Stoke City 1-2 Liverpool
Premier League, Britannia Stadium
April 8, 2017
Coutinho 71′ (assist – Can)
Firmino 72′ (assist – Wijnaldum)
After the bitter blow that was Josh King’s late equaliser at Anfield on Wednesday night, Liverpool set out on the road to continue their Premier League campaign.
Taking to the Britannia, where an out-of-form Stoke awaited, the pressure was on Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds to perform and improve on their midweek stalemate.
Continually hampered by injuries, Klopp made three changes to his lineup from that 2-2 draw with Bournemouth, facing off against a Stoke side that included two former Liverpool players.
Welcoming Liverpool to Staffordshire, the Potters had won just once in their last five games, serving as a boost to the travellers, but it took an injection of quality to ensure the victory.
- Woodburn third-youngest Red to make full Premier League debut
- Walters opens the scoring during fraught first half
- Klopp sends on Coutinho and Firmino in half-time shakeup
- Coutinho equalises with tidy finish on 71 minutes
- Firmino powers home to seal the three points away from home
Lining up in a 3-5-2 formation, the Reds struggled to settle in early on, with Xherdan Shaqiri finding the back of the net within three minutes, but the Stoke forward was mercifully ruled offside.
Adjusting to the demands of the clash, the away side began to push into the final third, and Ben Woodburn was almost through on goal after a fortunate break on the halfway, but ultimately found himself pegged back.
Woodburn had a penalty shout waved away by referee Mike Dean as he turned Erik Pieters in the box, but Stoke duly went up the other end and Jonathan Walters pounced to make it 1-0.
This capped a disjointed half for the Reds, and heading down the tunnel at the interval, they needed an intervention from Klopp in order to turn the game around at the Britannia.
Klopp wasted no time to make changes, sending on both Coutinho and Firmino, withdrawing Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold after a difficult opening 45 minutes.
As Liverpool’s confidence moving forward grew, Klopp made his final roll of the dice and sent on Daniel Sturridge for Origi, and at that point the tide turned.
It was Sturridge’s movement that helped craft the equaliser, with Emre Can‘s cross cleared out to Coutinho, who powered home from the edge of the box.
Less than a minute later, Firmino had put the away side ahead, latching onto Wijnaldum’s lofted pass and firing a volley beyond Lee Grant, with shades of Luis Suarez shining through.
This set the Reds into cruise control, as they got back to winning ways with a sumptuous fightback.
TIA Man of the Match: Philippe Coutinho
Referee: Mike Dean
Stoke City: Grant; Johnson, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters; Shaqiri, Allen (Adam 27′, Ramadan 81′), Cameron, Arnautovic; Walters (Whelan 68′), Berahino
Subs not used: Given, Muniesa, Diouf, Crouch, Ramadan
Liverpool: Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold (Coutinho 46′), Matip, Klavan, Lovren, Clyne; Can, Wijnaldum, Milner; Woodburn (Coutinho 46′), Origi (Sturridge 68′)
Subs not used: Karius, Lucas, Moreno, Grujic