Match has ended.
  • Philippe Coutinho(86')
Stoke City 0-1 Liverpool: Late Coutinho stunner gets Rodgers's men off to winning start
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FULL TIME! Liverpool edge their way to a 1-0 win at the Britannia against Stoke, courtesy of a 86th-minute screamer from Coutinho. It was a hard-fought game with plenty of half chances, but a bit of magic from an individual settles it. Plenty of positives for Hughes' men, with the Reds very fortunate to come away with three points. That's all that we have time for, I've been Simon Harrison and I hope to see you again next time.
90 + 2'
Mignolet is very quick off his line to rush out and deny Diouf and Walters the chance to bustle into the penalty area and poke home a well-weighted ball into the box! The Belgian pushes the ball to safety with his hands.
A curling free-kick delivery from Odemwingie curls behind for a goal kick once again, after evading everyone who tried to attack it. Stoke are running out of time to make a comeback. There are three minutes of stoppage time.
Well, this game needed something out of nothing to get it started - and that was certainly something. The away fans are now making plenty of noise, with Stoke only having a few minutes left to try and claw back a point.

AssistJoe Gomez 



GOOOOOOOOAL! COUTINHO FIRES HOME A SCREAMER! The Brazil international takes aim from range and clatters a long-range thunderbolt into the back of Butland's net! After some neat play from the away side, he bends a dipping and swerving effort just above the glove of the goalkeeper!

Diouf is fouled yet again, with Stoke getting another chance to load the penalty area with bodies. Odemwingie dips a swirling effort in towards the back post, but is hurtles beyond the woodwork and into the advertising hoardings with Mignolet easily having his angles covered. Moments later, Johnson picks out Diouf with a cross, but his header is deflected narrowly over.
Big chance for Stoke! A block prevents Mignolet from needing to get involved, with Van Ginkel the man frustrated. Liverpool head down the other end, with Coutinho trying to get in behind the hosts' back four, but Cameron recovers brilliantly to hook the ball into touch.
Firmino immediately shows a bit of skill, before trying to permit Milner to overlap - but the Englishman is tackled easily. Moments later, the ex-Man City midfielder lifts a back-post cross up to Benteke, but Sidwell drops back well to help win an aerial battle for Stoke.

Steve Sidwell

Charlie Adam


Peter Odemwingie

Ibrahim Afellay


Roberto Firmino

Jordon Ibe

Milner lifts a long ball up towards Benteke, but Cameron does well to beat the Liverpool striker in the air. Rodgers opts to make a change, with summer signing Roberto Firmino coming into the action in place of Ibe. The young Englishman really hasn't managed to make a big impact this afternoon. Pieters and then Muniesa have both done well thus far. Afellay is replaced by Odemwingie and Sidwell comes in for Adam.
Long balls are coming to nothing for both sides, with the goalkeepers needing to come out and collect plenty of loose through passes. Benteke is released towards the edge of the Stoke penalty area, but Cameron keeps tabs on his run and ensures that the Belgium international can't take control.
This game might just get a little bit more nervy as we edge into the dying embers, with Rodgers in particular under pressure to start the season well. A cross is curled in towards the back post by Muniesa, but Mignolet is light on his feet to come out and claim the ball in plenty of traffic.

Yellow CardCharlie Adam 

Liverpool manage to win possession back in midfield, before a long ball is clipped up towards Benteke. Substitute Wollscheid uses all of his height to beat the Belgian in the air, before play is stopped due to Ibe taking a blow to the face. Adam picks up a yellow card for his troubles.
Only 20 minutes are left at the Britannia, with no sign of the seven goals that were mustered up the last time this fixture took place. Both teams are starting to throw more men forward and put the result on the line, now. Liverpool play some great football, with Henderson released down the right by Milner! The Englishman lifts a cross towards the back post, but Benteke isn't there to nod home!
Great save from Butland! The resulting corner is headed goalwards by Skrtel, but the English goalkeeper gets across well to his right-hand side to make a clean save. With otehr players lurking, the former Birmingham shot-stopper does brilliantly to not spill or parry the effort.
Coutinho manages to dance around a couple of challenges, before seeing a shot blocked inside the penalty area! The loose ball falls to Benteke, who jinks onto his stronger right foot, but the Belgian's eventual effort is charged down and then hacked away! There's been a real ebb and flow to this second half. Moments later, Coutinho is involved again after good work down the right from Milner, but Liverpool can only win a corner.
Stoke have started to put on some considerable pressure of late, but still no goals are forthcoming. Ibe tries to break down the right again and bypass Muniesa, but the former Barcelona defender manages to cleverly play the ball back off the Liverpool man and behind for a goal kick. The crowd applauds.
Good save from Mignolet! Adam whips in a tantalising free-kick delivery from the right flank, which floats beyond Diouf and towards the bottom corner! The Liverpool goalkeeper gets down well to push the ball clear of danger.

