Sadio Mane: Liverpool Forward Ruled Out For Rest Of Season
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 10, 2017,
Apr 10, 2017, 11:24
The win - Liverpool's first on the road this year - is a much needed boost in their bid to claim a top-four place as they move nine points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal, although Arsene Wenger's side have three games in hand over their rivals.
Coutinho equalised with 20 minutes to play before, two minutes later, Georginio Wijnaldum released Firmino to slam a stunning victor home from just outside the box. Meanwhile, Stoke's fourth consecutive loss means they drop to 13th, eight points above the drop zone. Coutinho had been ill and Firmino was rested due to fatigue.
Xherdan Shaqiri made an instant impact as he returned to action for the first time since January to cross for Walters to give Stoke the lead with a near post header right before halftime.
Had it gone in, Liverpool would have been 2-0 down and it would have been a seriously uphill struggle.
Stoke forced the next chance, a low 20-yard drive from Marco Arnautovic that Simon Mignolet gathered at the second attempt, and the Austrian then slashed a volley into the side-netting.
Away at Stoke was probably our most hard remaining game but our next one isn't that much easier - West Brom.
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp raised some eyebrows with his team selection, starting youngsters Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Woodburn, while Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho remained on the bench.
Was Simon Mignolet Liverpool's MOTM at Stoke?
Visiting centre-back Ragan Klavan escaped a second booking in the 63nd minute when he blocked off Shaqiri after the Switzerland global turned inside him. Jon Walters missed the Burnley game due to concussion so he could return and the Republic of Ireland striker does enjoy playing against Liverpool, having scored six league goals against them.
70' - GOAL - Coutinho grabs the equaliser for Liverpool!
Then Firmino lashed an unstoppable shot past Grant from the edge of the box after Wijnaldum's long ball over the top dropped perfectly for him.
However, Klopp insisted that his side are indebted to Mignolet, who - after denying Charlie Adam earlier on - produced a stunning save to prevent Saido Berahino tucking in a maiden Stoke goal late on.