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Stoke City 1, Liverpool 2: First Thoughts

A dismal first half was saved by Liverpool’s brilliant Brazilians and Mignolet’s goalkeeping heroics.

Stoke City v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Stoke City 1 Walters 44’ Liverpool 2 Coutinho 69’, Firmino 71’

  • PRE-MATCH: Well, that’s a line up, huh? Not even Firmino is fit to make it into the starting XI, and I count seven recognized defenders starting for Liverpool.
  • The game begins with a heart-stopper as Shaqiri scores earlier, but the Reds are saved by the linesman who deemed the attacker offside. This is going to be a long game.
  • Half of the pitch is shrouded in shadow. It’s the half that represents my soul.
  • It took about 13 minutes, but Liverpool have begun to find their rhythm in this unfamiliar formation, stringing some passes together and creating some attacks. Trent Alexander-Arnold continues to impress on the wing.
  • Ben Woodburn is also playing well. A long solo run down the middle of the pitch unfortunately culminates in him being alone and overrun by defenders inside of the Stoke City 18 yard box.
  • Dejan Lovren nearly scores the best assist of the season...for Stoke City, as his overhead kick is placed squarely in the path of Arnautovic, who thankfully misses the target.
  • Goal - Jonathan Walters 44’ - Liverpool have a penalty shout on one end of the pitch waved away, so of course Stoke immediately score on the other end thanks to some terrible Liverpool defending — this despite the fact that there’s like 14 Reds’ defenders currently on the pitch. This game sucks.
  • HALFTIME: In this unfamiliar formation, with inexperienced players, it was only natural to expect some difficulties. Woodburn and Alexander-Arnold looked good, though, and with Firmino, Coutinho, and Sturridge all available on the bench, Klopp has plenty of ways to change the complexion of this game in the second half.
  • Firmino and Coutinho come in for Woodburn and Alexander-Arnold to start the second half. Cross your fingers and let’s go.
  • Holy monkeys - Gini has a howler off of a Stoke City corner, and Mignolet makes an heroic save at point blank range to keep Liverpool in this.
  • Bob and Phil working together to make us look better, but still no goal yet.
  • GOAL! Coutinho 69’ - The big hitters come up big once again. Coutinho —
  • GOAL! Firmino 71’ - Before I can finish writing about that last goal, here comes Bobby with a sensational goal off the half-volley. Holy balls!
  • Mignolet is the man of the match today and proves it with another magnificent save to deny Stoke a certain goal.
  • FINAL: Big, big 3 points. Mignolet MOTM, Phil and Bobby both brilliant.

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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