Yellow CardJoe Gomez 


Emre Can

Adam Lallana

Can replaces Lallana for the Reds, with the German definitely offering a bit more mettle in compared to the technically gifted man he replaced. In the aftermath of a set piece, Lovren manages to dig out a shot, but Butland makes a simple save at his near post. Stoke try to break, but their counter is halted by Gomez, with the young left-back booked as a result. Slightly harsh, perhaps, as Walters backed into him in the first place.
Less than half an hour remains for either side to break the deadlock, with Afellay shifting the ball out to Johnson well. The English defender tries to break beyond Lallana and Gomez, but the latter is able to shield the ball behind for a goal kick. The Stoke man thinks that the last touch came off a scrappy sliding tackle by Lallana, however.
Walters is caught offside yet again! The Irishman is picked out bending a run in behind Gomez, but goes slightly too early! A few Stoke attacks have been halted by the linesman's flag this side of half time, with Hughes presumably growing a little bit tired of it.
A dangerous cross into the Liverpool penalty area is a brief cause for concern for the visitors, but nobody managed to take the ball under their spell - with Diouf caught offside moments later. Emre Can is being given instructions by Rodgers, with the German looking to be the away side's first change of the afternoon.
Henderson whips in a corner from the right-hand side, which Butland palms away rather unconvincingly. Another long ball is pumped into the Stoke box, but Johnson has the peace of mind to nod a cushioned header back to his goalkeeper. Liverpool are already going for an alternative plan of hitting Benteke with more direct balls.
A long ball looks to release Benteke in behind the slightly sluggish Wollscheid, but the pass skids straight through to Butland. Moments later, Ibe races down the right flank and bursts into the box, but Muniesa times a challenge brilliantly to dispossess the youngster. He had to get that right, otherwise it was a certain penalty.
Diouf goes down in a heap holding his face, with Lovren quickly being booked by the referee. The former Southampton defender clearly raised his arm in his opponent's face, but the referee deems it to only be worth a yellow card. With another official, that could have had a different outcome.

Yellow CardDejan Lovren 

Benteke has half a chance, but the former Aston Villa striker can only poke an effort on the stretch towards goal. Butland gobbles it up with consummate ease. The second half has started at a fairly slow and cagey pace. Stoke will want to allow Wollscheid to settle into the rhythm of proceedings, before leaving him too exposed. Coutinho rounds Johnson and bursts into space, but can only loop a terrible effort towards the goalkeeper.
Pieters looks to have picked up an injury at the end of that first half, meaning that Muniesa has been pushed out to left-back for the hosts. Van Ginkel tests Mignolet from the very off, firing a low drive towards the near post that the Belgian gets down well to.

Philipp Wollscheid

Erik Pieters

We are back underway in the second half! The opening 45 minutes were tight and low on opportunities, with both coaches probably pleased to get into the interval to freshen things up in terms of ideas and instructions. Wollscheid is brought on at the break by Hughes.
HALF TIME! The two sides head into the break with a goalless scoreline at the Britannia, with the hosts not doing too badly at all. Johnson and Diouf have had half chance for Stoke, while Coutinho has seen a couple of shots in dangerous areas well blocked. This is very finely balanced, with everything still to play for in the second half.
45 + 2'
There are two minutes of stoppage time at the end of the first half. Ibe battles to get beyond Pieters, but struggles, with Butland racing out of his goal to smother the ball and aid his left-back. That should be about that for the first half, aside from Van Ginkel clashing with Lallana.
Diouf is released in behind the visiting back four, before chopping back inside Clyne and onto his stronger foot. He picks out the onrushing Van Ginkel with the pass, but the Dutchman can only drag a terrible effort wide of the target and straight at Gomez. The young defender controls before clearing upfield.
Afellay falls awkwardly, after landing on his back, with the Dutchman appearing to be a little bit winded as a result. He needs a moment before being helped back to his feet by the physios, with the referee having to add a couple of minutes of stoppage time onto the first half for this.
Ibe tries to break down the right flank, but he is quickly mobbed and dispossessed by four red and white shirts. The youngster hasn't been able to get beyond Pieters too often, with the Dutchman well protected despite having the lightweight Afellay ahead of him.
Milner throws himself into a tackle on Adam, with the Scotland international looking to be in some discomfort from the challenge! The referee is quick to brandish a card at the former Leeds midfielder, but he doesn't look at all happy with the decision. Five minutes remain in the first half for an opener.

