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Summary

  1. Liverpool go above Stoke into eighth
  2. Stoke's last league win at Anfield was in 1959
  3. Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Toure, Skrtel, Moreno; Stewart, Allen, Milner; Ojo, Sturridge, Firmino
  4. Stoke: Haugaard; Bardsley, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters; Cameron, Imbula; Shaqiri, Bojan, Afellay; Crouch

Live Reporting

By Mike Whalley

All times stated are UK

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Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Mike Henson's match report, which is far more considered than the stuff I've been chucking at you for the last two hours, is now up. Read it here. You can watch highlights of today's game on Match of the Day 2 at 22:30 BST (or 23:25 BST if you're in Scotland, where it's on after Sportscene). Thanks for joining me. Catch you again soon.

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Liverpool Stoke
#bbcfootball

Liverpool deserved the win over 90 minutes, even though Stoke caused them plenty of problems in the first half. It's worth noting that, although the visitors won more duels, they led 27-17 on that front at half-time - so Liverpool picked up on that front considerably after the break.

Pieters in the dumps

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Stoke left-back Erik Pieters, by the way, looked a little miffed when he was substituted in the second half. Mark Hughes skipped round a question about Pieters' frustrated reaction, instead preferring to explain why he made the change.

“I just made the decision that we needed to make a change," Hughes said. "They were getting joy down the left side."

'It could have become embarrassing'

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Here's more from Hughes, who is visibly struggling to contain his anger with his side's display: “It’s one of those days. When we needed to deal with things at source, we didn’t deal with that. That’s unlike us, we’re normally very resolute.

"Once goals go in, it becomes difficult. It could have become embarrassing for us. It was damage limitation in the end.

“Today’s result has hurt us obviously. We allowed Liverpool to go above us and teams around us are picking up points. But when we have a setback, we almost always bounce back, and we need to do that."

'We didn't acquit ourselves well enough'

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Stoke manager Mark Hughes, speaking to BBC Sport: “We didn’t deal with situations where balls were put into our box. I was reasonably happy with the first half performance, even though we were behind. But we kept on letting ourselves down by not switching on when the ball went dead. That led to goals. It was a difficult day, where we didn’t acquit ourselves well enough."

On the absence of injured midfielder Glenn Whelan: "We were a little shorthanded and lightweight in midfield when we need to get a foothold. We need to get the ball off players in key areas."

'We're conceding too many goals'

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross, speaking to Sky Sports: "We conceded two sloppy goals in the first half, but we were probably the better team. Then, within 20 minutes of the restart, we were 4-1 down and the game had gone. We conceded goals at crucial times. 

"It is frustrating. It was bad defending. We have to work on it. We’re conceding too many goals. We knew they’d change the team, because they have Europa League commitments and we hoped to take advantage. But they were too good for us.

“We won’t give up on Europe. There are a lot of points to play for and we hope we can finish on a high."

'Origi and Sturridge can play together'

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Here's more from Klopp - on his decision to make seven changes: "We had to rest players today. We needed fresh legs. We needed to be greedy and not think a single per cent about it being another game. I'm really happy."

On the defending for Stoke's equaliser: "We watched the Stoke goal at half-time because we wondered what we did wrong. It was a foul on Martin Skrtel. A block - more than a block."

And on the performance of Divock Origi: "Divock is still a young lad. We have to be patient. He can play together with Daniel. There's absolutely no doubt about that. We hope it stays like this that we have two strikers available like this because we have a big number of games to go."

'It was a smart performance'

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is bouncing as he walks in to speak to Match of the Day's Conor McNamara: "Today, I'm really proud. We made changes and it was a completely new formation,. I'm sure the players have never played together before in this line-up.

"Stoke played 70 to 80% long balls to Peter Crouch, and you have to be tuned into that. We were quickly tuned after a half-session on the training ground yesterday. It was a smart performance."

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Totum: Whisper it quietly but Klopp's Liverpool are going in the right direction. I hope now that the M6 is moving in any direction...

From my own experiences of trying to drive between Manchester and Birmingham, the M6 rarely moves in any direction...

'That was very satisfying'

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

There's a mildly-confusing post-match interview with Divock Origi for the Premier League's international television audience. The striker is asked if he meant to score his second goal, or whether he was intending to cross the ball for Daniel Sturridge.

