent a terrific finish into the corner in the 19th minute, but it was Stoke who were ahead shortly after.
Simon Mignolet failed to deal with Charlie Adam’s shot, and Mame Biram Diouf tapped into an empty net with ease. Diouf doubled the Potters’ lead after 25 minutes, rifling a shot past Mignolet and into the roof of the net. Liverpool were in disarray.
It was 3-0 on the half hour mark. Jon Walters scored at the second attempt from close-range, following a shocking piece of defensive play by Emre Can.
Four minutes before half-time it was 4-0, as Adam finished clinically after an error by Lucas, and Steven N’Zonzi incredibly added a fifth seconds before the break. It had been a first-half performance beyond description by the Reds, and Rodgers had an unbelievable amount of explaining to do.
Asmir Begovic denied deny Lallana after 63 minutes, and a beleaguered Gerrard curled a shot over, but it was virtually all the Reds could muster in the opening 20 minutes of the second-half. The game was a complete non-event by this point.
Gerrard had his moment of glory midway through the second-half though. Substitute Rickie Lambert’s flick-on found the captain, who finished coolly past Begovic. It was a lovely moment on an otherwise shocking day.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Can (Toure ’46), Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno (Ibe ’46), Lucas, Allen (Lambert ’69), Henderson, Gerrard, Lallana, Coutinho.
Subs not used: Ward, Lovren, Sterling, Markovic.
Stoke City starting XI: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Muniesa, Pieters, N’Zonzi, Whelan, Walters, Adam, Arnautovic, Diouf.
Referee: Anthony Taylor