Coutinho and Firmino seal points for Liverpool at Stoke

Liverpool's two Brazilian attackers came off the bench to turn this game on it's head as the Reds came from behind to beat Stoke City 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium this afternoon.

But a halftime double change from Jurgen Klopp turned the match on its head and fostered Liverpool's expectations of Champions League qualification, with Coutinho and Firmino introduced in the period. The Reds are third in the English Premier League table with seven games left.

As for Coutinho and Firmino, Klopp justified his decision to leave them out of his starting XI by pointing to the figures he had received from Liverpool's sports science department, saying "this was the moment when each alarm clock was ringing for both".

"I don't think we have a lot (of injuries) because of intensity".

"We've just gone through a hard period in terms of fixtures, playing Man City, Chelsea, Leicester, Burnley with their home record, and Liverpool".

"Roberto said "I'm really done" after two games for Brazil".

"The way we understood it, the possibility was pretty high that we'd have had to change after 30 minutes".

The Potters nearly fought back, however, with Simon Mignolet producing a superb save to thwart Saido Berahino.

"We needed Simon Mignolet with two outstanding saves, the second one [from Berahino] was one of the best I have ever seen - the save of the year", the German said post-match. "You can't expect your goalkeeper to make saves like this each week but it was like scoring a goal".

"They were all over the place in the first half".

"It's not about them".

Stoke have slipped to 13th after a fourth successive defeat but their eight-point cushion to the relegation zone should be enough to keep them from falling into further trouble.

"It could have been the ideal result but unfortunately between flawless and hard to accept - sometimes it is only a second".

Liverpool's Ben Woodburn was presented with a good chance when he dispossessed Joe Allen in the middle of the park and should have ran through on goal - but was eventually hounded out by Stoke as they got numbers back behind the ball. They haven't had much luck in recent weeks, having lost three on the trot to Chelsea, Leicester and Burnley, but they managed to hold City to a draw at the Etihad a month ago.

  • Julie Sanders