Yellow CardJames Milner 

Benteke is nearly found by a lifted ball into the penalty area, but the bounce beats the Belgian striker! It skips up off the turf and into the arms of Butland, who had to be very quick off his line to gobble up the pass ahead of his opponent! Liverpool's marquee signing has been quiet, but one chance could change all that.
Johnson fires over! Walters breaks down the left, with Van Ginkel able to send a cross in from the byline! It is deflected over Mignolet, but Skrtel makes a good clearance! The danger stays alive, with the former Liverpool right-back picked out merely eight yards from goal, but he scoops a rushed shot beyond the crossbar!
A few fouls break up the flow of play, with only 10 minutes remaining until the end of the first half. Stoke can be pleased with how they've created more dangerous opportunities, but it doesn't quite compare to their last first-half performance against Liverpool. Rodgers continues to note down points on his pad and paper feverishly.
Diouf is penalised for following through on Mignolet, after the Belgian goalkeeper had already hacked a clearance upfield. Pieters requieres some treatment for the home side, with the Dutchman going down off the ball. Hughes takes the opportunity to bark some instructions at Walters.
Benteke tries to jink around Cameron and in behind the hosts' defence, but the former Genk striker doesn't have the legs to beat Butland to the ball. The opening half an hour hasn't seen the English goalkeeper tested at all, with Liverpool still needing to get Coutinho and Ibe on the ball in more dangerous areas.
Walters guides a header just wide of the back post from the resulting free kick, but the Stoke forward was narrowly offside anyhow. Moments later, Gomez tries to lay a pass back into Mignolet, but the Belgian goalkeeper is put under a lot of pressure by Diouf. Fortunately for the visitors, their shot-stopper can clear.

Yellow CardMartin Skrtel 

Stoke are keeping the ball fairly well inside their own half, but are struggling to create any ideas higher up the field. After a neat pass around the corner from Afellay, Skrtel comes through the back of Diouf horribly. Deserved yellow card for the Slovakian defender.
Henderson whips in the resulting free kick, but it fails to make it over the first man. Moments later, Lallana tries to ghost in behind the Stoke back four, but the England international is caught narrowly offside following a pass from Gomez. Not much in terms of offensive quality on show, thus far, with moves breaking down upon arriving at the edge of the penalty box.
Walters is picked out making a run in behind by a long ball, but the Republic of Ireland international can't angle a header goalwards due to some pressure. Ibe then break down the right-hand side and nips beyond Pieters, with the linesman's waving for a free kick due to how the Dutchman jumped in on the winger.
Coutinho sees a shot blocked on the edge of the penalty area, with Benteke continuing to struggle to find space against a Stoke back four that become very compact. Chances continue to be at a real premium, with Liverpool surely still very aware of their 6-1 defeat here only a few months ago. They're looking more solid in defence this afternoon, however.
Lallana jinks in from the left-hand side, before trying his luck with his right foot, but the former Southampton midfielder sees his shot deflected behind for a corner. Milner drives into the box after receiving the set piece short, but can only win a second one. The next comes to nothing, too, with Johnson heading away at the near post.
Afellay continues to drift in pockets of space down the left-hand side, but Clyne is standing up to the early interrogation on his debut well. Benteke is yet to really be brought into play, with Rodgers' side not getting any bodies around their new striker. Diouf fires a tame effort directly at Mignolet.
The opening quarter of an hour hasn't seen much in the way of chances, but Liverpool will be pleased that they aren't looking flimsy enough at the back to concede six goals. Van Ginkel finds Afellay, who spreads play out to Johnson, but the former Portsmouth right-back's cross is far too heavy.
Shaqiri will probably be impressed with what he has seen so far in terms of tenacity from Stoke, but Hughes' men haven't created anything for 10 minutes or so. A long ball is lofted in towards Van Ginkel, but Skrtel rises highest to head clear. Moments later, Diouf is fed down the left by a backheel from Afellay, but the former Manchester United striker is dispossessed easily.
Henderson lifts a cross in towards Benteke, but the ball loops straight out of play for a throw in on the far side. Liverpool are settling into the contest in terms of having more possession, but Butland is yet to be given anything to worry about at all.
Liverpool look to break down the right, but Afellay tracks back to intercept a loose pass and stroke possession back to Butland. Stoke's fans are spending the vast majority of their time clapping appreciatively, which shows how their side have started. Ibe is again the target of a searching pass, but Pieters slides in ahead of the Englishman.
Half chance for Stoke! Adam is presented with the ball on the edge of the penalty area, but the awkward height of it prevents the Scot from striking a clean half volley. The home team are seeing more of the ball and Liverpool are struggling to make any real inroads going forward. Ibe is picked out on the right-hand side, but found a yard offside.
Afellay is already looking quite lively for the hosts, with the former Barcelona wide man able to drift inside and look for the ball. Stoke break down the right-hand side, but Lovren covers across well to deny Adam the chance to whip in a cross. Plenty for the home fans to be excited about thus far, with Hughes' men moving the ball neatly.
Stoke are pressing very high upfield during the opening minutes, with Afellay picking up an early yellow card as a result. The Dutchman shows a high foot in a challenge with Clyne, which forces the referee to go to his book very prematurely in this clash. A sign of things to come?