Origi seems to misunderstand the question, thinking he is being asked about playing alongside Sturridge. "You have to play as a team," he says. "That's our strong point, you have to play as a team."

Anyway, Origi is a happy man. "That was very satisfying. It's never easy to play against Stoke but we showed we had a lot of qualities.

"I'm never satisfied with my own play, but I'm happy. It's nice to play and score. I'm learniing and enjoying my football."

And what about the Europa League return against Borussia Dortmund on Thursday? "It's very important," he says. "It's a very good competition, the Europa League. We have to do everything to get to the end."

FULL-TIME

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Comprehensive. Jurgen Klopp walks on to the field to congratulate his players. There are big hugs for Kolo Toure and Alberto Moreno. A much-changed Liverpool side get a win that moves them above Stoke into eighth, and puts everyone at Anfield in a good frame of mind for the big one on Thursday.

Jurgen Klopp
Reuters

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Peter Crouch almost has the last word. Mame Biram Diouf battles on the edge of the area, and the ball drops for the former England forward, whose first-time shot is deflected wide. The resulting corner comes to nought.

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Liverpool fancy a fifth. Lucas Leiva slides in to dispossess Geoff Cameron, and the ball is worked via Daniel Sturridge to Adam Lallana, who sights goal from 20 yards. Ryan Shawcross, who picked up a silly booking a few moments ago, atones with an excellent block.

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Stoke have long since shuddered to a standstill here. Phil Bardsley lifts a cross from the right in towards Peter Crouch, but the striker looks disheartened as he goes for the cross, and Simon Mignolet is off his line to make a comfortable catch.

YELLOW CARD

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Ryan Shawcross has had a tough afternoon on his return from injury, and it's showing now. Divock Origi beats the Stoke captain for pace down the left; and as Shawcross puts the ball out for a throw near the corner flag, he has a little kick out at Origi's ankles and is booked.

Stoke make their final change, meanwhile, with Marc Muniesa on for Erik Pieters.

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JdeSatge: Leicester walking away with the league, Stoke concede 3 in a game to crosses... how times have changed.  

SUBSTITUTION

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Jurgen Klopp makes his third and final change. Lucas Leiva, who has not played because of a hamstring problem since the League Cup final at the end of February, comes on to warm applause, replacing Joe Allen.

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Peter Crouch hasn't had much fun on his return to Anfield, particularly in the second half. The striker's frustration perhaps gets the better of him as he goes in late and fouls James Milner. It's a free-kick and nothing more, and rightly.

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

BBC Merseyside Sport

Ex-Liverpool midfielder David Thompson at Anfield

"Kevin Stewart has mopped up very well in the second half, picking up loose balls and restarting attacks. I think the debutant has been good in the second half." 

SUBSTITUTION

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Two changes for Stoke. Mame Biram Diouf and Joselu are on for Xherdan Shaqiri and Bojan Krkic. Mark Hughes said before kick-off that Joselu didn't start the game today because he's been ill.

Bojan Krkic is substituted
Reuters

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Some Grand National news just in: Liverpool assistant manager Zeljko Buvac won the club sweepstake on Saturday. Buvac, having picked out Rule The World, will be feeling just as gleeful as I did when I got Monty's Pass in the Bolton Evening News' office National sweepstake in 2003. £20, I won. Soon spent it, though.

Jurgen Klopp picked out 100-1 shot Vics Canvas, which came third.

Zeljko Buvac
Getty Images

Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Little time to draw breath, as Stoke playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri aims a bouncing volley towards goal from 25 yards. Simon Mignolet scrambles across goal, as the effort travels just wide.

GOAL - Liverpool 4-1 Stoke

Divock Origi (65 mins)

He's having quite a week is Divock Origi. One goal on Thursday, two today. The forward takes on Phil Bardsley down the left flank and whips in a ball towards Sturridge - but it's so good, that it sails behind his team-mate and into the far corner.

Liverpool celebrate
Reuters

SUBSTITUTION

Liverpool 3-1 Stoke

Jurgen Klopp makes his second change: Adam Lallana is on for Roberto Firmino, who has looked lively. I think there's a element of wanting to keep players fresh for Thursday's Europa League return against Borussia Dortmund in that substitution.

