Liverpool took one step closer to qualifying for the Champions League by defeating Stoke City 2-1.
There were a few raised eyebrows when the lineups were released, with Jurgen Klopp opting to leave Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho on the bench. It looked to be a seriously questionable decision when the home side took the lead. Jon Walters headed home past Simon Mignolet from close range to give the Potters the advantage on the stroke of half-time. Click here to see Walters’ opener.
Klopp was forced into action at half-time and both Firmino and Coutinho were introduced. The latter made an immediate impact, finding the bottom corner of the Stoke City net to draw his side level. It was Coutinho’s third goal in as many games. You can see his goal by clicking here.
Soon after, Liverpool were in the lead, and it was Firmino who got the goal. The ball bounced up invitingly for the Brazilian, and he rifled it home into the back of the net on the half-volley. It was a stunning goal from Firmino, and well worth a watch – click here to see it.
It proved to be enough to secure Liverpool the points, and what a big three points they could be in their quest to finish in the top four. Here are our player ratings for both sides:
Stoke City player ratings: Grant 6, Johnson 6, Shawcross 7, Martins Indi 7, Pieters 5, Shaqiri 4, Cameron 6, Allen 3, Arnautovic 5, Walters 7, Berahino 5. (Subs: Adam 5, Whelan 6, Sobhi 6.
Liverpool player ratings: Mignolet 7, Lovren 6, Matip 6, Klavan 6, Alexander-Arnold 5, Wijnaldum 5, Can 6, Milner 5, Clyne 5, Woodburn 4, Origi 5. (Subs: Coutinho 8, Firmino 8, Sturridge 6)