Liverpool v Stoke City ratings: Milner pivotal; Shawcross lost

Date published: Tuesday 27th December 2016 7:53 - Oli Fisher

Liverpool: Record vital win over Stoke

Liverpool responded well to an early deficit, beating Stoke 4-1 to move second in the Premier League table.

Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino, a Giannelli Imbula own goal and a first Premier League goal of 2016/17 for Daniel Sturridge helped Liverpool overcome Jonathan Walters early header.

Liverpool

Simon Mignolet: Should have done a lot better with the goal, wasn’t tested after Liverpool went ahead. 5

Nathaniel Clyne: Very solid defensively for the Reds. 6

Ragnar Klavan: Has been impressive in recent weeks and again put in a very good shift after looking a little lost early on. 6

Dejan Lovren: Completely out-jumped by Walters for the goal, but an otherwise solid showing. 6

Dejan Lovren: Happy to find form again

James Milner: Always instrumental down the left side and wasn’t frightened to come into the middle. A key cog in the Red machine. 8

Jordan Henderson: Excellent movement and distribution. Showed he can do more than just simple passes, with great work for the third goal too. 8

Georginio Wijnaldum: Looked shaky under the early Stoke pressure, but grew into the game and put in a good performance, covering a lot of ground. 6

Adam Lallana: Took the equaliser very well. All over the park, always seemingly in space, and did a lot on the defensive end too. An all-round asset. 8

Sadio Mane: Should have scored himself but was involved in two goals. A constant threat with his sheer pace and power. 7

Divock Origi: Wonderful ball across the face of goal for the third, and involved in the first. Could have had a goal himself today. 7

Roberto Firmino: Great goal to make the headlines for the right reason with a goal, and had one cleared off the line. Was always busy, and when he plays well Liverpool seem to tick. 8

Roberto Firmino: Changed his game

Substitutes

Emre Can (for Lallana, 69′): Did what he was brought on to do. 7

Daniel Sturridge (for Origi, 70′): Took his goal very well. Great for him to be back scoring. 8

Alberto Moreno (for Firmino, 79′): Given time on the wing and actually looked bright. Klopp might go back to this. 7

Stoke City

Lee Grant: By no means at fault for the result, but he didn’t look as confident as recent weeks. 5

Glen Johnson: Struggled for the Lallana goal, and just generally did not impress. 5

Glen Johnson: Defender recently recalled to England squad

Ryan Shawcross: Gave Firmino acres of space for the second goal, and was at fault for the fourth. Fell apart after a good start. 4

Bruno Martins Indi: Put in hard work but looked pretty lost against such a good attack. 5

Eric Pieters: Wonderful cross for Walters’ header and looked bright in patches on the left side. 6

Glenn Whelan: Put in the challenges like usual but couldn’t control the midfield. 6

Giannelli Imbula: Could do little about his own goal. Was not a game he could really thrive in. 6

Joe Allen: Was superb early on and could have made it two. Still, a spark in the Stoke team. 6

Mame Biram Diouf: Can’t recall him doing much at all. Was taken off too late perhaps. 5

Peter Crouch: Great off-the-line clearance to deny Firmino, and caused issues for the central pairing. 6

Jonathan Walters: Trademark striker’s header for the early goal. Put himself about a lot, shame the team collapsed around him. 6

Substitutes

Ramadan Sobhi (for Whelan, 66′): Did ok replacing a tired Whelan. 6

Ibrahim Affelay (for Diouf, 75′): Should have been given more time. 6

Wilfried Bony (for Crouch, 84′): Again, maybe should have been on earlier. 6

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