When Philippe Coutinho picked up his ankle injury, Liverpool fans couldn’t help but fear the worst. When that was followed by defeat to Bournemouth and a draw at home to struggling West Ham, those fears looked to be well founded.
Against Stoke though, the Reds attack produced their best display in weeks, with Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge both on the scoresheet alongside Adam Lallana and an own goal. Firmino in particular has been criticised for his form of late but produced the goods with a fine finish rolling along the line as it pinged off both posts and into the back of the net.
Whilst Divock Origi failed to find the net for the second consecutive game, it took Sturridge just 59 seconds to round Lee Grant to seal the three points with a composed finish typical of the striker at his best, something that will certainly help the Reds when Sadio Mane heads off to the African Cup of Nations.