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:
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.
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.
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.
Enjoyed a strong return the starting XI, keeping Peter Crouch under wraps and winning everything in the air.
The Spaniard had a tough time dealing with the threat of Xherdan Shaqiri, but stuck to his task well and made some strong challenges.
Combined well with Gomez in the right-side channel leading to the opener and kept it solid in the middle of the park. Booked.
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.
Solid if not spectacular from the Dutchman. Made an important block to stop Darren Fletcher’s goal-bound effort and did little wrong.
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.
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.
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.
On for the Ox in the 66th minute. Solidified the midfield.
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.
Came on in stoppage time.