Coutinho, Firmino score as Liverpool fight back to see off Stoke
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 09, 2017,
Apr 09, 2017, 10:56
They're a tough team to break down under normal circumstances, but with Liverpool struggling to get the job done against teams from below the Top 6 and still exhausted (and maybe demoralized) from the home draw against Bournemouth, today's clash at Stoke-On-Trent looked to be a trap for the Reds.
Emre Can's cross fell into Coutinho's path in the centre of the penalty area, and he finished accurately into the bottom corner to level in the 70th.
Firmino let fly with a brilliant volley that gave Lee Grant no chance and, although Simon Mignolet had to deny Saido Berahino his first Stoke goal, Klopp's men held on for a priceless victory.
Liverpool have picked up 16 points out of the last 18 available and are six games unbeaten, cementing third place on a day when top-four rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City also won.
Mignolet made a comfortable save from Marko Arnautovic after 28 minutes and the Austrian then hit the side netting from inside the box after Dejan Lovren's mishit clearance looped up kindly.
Klopp, who had said in midweek that Coutinho would not even travel with the Liverpool team to Stoke, praised the Brazilians, who replaced youngsters Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold at the break.
Stoke should have extended their lead when Georginio Wijnaldum headed the ball into the danger zone, but Mignolet did well to block Adam's effort with his legs.
Coutinho not only played, he came up big.
Stoke nearly made it 2-0 in the 51st minute when an bad header from Wijnaldum obliged goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to foil Adam from point-blank range.
Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson is of the opinion that Sadio Mane is the only irreplaceable player in the Reds squad.
- Coutinho has scored more Premier League goals this season than he has in any other previous campaign (9).
Jonathan Walters's header - his seventh league goal against Liverpool - from Xherdan Shaqiri's cross put Stoke 1-0 up shortly before half-time at the Bet365 Stadium.
"That second half we did really well, we were cool, played football finally, and created chances, but of course we needed Simon".