Premier League - Liverpool edge out Stoke in eight goal thriller

Premier League, Britannia Stadium - Stoke City 3 (Crouch 39’ Adam 45’ Walters 85) Liverpool (Shawcross 5’ o.g. Suarez 32’, 71’ Gerrard 51’ pen. Sturridge 87’)

Liverpool marched back into the top four following a frantic 5-3 victory over Stoke at the Britannia Stadium, as a double from Luis Suarez took him to 22 league goals for the season.

Daniel Sturridge also came off the bench and scored on his return from injury as Liverpool took the points despite blowing a 2-0 lead in the first-half.

It took just five minutes for the visitors to take the lead. A cross was cleared as far as Aly Cissokho 25 yards from goal, and the left-back's strike looked to be heading out for a throw-in before colliding with Ryan Shawcross. The deflection left Jack Butland with no chance.

Ten minutes later and the second goal arrived, courtesy of a defensive shambles on Stoke's part. Marc Wilson tried to head back Martin Skrtel's long ball to his goalkeeper, but Suarez nipped in to tuck home his 21st league goal of the season.

Within 15 minutes, Stoke were back level. Firstly, on 39 minutes Marko Arnautovic crossed in from the left and found Peter Crouch who headed perfectly into the corner. Then, five minutes later, Charlie Adam drove forward from centre midfield and lashed home a strike from 20 yards to leave Simon Mignolet clawing at air.

Five minutes into the second period and Liverpool regained their lead. Wilson's clearance hit Raheem Sterling and sent the winger through on goal before Wilson tripped Sterling in the box and gave away a penalty. It looked soft, but was an unnecessary challenge and Steven Gerrard slotted home the resulting kick with ease.

With 25 minutes left, Sturridge came off the bench to return from injury and took just five minutes to set up Suarez who finished with ridiculous class and ease to make it 4-2.

The madness didn't stop there, however, as with five minutes to go Stoke got themselves back into the match. Arnautovic found Jonathan Walters, whose shot then dribbled underneath Mignolet, who would have expected to save the shot.

However, Stoke's hope lasted just 120 seconds as Sturridge marked his return with a goal when he controlled a rebound and slotted home expertly after seeing his initial effort magnificently saved by Butland.

KEY MOMENTS

5' – LIVERPOOL TAKE THE LEAD - It's 1-0 to Liverpool but it will count as an own goal. Cissokho strikes it from miles out and it cannons off central defender Ryan Shawcross and in. Nothing Jack Butland could do.

20' – COUTINHO CHANCE - Wonderful play from Sterling which ends with the youngster feeding Coutinho. The Brazilian curls it at the top corner, but just over. Should have done better.

32' – SECOND FOR LIVERPOOL - What a calamity for Stoke. A huge punt from Skrtel, which Wilson thinks he can head back home. Suarez intercepts and slots home. Awful from Wilson. 2-0.

39' – GAME ON - Arnautovic crosses from the left, and that's vintage Peter Crouch. A stunningly-placed header from the tall striker, and Mignolet has no chance. Game on.

45' – EQUALISER - Charlie Adam has been downright rotten in this first half, but that is a quite magical strike against his former club. Lasers the ball past Mignolet, and it's 2-2.

50' – PENALTY LIVERPOOL - Marc Wilson what are you doing? It's soft for a push on Sterling, but he made the mistake in giving it away. Silly.

51' GERRARD SCORES - Stoke aren't happy, but Wilson really only has himself to blame. Two goals conceded through his errors alone. Liverpool have the lead again.

71' - WHAT A FINISH FROM SUAREZ - We had to wait five minutes for the double act to work. Sturridge runs at the defence, lays off for the Uruguayan, who finishes with quite frankly ridiculous ease. 22 and counting...

85' - GOAL FOR WALTERS - And now we have a finish. Fantastic from Arnautovic and passes it to Walters. He finishes low and through Mignolet, who will not be happy. Goodness me.

87' STURRIDGE SCORES - Suarez plays in Sturridge, whose first effort is saved wonderfully by Butland, but Sturridge controls the rebound and finished.

[MATCHCAST - Full match commentary and stats]

KEY STATS

Luis Suarez now has nine more Premier League goals than any other player

Stoke scored their first headed goal of the season.

Liverpool have conceded at least two goals in seven of their last eight Premier League away games

TALKING POINT

WAS IT A PENALTY? - Stoke supporters gave referee Anthony Taylor a huge amount of stick for his decision to award a penalty for the foul from Marc Wilson on Raheem Sterling, but you have to question what Wilson was thinking. The winger was running away from goal, and the challenge was unnecessary. As the cliché goes, he made the official make a decision.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Luis Suarez (Liverpool) – Whilst Suarez was quiet during the first half, he came alive in the second, and if you are the difference between the two sides, you deserve to be man of the match. The first finish was opportunistic, but the second was simply wonderful.

RATINGS

STOKE CITY: Butland 6, Cameron 7, Shawcross 5, Wilson 5, Pieters 6. Walters 6, Nzonzi 6, Adam 6, Whelan 6, Arnautovic 7, Crouch 7

LIVERPOOL: Mignolet 7, Johnson 6, Cissokho 6, Skrtel 6, Toure 6, Lucas 7, Gerrard 6, Henderson 6, Sterling 7, Coutinho 6, Suarez 8

THE MATCH IN A TWEET