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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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“Wasted ~100 seconds. He’s living in 2030” – Some Liverpool fans react hilariously to forward’s struggles against Napoli

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Sadio Mane liverpool

Sadio Mane could have made the game safe for Liverpool against Napoli last night. The former Southampton star had three glorious chances to give us a comfortable lead but conspired to miss or see his efforts saved.

The forward’s blushes were saved by Mohamed Salah’s striker in the first half, but Napoli could have knocked us out of the Champions League had it not been for Alisson’s wonder save in stoppage time.

Mane played a few minutes in our win over Bournemouth and looked sharp for a lot of the game, but his finishing was the subject of some ridicule by the Liverpool fans.

The Senegal international is still one of the best attackers we have, and he needs to work on his shooting ahead of our crunch clash against Manchester United on Sunday.

Although the forward wasn’t at his best, some Liverpool fans saw the funny side of his misses, and shared their reactions on Twitter.

Read more: “Worth every penny”, “Could save this country from Brexit” – Some Liverpool fans can’t believe star’s performance against Napoli

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“It is painful” – Jurgen Klopp provides injury update after 1-0 Napoli win

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Mohamed Salah scores for Liverpool

Liverpool were in the wars last night as they defeated Napoli 1-0 to progress into the knockout round of the Champions League.

Mohamed Salah got the only goal of the game in the first half, and we had Alisson to thank for keeping it that way. The Brazilian pulled off a brilliant save in stoppage time, but we should have killed off the game with Sadio Mane missing some gilt-edged chances.

Nevertheless, some Liverpool players put it all on the line at Anfield, and Jurgen Klopp spoke about the injuries to James Milner, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip.

Trent alexander Arnold Joe Gomez Liverpool

Milner and Trent had to be subbed while Matip picked up a shoulder problem later in the game. The German told Liverpoolfc.com that the right-back could have a bit of a problem while Milner was suffering from cramp.

“I’m not sure. Nobody told me anything about [Joel’s] shoulder, so hopefully that’s a good sign.

“Trent got a knock on his foot, we are not sure about what exactly it is. It is painful.

“Millie had cramps – I hope it was only cramp. That was it, I don’t know anything else.”

The Reds are stretched a bit at the back with Joe Gomez out till the New Year while Dejan Lovren only recently returned from a training injury and got a few minutes against Napoli.

Our next game is against Manchester United on Sunday, and hopefully, we have most of our players at 100%. The right-back spot will be interesting to keep an eye on as Milner could play in case Trent isn’t fit.

Read more: Alisson saves the day as Klopp’s men progress – Liverpool player ratings from 1-0 win over Napoli

The Reds should be buoyed by their performance against the Italians, and we could be in for a brilliant night at Anfield on Sunday too.

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Alisson saves the day as Klopp’s men progress – Liverpool player ratings from 1-0 win over Napoli

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Alisson saves from Arkadiusz Milik

Alisson saves brilliantly for Liverpool

Liverpool made it into the next round of the Champions League with their 1-0 win over Napoli. The Reds had to leave it till the last game of the group to ensure qualification to the knockout round, and what a night it was.

Mohamed Salah got the only goal of the game in the first half, but Napoli had their chances. Sadio Mane was the culprit as we couldn’t make the game safe, and it almost cost us late on.

The Reds finished second in the group, but more importantly, we kept the momentum and head into the Manchester United tie full of confidence.

There were several fantastic players at Anfield, and here are our player ratings.

Alisson – 9/10

The Brazilian made a huge save in stoppage time to keep Arkadiusz Milik out. We would have given him a 10 but the keeper was barely troubled in the game.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7.5/10

The right-back had some great deliveries in the final third but was troubled a lot by the Napoli attackers in the night.

Virgil van Dijk – 8.5/10

Van Dijk was booked early on for a studs-up challenge but barring that, he was excellent at the back as he kept the Napoli attack in check.

Joel Matip – 8.5/10

This possibly was the best display by the Cameroon star since his move to Anfield. Matip was rarely flustered by the Napoli attack, and his passing was top-notch as well.

Andy Robertson – 7.5/10

The Scot didn’t have his best attacking game but some of his interceptions were important. There was one moment where he let the ball past him but Jose Callejon could not take advantage.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 7.5/10

The Dutch midfielder was a little slow to start, maybe it was the occasion, but he came into the game later on.

Jordan Henderson – 7/10

The captain didn’t have a great start to the game but came into prominence in the second half as we controlled the tie.

James Milner – 7.5/10

It was great seeing Milner make some dashes to break past the Napoli defence but the Englishman had to be subbed with a slight injury.

Mohamed Salah scores for Liverpool

Mohamed Salah – 8.5/10

Salah was brilliant in the first half and his goal was a thing of beauty. He looked like he was going to cross but decided to slot the ball in between David Ospina’s legs. The Egyptian should have had a second but Ospina saved well.

Roberto Firmino – 7/10

Played as our striker in this game and took some time to adjust to Napoli’s defending. He did do well in the second half and was subbed off after running himself to the ground.

Sadio Mane – 6.5/10

Mane was frustrating in attack as he missed two clear-cut chances to score. Fortunately, the misses did not hurt us but the Senegal star needs to be more composed in front of the goal.

Substitutes

Naby Keita – 6/10

Came off the bench to give some energy and running to the side.

Fabinho – 6.5/10

The Brazilian provided some extra cover for the defence.

Read more: Liverpool interested in signing £15million-rated Premier League ace in January

Dejan Lovren – NA

Came on late in the late.

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