However, Brendan Rodgers have Phillippe Coutinho to think for securing the three points, as the Brazil international struck a magnificent late effort to down Mark Hughes’s home side.
The victory ensured that the Reds gained a measure of revenge for their last meeting with the Potters, when they were humiliated 6-1 by Stoke in the last game of the 2014-15 season.
The match marked the end of Steven Gerrard’s association with the Merseysiders, and while his absence—coupled with that of Raheem Sterling—made for something of a new Liverpool, a familiar hangover from last term remained.
After a thrilling opening weekend, this game was a disappointment, with neither team particularly seeking to rise above the malaise.
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The Reds appeared to lack both direction and inspiration—something Gerrard contributed twofold—and Coutinho’s sublime effort may only go someway to papering over the cracks for Rodgers’s listless Reds.