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Full Time: Stoke City 0-3 Liverpool

Liverpool clinched an emphatic 3-0 victory over Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium on Wednesday night, to move closer to the top four in the Premier League.  

Jurgen Klopp decided to rotate his squad ahead of the game, recalling the likes of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, while handing a start to Dominic Solanke in the attack. And they were ahead as early as the 17th minute when Mane dinked the ball over Lee Grant to hand the Reds the lead.

Leading goalscorer in the league, Mohamed Salah was left on the bench but made an immediate impact when he was brought on, scoring the second goal for the Merseysiders, volleying home from a Mane cross, before scoring a second, six minutes later with a cool finish to seal the three points for his team.

The win sees them move to 5th place in the table, two points off fourth-placed Arsenal. And here’s how the Liverpool players fared on the night:

Liverpool Player Ratings

Simon Mignolet – 5/10 

Should have been sent off for hacking down Mame Diouf outside the box and was extremely lucky to have stayed on the pitch. Did well otherwise though. 

Joe Gomez – 7.5/10 

Defended well against the threat of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and was industrious going forward as well, with his clever cutback eventually leading to the opener. 

Joel Matip – 6/10 

Had one nervy moment when he lost the ball near the half-time mark, but coped fairly well with the high balls that Stoke pumped in.  

Dejan Lovren – 7/10 

Enjoyed a strong return the starting XI, keeping Peter Crouch under wraps and winning everything in the air.  

Alberto Moreno – 6/10 

The Spaniard had a tough time dealing with the threat of Xherdan Shaqiri, but stuck to his task well and made some strong challenges.  

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6.5/10 

Combined well with Gomez in the right-side channel leading to the opener and kept it solid in the middle of the park. Booked. 

Emre Can – 6.5/10 

Started off solidly, getting himself into good defensive positions, but seemed to lose focus for a short period when he got booked. Gathered himself back well.  

Gini Wijnaldum – 6/10 

Solid if not spectacular from the Dutchman. Made an important block to stop Darren Fletcher’s goal-bound effort and did little wrong.

Sadio Mane – 8/10 

Opened the scoring with a clever dink over the Stoke keeper, before setting Salah up for the second. Could have had a second, but hit the post.  

Roberto Firmino – 6/10 

Did not enjoy the same success as Mane, on his return to the XI. Was quiet for most parts of the game and offered little in terms of goal threat.

Dominic Solanke – 8/10 

A fine showing from the youngster on his full Premier League debut. Got an assist and could have had another one, as he also had a great opportunity score. However, hr fired that effort straight at the goalkeeper. Effective display.  

Substitutes 

James Milner – 6/10 

On for the Ox in the 66th minute. Solidified the midfield. 

Mohamed Salah – 8/10 

That’s how you make an impact. Coming on for Solanke in the 66th minute, Salah scored two in six minutes to take his tally to 17 for the season. Just brilliant.  

Jordan Henderson – N/A 

Came on in stoppage time. 

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Liverpool create history: Five talking points from emphatic 3-0 win over Southampton

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Liverpool looked comfortable in their 3-0 win over Southampton as we scored all our goals in the first half.

Xherdan Shaqiri was instrumental in two of our goals as Wesley Hoedt opened the scoring by slotting into his own net.

Joel Matip made it two from a corner before Shaqiri’s free-kick was tapped in by Mohamed Salah after it came off the post.

The win made it six out of six in the Premier League and kept up our relentless pace at the top of the table.

Our next game is the Carabao Cup clash against Chelsea and here are the five talking points from the win at Anfield.

1) Back the Shaq

The Swiss star got his first start for the Reds and he was brilliant. The former Stoke City attacker was all over Southampton like a bad rash and his shot in the first half was deflected into the net by Hoedt.

The 26-year-old played an advanced role just behind the front three and his movement was key to unlocking the Saints’ defence a number of times.

Shaqiri will have more difficult games in the future but the Swiss attacker will be an important player for us this season, especially when we are up against some teams that sit back and defend deep.

2) Liverpool don’t get out of second gear

Although the first half was great from the Reds, we didn’t really rip Southampton to shreds as we have done to some of the lower-ranked sides.

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino had chances to score more goals and make it look like a tennis score but this Liverpool side is still not as fluid as last season’s.

The recent game against PSG certainly had a role to play in our sluggishness. Our game management was great though, as the Saints didn’t trouble us and the best of the Reds is yet to come this season.

3) History made once again

Liverpool made more history after this win as we recorded our best-ever start to a season. Seven wins in seven games is no laughing matter and we have faced some tough teams such as PSG and Tottenham.

The Reds have looked brilliant this season and we all want that one thing missing in our trophy cabinet and hopefully, we will have another historic moment to speak about at the end of the season.

4) Van Dijk and Gomez are stars

Our attack is one of the best in the world but our defence is also slowly getting there. It was a surprise seeing Joel Matip start as he could have done with the minutes in midweek against Chelsea.

Virgil van Dijk

Van Dijk was great though and he kept things tight at the back before being replaced by Gomez.

Changing a defensive pairing with a young player after half-time would have been a concern for us a few years ago.

However, Gomez isn’t any young player and the Englishman was rock-solid after coming on. The youngster didn’t make a single mistake in the game and has only gotten better this season.

5) Another clean sheet for Liverpool

Liverpool started the season with three clean sheets and made it a fourth of the season after conceding goals in their last three clashes.

The defence wasn’t tested and Alisson made his first save of the game only in stoppage time.

Read more: Chelsea superstar will think about joining Liverpool after being requested by fan

This makes it seven clean sheets in a row at Anfield, which is an incredible feat, given that we weren’t the tightest defence a couple of years ago.

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“Legend”, “Never leave” – Some Liverpool fans want star to extend stay after brilliant start

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James Milner

James Milner is playing like a 20-year-old this season and that has helped us to an incredible start.

Liverpool are perfect and even recorded a fantastic 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. The recent win against Southampton helped the Reds record 7 successive wins. But amidst it all, Milner has been a solid force.

The Englishman scored a penalty against PSG and has two goals and two assists to his name this season. The 32-year-old has been one of our best players and his form has kept out the likes of Fabinho and even Jordan Henderson at times.

The former Manchester City and Leeds United man is a thorough professional and he recently tweeted an image before the Reds’ game against the Saints.

A number of fans showed their support to the Englishman and a few even wanted Liverpool to present him a new contract.

Read more: “It’s disgraceful and it doesn’t represent our Egyptian fans” – Official supporters group issues support to Liverpool star

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“Imperious performance”, “Already a better career than Charlie Adam” – Some Liverpool fans go crazy after brilliant first-half by summer signing

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Liverpool handed Xherdan Shaqiri his first start of the season and the Swiss star did a pretty good job against Southampton.

The former Stoke attacker was given a free role in the midfield and he got us going with a hand in two goals. The Swiss star only got 45 minutes on the pitch before he was replaced by James Milner but he looked fantastic.

Apart from pressurizing the opposition into losing the ball, the attacker’s passing was spot on as well. The 26-year-old’s shot in the first half was turned into the net by Wesley Hoedt. He then came up with a wonderful free-kick that cannoned off the crossbar for Mohamed Salah to tap in.

The 26-year-old should receive more starts and some fans loved his performance, even though he didn’t get a goal.

Read more: Liverpool target dreams of meeting NBA legend LeBron James

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