Liverpool 4-1 Stoke City: As it happened
Liverpool claimed a third consecutive Premier League win by beating Stoke City 4-1 at Anfield. Scroll through our matchday blog for a thorough recap of how the game unfolded.
Good job, boys! 🙌🏼⚽️ 4-1 home win and back on the 2nd place. Now full focus on the last match of the year against City 💪🏼 #YNWA #LIVSTK @LFC— LorisKarius (Loris Karius) 27th Dec 20:09
That'll do! @LFC 😉— Ian_Rush9 (Ian Rush MBE) 27th Dec 20:10
86 - Liverpool have netted 86 league goals in 2016; their most in a calendar year since 1985 (87). Unrelenting. https://t.co/4owA3E8KIL— OptaJoe (OptaJoe) 27th Dec 19:36
Absolutely brilliant day at Anfield with my boy ⚽️ @bergyan7 #greattobeback #mainstand #LFC #greatwin… https://t.co/ZSqrMisFac— patrikberger73 (PB) 27th Dec 19:42
Good performance and another 3 points !!! 🔴🔴🔴 #YNWA https://t.co/z3Dr99YGby— Nathaniel_Clyne (Nathaniel Clyne) 27th Dec 19:50
Klopp: "I was more than pleased [for Sturridge]. You can learn a lot of things in life but not being in that position at that moment - that's natural. He closed the game and gave us the opportunity to cool down."
Klopp: "Pep Guardiola was in the stadium tonight and I'm not sure he watched a lot of games from other opponents in the past few weeks. It's a difficult game for both teams but exciting and the best thing is it's at Anfield. They are an outstanding side but we are not bad."
Klopp: "It's not the moment to praise single players at the moment, I don't think they need it. I already think about the next game and hopefully we can do better."
Post-match press conference
Jürgen Klopp: "The start of the game was really difficult. The Stoke plan was to press really high so we were not patient enough in our passing game. We had to work really hard."
Click here to see how Liverpoolfc.com's Chris Shaw saw that 4-1 win over Stoke City.
Check out all the numbers from another big win for the Reds with our Opta widgets below.
Liverpool 4-1 Stoke City
That felt like a game set up for the Reds to drop points. All their rivals winning yesterday, Stoke taking the lead and looking bright - none of that mattered.
Another fine performance takes Jürgen Klopp's team into second in the Premier League.
Three minutes of added time are indicated.
Quickest to 100 league goals in top-flight as @LFC manager - Dalglish 48 games, Klopp 48, Rodgers 52, Shankly 56, Patterson 58, Houllier 59.— ged0407 (Ged Rea) 27th Dec 18:59
Peter Crouch off for Wilfried Bony and the former Reds striker gets a fine reception from the Anfield crowd.
Alberto Moreno gets his 100th appearance for Liverpool, taking the place of Roberto Firmino.
Moments before 'The Sturridge' was cracked out.
Another substitution, Ibrahim Affelay replacing Mame Biram Diouf.
Liverpool 4-1 Stoke City (Sturridge)
Well, that's not a bad way to make an impact.
Sturridge anticipates a blind back pass and is effectively played in one-on-one with Grant. From there, it's a stepover, a shift and, of course, a goal.
A double change for the Reds now as Lallana leaves the field to be replaced by Can and Origi makes way for Sturridge.
Big cheers for Liverpool's No.15, no doubt thanks to his Merseyside derby contribution.
Stoke with the first sub of the game as Whelan makes way for Ramadan.
Liverpool playing some really nice stuff now with Clyne going close after brilliant footwork in the box from Milner sees him work space for a cross to the back post.
Liverpool 3-1 Stoke City (Imbula og)
A poor clearance from Stoke allows Henderson to charge at the back four and he releases Origi into the box on the left-hand side.
The Belgian picks out Mane at the far post but Imbula gets there first to accidentally toe it in.
Liverpool move it well around the Stoke box again but just as the ball looks to be sitting up for Wijnaldum, Lallana inadvertently takes it off his toes.
Great picture of the Reds celebrating the second goal.
So close from Milner.
The No.7 plays a one-two with Firmino before trying a curler to the far post and he is not far off.
Stoke get us back under way at Anfield.
#LIVSTK in numbers so far... https://t.co/ANgoRf2u2t— LFC (Liverpool FC) 27th Dec 18:08
As things stand
Stoke City 30/1
Liverpool 2-1 Stoke City
Jürgen Klopp's men had to come from behind but reacted well to the setback of Walters' goal to turn things around through Lallana and Firmino.
Still plenty of work to do after the break, with the Potters still looking a threat.
Liverpool 2-1 Stoke City (Firmino)
A patient exchange between Lallana, Milner and Firmino sees the latter into the box and he works space for a left-footed shot that satisfyingly bounces off both posts before nestling in the net.
Huge filip for the Reds before the break.
The returning Joe Allen goes into the book for a mistimed challenge on Wijnaldum before Firmino shoots over when he might have done better.
Come on, Liverpool!
Liverpool 1-1 Stoke City (Lallana)
The Reds are level!
A brilliant ball out wide from Origi gets Mane into a one-on-one situation and allows him to feed Lallana in the box.
The Englishman is fortunate to get the ball back off a defender after an attempted take on but his low finish is a fine one.
James Milner swings a cross in from the left.
Stoke are under huge pressure now as Crouch clears one off the line from Firmino.
The visitors get a breather as Diouf receives treatment and the visitors could require a change here.
Lallana and Mane try a quick exchange in the box and when the former receives the ball again from a block he produces a fine turn and shot.
Unfortunately, Stoke get bodies in the way and escape.
Stoke scarily close to a second as Allen forces a save and the ball trickles past the foot of fellow former Red Crouch.