Adam Lallana replaces Roberto Firmino
Reuters

Liverpool 3-1 Stoke

More slick Liverpool attacking play. Daniel Sturridge's exquisite backheel finds Alberto Moreno marauding down the left. The cross finds Divock Origi eight yards out - but the Belgium international glances wide. His head drops to meet his hands.

Liverpool 3-1 Stoke

Liverpool may be vulnerable at the back, but they are sharp going forward. Some great interplay involving Milner, Sturridge and Clyne sees the ball worked out to Roberto Firmino on the right, and his cross-shot towards the near post needs turning behind by Jakob Haugaard.

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Loveoffootball: Klopp steadily building his team creeping under the radar. Next season Liverpool will be a force with a few additions.

Liverpool 3-1 Stoke

BBC Merseyside Sport

Ex-Liverpool midfielder David Thompson at Anfield

"Fourteen appearances and seven goals is decent return for Divock Origi's first season at the club.

"I'm not saying he couldn't miss, but it would have been difficult.

"He showed good movement to get free and put away the header with some power. The manager has showed confidence in him and that is evident in the way that Origi is playing".

Liverpool 3-1 Stoke

Not that Liverpool look any more assured when defending set-pieces. Xherdan Shaqiri lofts one towards the penalty spot, Geoff Cameron gets free to loop a header goalwards, and Simon Mignolet arches backwards to flip the ball over.

Liverpool 3-1 Stoke

Stoke's back line is now wobbling like a poorly assembled wardrobe in a stiff breeze. Erik Pieters dillies and dallies in the left-back position, and Roberto Firmino smells opportunity. The full-back's attempted clearance rebounds off Firmino and spins just over.

Stoke look dejected
Reuters

GOAL - Liverpool 3-1 Stoke

Divock Origi (50 mins)

Well, what do I know? An inspired substitution! James Milner works a short corner with Daniel Sturridge as Stoke switch off. The midfielder's cross from the right finds Divock Origi as free as he could possibly be. Smart headed finish, hopeless defending. Liverpool in control.

Divock Origi celebrates with Daniel Sturridge
EPA

KICK-OFF

Liverpool 2-1 Stoke

A change for Liverpool at the break. Divock Origi is on for Sheyi Ojo - we're told it's a tactical switch. A little bit surprised that Ojo has been taken off; he had a good first half.

Sheyi Ojo
Reuters

Liverpool 2-1 Stoke

Liverpool Stoke
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The 'duels won' stat is an interesting one there, I'd suggest. Certainly, Liverpool's defence is looking vulnerable in the air against Peter Crouch.

Liverpool 2-1 Stoke

BBC Merseyside Sport

Ex-Liverpool midfielder David Thompson at Anfield

"You can see from the way that the players are shooting from distance that the wind must be quite strong down there.

"I think that Peter Crouch was nearly blown over."

Peter Crouch
AFP/GETTY

HALF-TIME

Liverpool 2-1 Stoke

Anfield holds its breath right at the end of the half as Sheyi Ojo jinks his way across the face of the penalty area, looking for the space to shoot. Phil Bardsley sticks with him though, and the gap isn't quite there. An entertaining finish to a bright 45 minutes, in which Ojo has done his prospects no harm at all.

Liverpool 2-1 Stoke

One minute of stoppage time to add on. We're playing it now.

Liverpool 2-1 Stoke

Stoke paid a club-record £18m to buy Giannelli Imbula from Porto at the end of the last transfer window, and the midfielder gives us a glimpse as to why. He plays himself into space just outside the penalty area with a burst of speed and thumps in a left-foot shot that Simon Mignolet doesn't even attempt to hold, punching the ball clear instead.

Giannelli Imbula
PA

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James Hanson: I know Vardy and Kane are flavour of the month, but you can't deny Daniel Sturridge's underlying class.

Liverpool 2-1 Stoke

...Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross goes close with a great chance to equalise, getting in at the near post to flick Xherdan Shaqiri's free-kick across goal and wide.

Liverpool 2-1 Stoke

Three goals in a little over half-an-hour then. Everton manager Roberto Martinez, whose team visit Anfield in the league a week on Wednesday, is watching from the main stand, and would no doubt approve of the positive attacking play on show. Mind you, the defending from both sides has been a bit Evertonesque too. And as if to prove the point...