Stoke City 1, Liverpool 2
Bet 365 Stadium, Stoke on Trent (27,568)
Liverpool scorers: Coutinho 70′, Firmino 72′
Stoke scorer: Walters 44′
Simon Mignolet – 9*
Two outstanding saves to rescue Liverpool’s ailing defence who continue to gift chances to the opposition.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 5.5
Wasn’t helped by those around him. A learning experience for the 18-year-old who was subbed at half-time. One great cross showed his potential.
Dejan Lovren – 4
Gifted a chance to Arnautovic and was stranded for numerous other Stoke chances, including their goal.
Joel Matip – 6
The best of a bad three.
Ragnar Klavan – 4
Outpaced by Shaquiri in the build-up to Stoke’s goal.
Nathaniel Clyne – 5
Looked lost at left wing-back. Improved in the second half when shifted to the right.
Emre Can – 7.5
One of few Liverpool players ready for the battle offered by the likes of Stoke. Effectively assisted Coutinho goal with troublesome ball into the box which Stoke couldn’t clear.
James Milner – 5
Not sure what he is these days. Played in midfield first half and left wing-back second. Didn;t do much in either position.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 6.5
Almost gifted the opposition a goal when he headed a ball back into the danger area following a corner. Still vital to the midfield. Great ball for Firmino goal.
Ben Woodburn – 6.5
The only attacking outlet in the first half. Occasionally had to take Stoke on all by himself, and unlucky not to win a penalty.
Divock Origi – 4.5
Had very few touches of the ball in the first half, though did manage a couple of shots when he did receive the ball. Didn’t take responsibility in front of Woodburn, but had little service.
The Brazilians – 8.5
Coutinho and Firmino arrived at half time to win the game for Liverpool with two brilliantly taken goals. They could be the difference between qualifying for the Champions League and not.
Daniel Sturridge – 7
Hung around on the back of the Stoke defence, allowing Coutinho space to score the equaliser. Intelligent movement and a welcome return.