Stoke 3 Liverpool 5: Player ratings as Suarez fires Reds into fourth

Stoke 3 Liverpool 5: Player ratings as Luis Suárez inspires Brendan Rodgers' men to victory at the Britannia Stadium

Ryan Bailey
By Ryan Bailey
Stoke
3
Liverpool
5

Stoke City

Jack Butland Left helpless by Cissokho’s deflected effort but was blameless for the mix-up which led to the second. Recovered after a shaky start with a couple of impressive saves – unlucky to concede five. 6/10

Geoff Cameron Ventured forward at every opportunity but lacks any quality in the final third. Doesn’t instil too much confidence defensively and seems more at ease in the centre. 5

Ryan Shawcross Unfortunate to divert past his own ‘keeper early on, but an inexplicable defensive mix-up resulted in the visitors doubling their lead. Couldn’t deal with the movement and pace of Suarez and Sturridge. 4

Marc Wilson Afternoon to forget for the versatile Irishman. Was to blame for two of Liverpool’s goals as a feeble header put his central defensive partner under pressure before conceding a needless penalty after handing Sterling possession. 4

Erik Pieters Run ragged by Sterling’s pace and trickery but wasn’t helped by Arnautovic’s unwillingness to track back. Constantly outnumbered and could do little to stem the flow down the right. Committed countless fouls. 5

Jon Walters Suffered an early knock and was unusually quiet thereafter. Plenty of endeavor but had little effect on proceedings until the final stages when his weak effort somehow crept under Mingolet. 5

Steven N’Zonzi One of the few players in red and white stripes that showed composure on the ball. Marshalled the central areas well and distributed possession seamlessly. However, often caught out by the movement of Coutinho and the industrious Henderson. 6

Charlie Adam Started poorly with a couple of wasted set-pieces but grew in stature as the game went on and levelled matters before the break with a thumping drive. Looked the most likely to create an opening. 6

Glenn Whelan Worked tirelessly in midfield but is more heart than ability. Did the simple things but when required to dictate the pace, his deficiencies are highlighted. Gave the ball away at regular intervals and doesn’t add anything in the final third. 5

Marko Arnautovic Hit and miss performance by the enigmatic Austrian as he found himself in and out of the game. After squaring for Crouch, wasted countless promising positions to deliver a telling cross. 5

Peter Crouch His first-half goal apart, saw very little of the ball against his former employers. Tried his best to provide for others but with little reward. 6

Substitutes

Stephen Ireland Found plenty of space when he came on but couldn’t inspire a late comeback. 6

Liverpool

Simon Mignolet Very shaky and unconvincing under pressure from set-pieces and crosses. Had little chance to prevent the first two goals but somehow let Walter’s weak effort through his body. 5

Glen Johnson Comfortable game for the right-back, who was largely untroubled by anything Stoke threw at him down the flank. When called upon, made some decisive interceptions. 7

Martin Skrtel A commanding display by the no-nonsense defender, who won every ball that came in his direction. But, once again, guilty of shirt tugging and grappling with Crouch and then Shawcross and could have been penalised. 6

Kolo Toure Let Crouch free for Stoke’s first and looked vulnerable on a couple of occasions. Still finding his way back to full fitness. 5

Aly Cissokho Set his side on their way with a fortunate opener, although it’s unlikely to be credited to the left-back. Defensively very sound but not comfortable in possession. 6

Lucas Leiva Hard-working but very colourless display from the Brazilian. Rarely touched the ball in a constructive manner in a very compact and scrappy central area. 5

Steven Gerrard Marked his return from injury with an assured spot-kick but largely anonymous in open play. 6

Jordan Henderson Unusually wasteful and caught in possession in the build-up to Adam’s thunderbolt. 5

Raheem Sterling Continued his fine form with a stand-out performance here. Looked dangerous every time he had the ball at his feet as he drew the foul from Wilson for the penalty. 8

Philippe Coutinho Spurned a couple of glorious opportunities in the first-half and despite some bright contributions, withdrawn shortly after the break. 6

Luis Suarez (man of the match) Was his typically irritating self as he gave the Stoke defence not a minutes rest bite. Capitalised on a mix-up with an opportunistic strike before a clinical finish rounded off another outstanding display. 9

Substitutes

Daniel Sturridge Resumed where he left off before a lengthy absence with the fifth and final goal to ensure all three points headed back to Merseyside. 7

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