If you could pick one game which sums up Simon Mignolet as a goalkeeper, last night would be as good as any. Since earning back his spot from Loris Karius, he’s had two clean sheets on the bounce with strong and assured performances against Middlesbrough and Everton.
However, that streak of not conceding ended in the 12th minute of action last night, when Mignolet was beaten to the near post on a header he probably should have had covered.
"We knew against Stoke it's never easy, you have to get through the game, and we did really well,” Mignolet said to liverpoolfc.com.
"The longer the season goes on, other teams will try to set up in a different way and look for [weaknesses].
"Stoke went direct with [Peter] Crouch up front and then off him Jonathan Walters, and in the first 20 minutes we struggled with that.
"But after that we dealt with it, got through the game, scored our goals, played our football, and you could see how good we are."
Of course, Mignolet was not solely culpable for the mistake; Sadio Mané, Nathanial Clyne, and Dejan Lovren all played their part in conceding.
More comical defending created a golden opportunity for Stoke to double their lead, but this time Mignolet was up to the challenge, getting down quickly to deny Wee Joe Allen.
The save proved to be the turning point of the match, and the last decent chance Stoke saw for the rest of the evening.
"[I was] pleased with that, to help the team in that moment. Joe has been scoring goals for Stoke so it was good to keep it out.
"After that we scored the goal for 1-1 which changes the game and that's really important."
It seemed unlikely, given the way the opening minutes had unfolded, but it was all one-way traffic for Liverpool from that point forward. Before the end of the half Adam Lallana equalized, and Roberto Firmino used both posts to give the hosts the halftime lead. And there was no looking back from that point.
Mignolet was quick to give plaudits to Liverpool’s stout attacking force, crediting it with giving the whole side confidence.
"If you've got goals in your side, it makes it easier to win games. The last three games we've only conceded one goal, so that's a plus as well.
"If you then have the ability to score any time or at any stage in the game. We know there's always going to be goals in the game and that gives a lot of confidence, even when you go behind like today.
"[You know] to not let your head drop and know there are still chances to be taken and goals to be scored."
Some teams get their confidence from their defensive solidity. Not us. It might have been a typical performance from Mignolet—with the good and bad fully on display—but it was good enough to secure all three points. The Liverpool Clean Sheet™ (only conceding one goal) is alive and well.