Mo Salah came off the bench to score twice and secure an ultimately comfortable victory for Liverpool over Stoke that moves Jurgen Klopp's side up to fifth.

Senegal winger Sadio Mane gave the Reds a controversial early lead, dinking the ball into the net after a marginal linesman's call.

Stoke believed Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet should have been sent off for a challenge just outside the box on their striker Mame Biram Diouf and Mark Hughes' side applied pressure after the break.

But Egypt forward Salah came off the bench to buy his side breathing space with a searing volley from Mane's cross and then a composed finish when he was gifted a clear run on goal.

Liverpool overtake Spurs into fifth and are two points off fourth-placed Arsenal, while Stoke, with just one win in their last seven league games, are three points off the drop zone at the other end.

A study by the CIES Football Observatory in September rated Salah as the most under-valued purchase in the summer transfer market, estimating that he was worth about double the initial £34m Liverpool paid Roma in July.

For once the algorithms have been borne out on the pitch.

The Egyptian reclaimed sole possession at the top spot of the Premier League scoring charts with his 11th and 12th league goals of the season, goals that have arrived at a rate of one every 87 minutes.

Unleashing his pace and freshness off the bench in the 67th minute demonstrated the increased strength in depth of Klopp's squad.

Salah duly made a swift and decisive impact, thumping home Mane's cross - after the former Southampton man had raced past Darren Fletcher on the right - before latching on to a weak Erik Pieters back pass and slotting home his side's third.

Klopp's starting line-up - with his biggest goal threat left on the bench along with Philippe Coutinho - was questioned but the German was vindicated by his side achieving a good result while giving Salah a rest with the festive period looming.

Source: BBC

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