Klopp's Brazilian masterstroke seals 'massive' win at Stoke
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 09, 2017,
Apr 09, 2017, 4:28
Erik Pieters was adjudged to have fouled Woodburn inside the Stoke penalty area but referee Mike Dean dismissed the appeals, allowing the hosts to break forward as Xherdan Shaqiri picked out the unmarked Jon Walters, who headed in his seventh career goal against the Merseysiders. First Coutinho levelled the scores after a Stoke defensive blunder before Firmino put the visitors ahead with a sensational individual effort.
This, though, is the first time Klopp will manage Liverpool in a league game at the bet365 - his only other time doing so coming in the semi-finals of the League Cup last season.
Coutinho equalised with a low shot 20 minutes from time and less than three minutes later Firmino scored a superb lob to seal victory and boost Liverpool's chances of finishing in the Premier League's top four.
The Reds boss has stressed the midfielder's struggle will only make it hard for him to select his starting XI for Stoke City (8 April) as Liverpool are battling with injuries.
The last meeting between the two teams in December was even more dramatic, resulting in an incredible 4-3 Bournemouth win after Liverpool led 3-1 and Eddie Howe's side looked set to provide stern opposition once again, as they raced into an early lead when Benik Afobe capitalised on an very bad Georginio Wijnaldum error.
Mane joined Liverpool on 34 million Euro from Southampton.
Second-half substitutes Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino led the way for an important Liverpool win.
Stoke could have earned a point just minutes later had it not been for Simon Mignolet's wonderful save to deny Sadio Berahino his first goal in over a year.
Coutinho, forced off in Wednesday's draw against Bournemouth after being sick at half-time, is a major doubt for Saturday's trip to Stoke leaving Klopp with a major selection headache. The Potters have lost their last three league games and are yet to beat any of the sides in the top seven this season.
The Liverpool boss appears to be playing Nathaniel Clyne and James Milner as wing-backs, while Ben Woodburn is given a run-out.
Klopp, whose side travel to Stoke at the weekend, told a news conference: "Sadio needs surgery".
"Adam Lallana is much better but isn't yet back training".
Walters missed the recent Burnley defeat due to a concussion, but he made a timely return to the fold here.
It was a patched-up Liverpool but one in the second half which pulsated with the defiance of their manager.