Liver­pool come roar­ing back to de­mol­ish Stoke

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

A fine fin­ish by Roberto Firmino helped Liver­pool to come roar­ing back from be­hind and beat Stoke City 4-1 as they re­claimed sec­ond place in the Premier League ta­ble yesterday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were rat­tled for a spell af­ter Jonathan Wal­ters headed Stoke into an early lead at An­field, but Adam Lal­lana re­stored par­ity be­fore Brazil­ian striker Firmino net­ted with a minute of the first half re­main­ing. A Gian­nelli Im­bula own goal and a first Premier League goal of the sea­son for Daniel Stur­ridge in the sec­ond half put the seal on a third straight vic­tory for the Reds, who are still un­beaten at An­field this sea­son.

The win al­lowed the Reds to move back to within six points of Premier League lead­ers Chelsea as they moved back above Manch­ester City, who they host at An­field on New Year’s Eve. With­out a win in four games, Stoke are 13th.

Klopp stuck with the same team that had beaten Mid­dles­brough and Ever­ton away in their last two out­ings as Si­mon Mig­no­let was again pre­ferred to Loris Kar­ius in goal. The Bel­gian had kept clean sheets in each of these games but he was beaten here inside 12 min­utes as Stoke stunned the home fans.

Erik Pi­eters was quicker onto a loose ball than ei­ther Sa­dio Mane or Nathaniel Clyne just out­side the area and his cross from the left was met by Wal­ters at the near post. Mig­no­let got a touch to his header but could not keep it out.

Stoke were the last vis­it­ing team to win at An­field when they beat Liver­pool 1-0 in the League Cup semi-fi­nal, sec­ond leg, back in Jan­uary-al­though they even­tu­ally lost on penal­ties that night.

Their boss Mark Hughes had never won away to Liver­pool as a man­ager in the Premier League but Stoke had their hosts on the ropes for a while af­ter go­ing in front.

Back at An­field for the first time since leav­ing Liver­pool in the close sea­son, Joe Allen en­gi­neered him­self space in the box be­fore see­ing his shot saved by Mig­no­let as Stoke al­most dou­bled their lead. There were groans com­ing from the Kop but Firmino lifted the home fans in the crowd of over 53,000 when his shot was blocked on the line by Peter Crouch and the equaliser then ar­rived af­ter 34 min­utes.

Glen John­son ap­peared to want to con­trol the ball inside his own six-yard area and Lal­lana pounced to tuck a low shot from a tight an­gle be­tween goal­keeper Lee Grant and the near post and in for his sev­enth goal of the sea­son.

Boosted by that, Liver­pool ended the first half on top and they went in front just prior to the in­ter­val, Firmino col­lect­ing a James Mil­ner pass in the box, tak­ing a touch to con­trol and an­other to tee him­self up be­fore fir­ing across Grant and in off both posts.

It was a sixth goal of the sea­son for him and came three days af­ter he had been ar­rested and charged for drink driv­ing in the cen­tre of Liver­pool.

Mane al­most made it 3-1 sec­onds later with a shot that slid just wide but Liver­pool ran away with the game in the sec­ond half. Their third goal ar­rived just be­fore the hour mark, as Divock Origi latched onto a Jor­dan Hen­der­son pass and de­liv­ered a low ball in from the left that Im­bula turned into his own net un­der pres­sure from Mane.

Stur­ridge had been on the field a mat­ter of sec­onds in place of Origi when he broke his duck for the sea­son.

Pounc­ing on a care­less blind back-pass by Ryan Shawcross, the Eng­land striker’s first touch took him round Grant be­fore he rolled the ball in to com­plete the vic­tory. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.