Liverpool’s winning streak hit a massive setback last week when they failed to grab wins on two big occasions against Sevilla and Chelsea both of which ended in painful draws for the Reds ahead of their Wednesday night trip to bet365 Stadium in a cold windy night at Stoke.
The myth itself was alarming enough for Jurgen Klopp’s men and despite struggling in recent weeks, the Potters pulled off admirable results against Arsenal and Manchester United. The game, however, proved to be a stroll in the park for Liverpool who secured a thumping 3-0 win against the Potters.
Klopp made a surprise team selection by resting two of his main men Mo Salah and Philippe Coutinho. He preferred youngster Dominic Solanke up front who made his presence known by set it up for Sadio Mane with a back-heel which the Senegalese international finished into the back of the net. The Reds should have doubled the lead but Solanke hit straight into the hands of Lee Grant despite opening up Stoke’s goal. Simon Mignolet, meanwhile, got away at the other end despite fouling Mame Biram Diouf just outside the box. Referee Martin Atkinson warned him by showing a yellow, it, however, could have been a sent off as Diouf had an empty net otherwise. Mane then missed a golden opportunity as he beat the keeper one-on-one but his effort hit the woodwork and went out of the play. An eventful first-half thus ended 1-0 in favor of the visitors.
The Potters were more purposeful and dominant in the second half, but Liverpool showed a rare defensive resilience and didn’t allow the hosts to break down the back-line. Klopp brought in league’s top-scorer Mo Salah after an hour of close encounter and the Egyptian made immediate impact when he picked up Mane’s cross and doubled the lead with a venomous volley. Salah then scored his second as he forced Erik Pieters into making a mistake and beat past the keeper with ease. Stoke had an incredible opportunity in added minutes but Diouf’s strike hit the woodwork and then he skied his effort which summed up Stoke’s night of frustration.
Liverpool grabbed a crucial win and keep chasing for a top-four spot ahead of their Brighton trip.
Stoke City vs Liverpool Lineups:
Stoke City: Lee Grant, Kurt Zouma, Ryan Shawcross, Bruno Martis Indi, Mame Biram Diouf, Joe Allen, Darren Fletcher (Charlie Adam 84′), Erik Pieters, Xherdan Shaqiri, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Jese Rodriguez 74′), Peter Crouch.
Liverpool: Simon Mignolet, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno, Emre Can, Georginio Wijnaldum, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ( James Milner 66′), Dominic Solanke (Mohamed Salah 66′), Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane (Jordan Henderson 88′).
Stoke City vs Liverpool Highlights:
Stoke City vs Liverpool Match Stats:
|Shots (on Target)||10(1)||14(7)|