Photos: Best of the pictures from Liverpool’s comeback win at Stoke

8 April 2017

Liverpool completed a superb second-half comeback to claim a 2-1 win at Stoke City, sealing a crucial three points in the pursuit of Champions League football.


After sloppily surrendering two points against Bournemouth in midweek, it was critical Jurgen Klopp’s side bounced back to winning ways at the Britannia Stadium.

And in a game of two halves the Reds did just that, producing an excellent second-half turnaround to seal a vital win in the top-four race thanks to fine finishes from substitutes Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino.

The ongoing injury crisis made life extra difficult for Liverpool, with Klopp naming a much-changed lineup which saw Ben Woodburn handed his full Premier League debut and Trent Alexander-Arnold also start.

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 8, 2017: Liverpool's Ben Woodburn in action against Stoke City during the FA Premier League match at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Alexander-Arnold battled well in defence as the Reds came under pressure in a difficult first-half which Stoke started sharply and almost took an instant lead in, but Xherdan Shaqiri saw an early goal disallowed.

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 8, 2017: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold in action against Stoke City's Joe Allen during the FA Premier League match at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Woodburn, who should have had a penalty in the first half, worked tirelessly in attack alongside Divock Origi, but the strike duo had very little to feed off as the Reds lacked belief.

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 8, 2017: Liverpool's Ben Woodburn in action against his Wales international team-mate Stoke City's Joe Allen during the FA Premier League match at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 8, 2017: Liverpool's Divock Origi looks dejected after missing a chance against Stoke City during the FA Premier League match at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Just as it appeared Klopp’s men would get through an underwhelming first half unscathed, Stoke took the lead on 44 minutes through Jon Walters, with the boyhood Evertonian heading past Simon Mignolet when unmarked at the near post.

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 8, 2017: Liverpool's goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is beaten as Stoke City score the opening goal during the FA Premier League match at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp was clearly unimpressed by his side’s opening 45 minutes, and acted decisively by making a double change at the break, with Coutinho and Firmino entering for Alexander-Arnold and Woodburn.

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 8, 2017: Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp reacts during the FA Premier League match against Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by Laura Malkin/Propaganda)

The changes made an instant impact with Liverpool a transformed side following the introduction of the Brazilians, who increased the quality and threat of the Reds’ play, with Gini Wijnaldum also enjoying greater influence.

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 8, 2017: Liverpool's Georgina Winjnaldum in action against Stoke City during the FA Premier League match at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by Laura Malkin/Propaganda)

And on 70 minutes, Klopp’s switches made the impact he hoped for as Coutinho brought Liverpool level, firing home a crisp finish in front of the travelling Klopp, sparking great scenes of celebration.

Liverpool sensed a winner and it came just two minutes later, as Firmino rifled an unstoppable volley past Lee Grant, completing a stunning quick-fire turnaround for Klopp’s much-improved Reds.

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 8, 2017: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the second goal against Stoke City during the FA Premier League match at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 8, 2017: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the second goal against Stoke City during the FA Premier League match at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool simply had to see out the game for the final 18 minutes plus stoppage time, and helped by a stunning save from Mignolet to deny Saido Berahino, the Reds sealed a vital win, much to the boss’ satisfaction.

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 8, 2017: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the 2-1 victory over Stoke City during the FA Premier League match at the Bet365 Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was a fantastic comeback from Liverpool, with full credit going to Klopp for acting decisively with changes, and the players for taking responsibility to make the difference.

The three points provide a huge boost in the Reds’ pursuit of Champions League football, which continues next Sunday with a trip to West Brom.

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