Liverpool need to get going again.
Liverpool 0-1 Stoke City (Walters)
They have been on the back foot from the first whistle but the Potters are ahead.
Pieters picks up a loose ball on the left hand side of the box and sends in a cross which Walters stoops to head past Mignolet at his near post.
The Reds in complete control at Anfield but have only mustered half chances thus far.
Henderson is the latest player to attempt to unlock the visitors' defence but his cute chip doesn't find Milner's run.
Liverpool threatening in the early stages, with Mane and Origi sending in dangerous crosses from the right wing.
On both occasions, however, nobody is on hand to turn the ball home.
Gini Wijnaldum plays the ball back into the Liverpool half and the game is under way, with the Reds attacking the Kop end first half.
It's almost time
The teams are out as the Premier League anthem reverberates around Anfield and we are just a 'You'll Never Walk Alone' away from kick-off here.
The Reds are here
Liverpool arriving at Anfield a little while ago...
Go inside the dressing room...
📝 #SCFC Starting XI v @LFC: Grant; Johnson, Shawcross, M.Indi, Pieters; Diouf, Allen, Whelan, Imbula, Walters; Crou… https://t.co/vse13imJYa— stokecity (Stoke City FC) 27th Dec 16:15
There are four former Liverpool players in Stoke's squad today: Peter Crouch, Joe Allen and Glen Johnson all start, while Charlie Adam is on the bench for the Potters.
TEAM IN FULL
Here’s Liverpool’s line-up and substitutes in full…
Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Mane, Firmino, Origi.
Subs: Karius, Sturridge, Moreno, Lucas, Can, Ejaria, Woodburn.
So, the team news is in and it confirms an unchanged Liverpool line-up from the side that started against Everton in last week’s Merseyside derby victory at Goodison Park.
That means Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan continue at the back in the absence of the injured Joel Matip, while Divock Origi, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane lead the line.
Daniel Sturridge and Emre Can are on the bench.
Want to know who starts?
We'll be publishing confirmed Liverpool team news on here at 4.15pm. Don't miss it.
At anfield 😍#LFC #YNWA https://t.co/nSbxIij3H6— Imranzaman2111 (Imran zaman) 27th Dec 15:47
Managed to grab a photo with @patrikberger73 prior to kick off. Not long now!! #LFC #YNWA #LIVSTO https://t.co/3WRN8mV8Rr— ChrisCurulli (Chris Curulli) 27th Dec 15:48
33 years ago my dad took me to Anfield for my first #LFC game. Today I get to do the same with my son. #legacy @TheAnfieldWrap @LFCANZ— SydneyredJustin (Justin Engelbrecht) 27th Dec 08:56
Liverpool have not lost in their last 15 #PL home matches (W9 D6 L0) – the longest current unbeaten home run in the… https://t.co/ji5HYS0Ra2— premierleague (Premier League) 27th Dec 15:06
A word from the gaffer
"Our supporters haven't had an Anfield game since we played West Ham here earlier in the month, so hopefully they are as greedy as we are for the match today," he writes in the matchday programme.
"Their involvement and contribution will be as crucial as ever during this period and hopefully they can play their part in helping the team meet these very big challenges."
Anfield is ready to get back to business...
📸 Throwback! #LIVSTO https://t.co/YwKWY38eJ5— LFC (Liverpool FC) 27th Dec 03:08
High praise, indeed
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has been discussing Liverpool's chances of claiming the Premier League title this season and was very kind in his assessment.
He said: "Do I think Liverpool can do it? Yes, they're capable without a doubt and they have the potential to win it.
"Liverpool will feel this is a good opportunity to get rid of that weight and have a period of success like they had in the 80s and early 90s.
"They seem to have the belief they can and it seems a really positive club again."
Attention, meteorology fans
If you're heading to today's match, it's worth noting that it'll be around three degrees celsius come kick-off and so an extra pair of socks is an absolute must.
Thankfully, it looks like there's little chance of rain, so you can probably leave that brolley at home.
"Get your programme!"
The rest of Hendo's Stoke City preview can be found in today's matchday programme.
If you're going to grab one at the ground, this is what you're looking for.
Skipper on Studge
Sadio Mane may have claimed the headlines against Everton last Monday, but Daniel Sturridge's part in the goal certainly didn't go unnoticed.
See what Jordan Henderson had to say about the striker's contribution, and the potential for him to be a key man over the remainder of the season.
We're a while from team news dropping, but here's the latest on the Reds' injury situation to give you a clue as to what the line-up could look like.
Information for @LFC fans travelling to and from Anfield for festive fixtures is available - https://t.co/1Edsn0XJlu https://t.co/RSga2XXikT— Merseytravel (Merseytravel #RethinkTravel) 27th Dec 10:00
Okay, so we might have had to wait for the day after Boxing Day for the Reds to play this time around, but this particular festive fixture is still worth remembering - and a repeat would be welcome today.
Play the clip below to relive a 2004 thrashing of West Bromwich Albion on the day after Christmas.
Another cracker submitted by a fan for today's game below.
Remember, you could have your design chosen by using the hashtag above in the build-up to any Reds fixture.
Shouting the odds
Here's how things stand ahead of the match, according to BETVICTOR.
Stoke City 19/2
Good morning and welcome to Liverpoolfc.com's live matchday blog for today's league meeting with Stoke City at Anfield.
Many of the Reds' rivals collected three points yesterday, so the pressure is on against a tough opponent today.
However, Jürgen Klopp made it clear in his pre-match press conference that his team is prepared for the challenge that awaits them, and won't fall foul of post-Christmas sluggishness.
As ever, we'll be bringing you updates as LFC attempt to pick up a third league win on the bounce - don't go anywhere.