Stoke 0 Liverpool 1: Three talking points as Philippe Coutinho bags winner

Three talking points as Liverpool edge to a close-fought victory over Stoke City at The Britannia

By Niall Griffiths

Benteke showing glimpses of potential

Christian Benteke showed all aspects of his game today against a physical Stoke defence, despite being unable to find the net. With much of the pre-match talk centring on whether or not their style of play would suit one another, both Liverpool and Benteke made sure to mix it up and try new things throughout the match. While usually used to playing on the floor and relying heavily on possession, Liverpool often resorted to direct long balls to Benteke, most of the time to little effect. When Benteke found himself cut off at the top however he was keen to drop off and come deep, making a nuisance of himself before slinking back into the box. It’s early days yet, but as long as Liverpool work on their creativity in the final third, then Benteke will be in the goals.

Future is bright

After the horror show that Liverpool endured on the last game of the 2014/15 season, the repeat fixture was a good place to test the overall side, youngsters as well as the new faces. Jordon Ibe was one of Liverpool’s more exciting players on the day, having the run of Erik Pieters before having a quieter half when he came up against Pieters’ replacement. Joe Gomez had to deal with Jonathan Walters and Glen Johnson on his right flank, a quite fearsome proposition for a player who only played 17 times in the Championship last season. Still, the two youngest players on the pitch for Liverpool had decent games but are they good enough to hold down a first-team place over the course of the season?

Both sides impotent going forward

Aside from a late bit of magic from Phillippe Coutinho, the match was largely dull and passed without incident. Both sides had large spells of possession but were unable to create enough chances in the final third. It was a day for the defence, with both sides’ respective defences doing well to nullify the other’s attacking threats. Stoke were most dangerous from set-pieces, with Mame Biram Diouf the main target for most of Charlie Adam’s dangerous deliveries. Liverpool’s new midfield duo of Jordan Henderson and James Milner were industrious as expected but did little going forward, leaving Benteke feeding off scraps for most of the game.

Follow @thesportreview on Instagram


MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal FC latest news

MORE: Chelsea FC latest news

MORE: Liverpool FC latest news

Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker makes Liverpool FC title claim after 2-1 win at Wolves
Sadio Mane
Jurgen Klopp updates Liverpool FC fans on Sadio Mane injury
Frank Lampard
Chelsea FC re-open talks about signing quality 23-year-old attacker – report
Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)
BBC Sport pundit states his prediction for Bournemouth v Arsenal
Michael Owen
Michael Owen states his prediction for Hull v Chelsea FC
Jose Mourinho
BBC Sport pundit predicts Southampton v Tottenham in FA Cup
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Australian Open 2020
Nick Kyrgios (Photo: Marianne Bevis)
Australian Open 2020: Medvedev and Rublev spearhead Russian surge, but Kyrgios downs Khachanov in epic
Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford drops hint about Man United return on Twitter
Martin Keown
Martin Keown makes Man United prediction about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacking