Liverpool 4-1 Stoke City player ratings: Simon Mignolet scores solid 6/10 despite error, Roberto Firmino 7, two 8s for Reds

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Liverpool started slowly and were outplayed for the opening half-hour before eventually smashing Stoke City 4-1 on Tuesday night.

A poor piece of goalkeeping by Simon Mignolet allowed Jonathan Walters to head inside his near post to put Stoke ahead on 12 minutes.

Jon Walters v Liverpool at Anfield

Mignolet went from zero to hero moments later, when he pulled off a stunning stop with his feet to prevent Joe Allen from making it 2-0.

The second goal was always going to be crucial and it went Liverpool’s way on 35 minutes. Glen Johnson chose not to clear simply, instead opting to take a touch inside his own six-yard box. Johnson’s touch was awful and it set up Adam Lallana for his fourth goal in as many games.

Stoke were rocked by the equaliser and the goal appeared to change the visitors’ mindset. They went from aggressively seeking their second goal to nervously hanging onto parity.

But the Potters could not maintain their parity for long, with Roberto Firmino putting the Reds 2-1 up just before half time.

Firmino collected the ball on the edge of the box and in three slick touches found the back of the net via deflections of both posts.

Liverpool didn’t start the second half particularly well, but they put together a neat move to go 3-1 up around the hour-mark. The ball was worked wide to Divock Origi, whose low cross was turned home by Gianelli Imbula for an own goal, with Sadio Mane hovering over his shoulder.

Daniel Sturridge then came off the bench to score Liverpool’s fourth with his first chance of the game. That chance was handed to him by Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross, who set him up with a dreadful back-pass.

Daniel Sturridge v Stoke (100th Liverpool EPL goal under Klopp)

Liverpool climb to third in the Premier League table, closing the gap on leaders Chelsea to six points.

Stoke drop one place to 13th on account of their goal difference talking a battering.

Liverpool player ratings:
Mignolet 6; Clyne 6, Lovren 6, Klavan 6, Milner 8; Henderson 7, Wijnaldum 5, Lallana 8; Firmino 7, Origi 6, Mane 7.
Subs: Can 6 (on for Lallana on 68 mins), Sturridge 7 (on for Origi on 69 mins), Moreno 6 (on for Firmino on 78 mins).

Stoke City player ratings:
Grant 5; Johnson 4, Shawcross 4, M.Indi 6, Pieters 7; Diouf 7, Allen 7, Whelan 6, Imbula 5, Walters 7; Crouch 7.
Subs: Sobhi 6( on for Whelan on 65 mins), Afellay 6 (on for Diouf on 74 mins), Bony 5 (on for Crouch on 83 mins).

More Stories Adam Lallana Daniel Sturridge Divock Origi Gianelli Imbula Glen Johnson joe allen Jonathan Walters Roberto Firmino Ryan Shawcross Sadio Mane simon mignolet