Liverpool's Mané out for season & doubts over Coutinho for Stoke clash

Philippe Coutinho was not expected to travel to Stoke as Klopp had ruled him out during the week due to illness, but he was named on the bench and when he was introduced, he bagged the equaliser in a man of the match display.

"To win the game as a goalkeeper doesn't really happen too often as you don't score goals but it was something similar".

"I can imagine Stoke feels the exact opposite because they were really close to getting points today - all three or maybe one".

"At half-time I had a hard decision to make because it wasn't clear that Philippe or Roberto could play 45 minutes", Klopp said.

"It was lucky for us because of the first half but it was deserved and we are completely happy and fine with this game". His effort against Stoke on Saturday took him to 30 Premier League goals, surpassing Juninho Paulista's total for Middlesbrough.

He also has the most assists (28) and having signed a lengthy contract extension in January, is hopefully ours for the foreseeable future.

Unless Coutinho is considered fit enough to feature late on, Klopp is likely to face a formation change to accommodate Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi or could look to the club's youth prospects, Trent Alexander-Arnold or Ben Woodburn, to come in. I think the team played well, not just individuals.

"I thought a lot about it and no one understands it but that was my decision. We have to get more experience in this, for sure".

Coutinho levelled with a first-time shot before Firmino smashed the bouncing ball beyond keeper Lee Grant after Georginio Wijnaldum's pass.

"He said 'Don't give any corners away!"

"We want to fight at the top, both in England and Europe".

The 24-year-old attacker has already missed Liverpool's home clash against Bournemouth, a game in which they dropped points in a dour 2-2 draw.

"We had to change our attitude and came back fighting; we won our battles and luckily had two Brazilians on the bench who can make a difference".

The victory kept the Reds in 3rd places, increasing their point tally to 63, just five points behind 2nd placed Tottenham.

  • Salvatore Jensen