Liverpool put in a strong display at Anfield against Stoke, as the Potters were dispatched, in a 4-1 victory. Jon Walters gave Stoke an early lead before Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino sent Liverpool into the break the happier side.
A Gianelli Imbula own goal and Daniel Sturridge’s first Premier League goal of the season ensured that the Reds spread festive cheer all around Anfield.
Stoke did trouble the Reds in the opening 20 minutes, but Jurgen Klopp’s men soon asserted their dominance to come away with the three points.
Here’s how each player fared:
Simon Mignolet – 6/10
He would have felt he should have done better than to just meekly palm Walters’s header into the goal. He made a crucially brilliant save off Joe Allen to prevent Liverpool from going 2-0 down.
Nathaniel Clyne – 6/10
He was steady defensively. He could have done more offensively. Basically, just another day in the office for Clyne.
Dejan Lovren – 5/10
In the first-half, we saw the Lovren we never want to see. He was uncertain, he was getting bullied and he was making terrible decisions. He improved in the second-half, but that was felt more due to Stoke being as awful as they were.
Ragnar Klavan – 6/10
He was bullied by Walters early in the first-half. But he kept his wits about him after that and played some incisive forward passes. With Lovren all over the place, it was important that Klavan stayed calm, and he did.
James Milner – 8/10
He made more tackles than any other Liverpool player on the pitch. Going forward, he looked more dangerous than he has in recent games. It was a terrific workmanlike performance and he even got himself an assist.
Jordan Henderson – 7/10
He had a good game. Most notably, there was far more adventure in Henderson’s passing. One cross-field pass to Clyne in the second-half stood out.
Gini Wijnaldum – 6/10
It was a typically energetic performance from Wijnaldum. He was strong, both on and off the ball. Defensively, he tracked Allen pretty well and got into terrific attacking positions. In the second-half, he was about to pull the trigger on a good chance and had it taken away from him by Lallana.
Adam Lallana – 8/10
In the absence of Coutinho, Lallana has well and truly taken over the mantle of being the chief creative player in this team. He’s been terrific in the last few weeks and after a quiet derby, he was back in his element today. It was a stunning finish to put us back level, as he put it home from a seemingly impossible angle.
Sadio Mane – 6/10
After the high of the derby, Mane was rather quiet. He should have isolated Pieters more than he did. His touches were rather off the pace as well. He will have better games than this through the season.
Roberto Firmino – 7/10
After a difficult Christmas, Firmino got himself on the scoresheet for the first time since Coutinho’s injury. He played really well too. There were some terrific touches in attacking areas, and he pressed like his life depended on it.
Divock Origi – 7/10
Again, Origi had a good game. He wasn’t afraid to get into a physical battle against Shawcross and Martins Indi and he combined really well with Lallana, Firmino and Mane.
Daniel Sturridge – 7/10
Merry Christmas, Daniel!
Emre Can – 6/10
He came in and did well in helping us keep the ball.
Alberto Moreno – N/A
It would have been brilliant if that acrobatic effort had gone in.