Not the result that anyone would have wanted today, neither from a Liverpool or Stoke perspective. While Liverpool were able to create a lot of chances, the finishing let the home side down for large periods, and as the game went on Stoke were increasingly able to get bodies behind the ball to block shots.
There was a sense that the midweek heroics against Roma had a bit of a hangover effect, with things feeling somewhat more forced than when Liverpool are at their fluent best. As such, Jürgen Klopp was a little disappointed, though he insisted that “I take a point” to Sky Sports, as reported by BBC Sport.
“[The result] is positive even if we had more possession and all that”, the German explained, “but today was a difficult, intense time for us. I saw everything I wanted to see except fluency and fun and joy, it is hard on a day like this.
“We had to make changes, that is always a bit of a rhythm breaker, in the final third everything is instinct between the regulars, and we missed a bit of that. But no-one was seriously injured so we carry on.
“The best manager I ever had always said it will be a very important point at the end. That’s how we take it.”
While he was ultimately upbeat overall, he did admit to some irritation in the refereeing decisions, calling Stoke “a little lucky” and believing his side generally did not receive what they deserved.
“For me it looked a pen, a clear one. I said a few time in games like this, maybe in the Champions League against Manchester City we were lucky, in the Premier League, not one time. We should have got more penalties, we don’t have them.
”But I’m happy how the boys took the game. It was not our best game of course not. And I said a lot of positive things about the crowd, but you cannot only react to what is happening in the game. You have to be on your toes, we can improve that.”
As the manager mentioned, a few changes were required with this game coming between the Champions League semi final legs, so perhaps a dip in performance was expected. A frustrating two points to drop, though, but Liverpool will now turn their attentions to the second leg in Rome.