Published: Fri, April 14, 2017
Sport | By Stephen Hansen

Coutinho, Firmino inspire Liverpool comeback over Stoke


The introduction of Coutinho - who had been suffering from a bug for most of the week - along with Firmino at the interval prompted a complete turnaround with two goals within two minutes midway through the second-half. Then, 126 seconds later, his compatriot Firmino rifled home his 10th of the season, after latching onto a wonderful Wijnaldum through-ball.

Liverpool's first win in six away Premier League matches keeps them in third place, while Stoke are not quite safe despite having 36 points on the board after losing their fourth straight league game.

His seventh league goal - the most he has scored against any Premier League team - against the Merseysiders was scant reward for the Potters' first-half dominance.

Liverpool are also without midfielders Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson due to hip and foot problems, with striker Daniel Sturridge potentially in line for a first league start since January 2 after overcoming a hip strain.

In a team really struggling for form and cohesion, Stoke will need a commanding performance from Joe Allen.

Trailing to a Jonathan Walters header, Liverpool needed a shot in the arm and it came when Klopp brought on his pair of reliable Brazilians at the break and both scored to give the Reds all three points.

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The fact that Liverpool were able to put one in the win column against Stoke City will offer some encouragement, though the fact that it required a wonder-strike from Roberto Firmino and a couple of miraculous saves from Simon Mignolet should not be ignored.

But the goals from Coutinho and Firmino - not to mention a miracle save by Simon Mignolet from Saido Berahino in the second half to preserve the lead - did the trick.

Liverpool attacker Philippe Coutinho is delighted to be recognised as the top scoring Brazilian in the English top flight.

Coutinho has also equalled his best Premier League season goals tally of nine, with seven matches still remaining.

And the attacking midfielder certainly changed the game when he was required at half time, scoring shortly after coming on as Liverpool came from behind to claim all three points.

Which will especially please manager Jurgen Klopp, considering Liverpool have failed to win any of their previous five league games without the Senegalese forward this season.

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