Tony Pulis praises 'best' Stoke team after beating Liverpool

By Phil McNultyBBC chief football writer at the Britannia Stadium
Pulis revels in 'fantastic' comeback

Stoke manager Tony Pulis was elated by his side's "fantastic" performance as they moved up to eighth in the Premier League with victory over Liverpool.

Pulis's side came from a goal down to run out and extend their unbeaten home league run to 16 games.

"It was a great result and a great performance," said Pulis. "The response to going a goal down was fantastic.

"It is probably the best team we have had, but we have to improve year on year at our own pace."

Rodgers blames poor defending

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard opened the scoring with an early penalty, but two strikes from Jon Walters either side of a Kenwyne Jones header took Stoke's unbeaten league run to nine games.

"I'm very, very pleased for Jon Walters," Pulis added. "He epitomises everything we do at this football club. His attitude and commitment to the group is absolutely fabulous but he is a good player as well.

"It is full credit to the players. It is a very, very good night for us.

"It is our fifth year in the Premier League and we have had to spend a lot of money on the infrastructure of the club, so we have to take a gradual approach."

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said: "We had a perfect start with our first penalty of the season. You couldn't ask for any more but we are very disappointed by how we defended.

"We have nobody to blame but ourselves - you have to defend better than that. We failed to control the game once we scored and we didn't deal with the first ball forward.

"To concede from a corner is bitterly disappointing. When you defend like that it's difficult to gain a result. It's disappointing.

"Stoke are committed to the cause. You know you get a difficult game against them, but we never took a foothold and that's disappointing. The goals were soft and we have to be better than that."

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez ended the game limping heavily with an ankle injury that has troubled him in recent weeks, but Rodgers is hopeful he will be fit for Sunday's trip to QPR.