Yellow CardIbrahim Afellay 

Xherdan Shaqiri is in the stands for this clash, but it remains to be seen as to which club the Switzerland international might be signing for. Let's give Stoke home advantage and presume that the Bayern man could be looking to join Hughes' Spanish-infused revolution.
Coutinho immediately tries to dance around a couple of challenges, before attempting to poke a through ball into Benteke, but Johnson cuts out the danger well. Moments later, Lovren drops back well to hook away a bouncing pass, with Diouf lurking over his shoulder.
We are underway in the first half! Stoke have a few different faces on show, compared to when they last played Liverpool, while the Reds' sole goalscorer in the 6-1 defeat is now plying his trade in the MLS. Big names have departed from both of these squads.
Both sides are out on the field of play and we are moments away from kick off at the Britannia Stadium! Unsurprisingly, the atmosphere is feeling rather optimistic, which is probably down to the result at the tail end of last season.
STOKE SUBS: Ireland, Odemwingie, Joselu, Sidwell, Given, Crouch, Wollscheid.
LIVERPOOL SUBS: Toure, Firmino, Moreno, Can, Origi, Ings, Bogdan.
STOKE (4-2-3-1): Butland; Johnson, Cameron, Muniesa, Pieters; Adam, Whelan; Walters, van Ginkel, Afellay; Diouf.
LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Skrtel, Gomez; Henderson, Milner, Coutinho; Ibe, Lallana, Benteke.
STOKE TEAM NEWS: Glen Johnson sure didn't have to wait long to be reunited with his Liverpool teammates, as he gets the start today with his new club against his former. There are two other making their competitive debuts for the Potters this afternoon as Dutch duo Marco van Ginkel and Ibrahim Afellay anchor a three-man line behind preferred striker Mame Diouf. Captain Ryan Shawcross is sidelined with a back problem, meaning that US international Geoff Cameron is pushed into centre-back alongside Marc Muniesa.
James Milner makes his debut for the Reds as well, partnering Jordan Henderson in midfield. Jordan Ibe and Adam Lallana man the flanks with Coutinho playing as the 10, behind new man Christian Benteke - who arrives amidst lofty expectations. There's no room for Roberto Firmino who begins on the bench, as does Danny Ings with Daniel Sturridge out injured.
LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS: Competitive debuts are handed to a plethora of summer signings by Brendan Rodgers. Nathaniel Clyne features at right-back for the departed Glen Johnson, while Joe Gomez is rewarded for an impressive preseason with a start ahead of Alberto Moreno. Dejan Lovren and Martin Skrtel are the preferred centre-half duo, with Mamadou Sakho left out of the 18-man squad altogether, along with Lazar Markovic.
I'm Simon Harrison and I will be keeping you up to date with all of the action, with this season bound to have a weird feel about it for Liverpool fans. Steven Gerrard won't be figuring for the Reds, after his well-publicised move to L.A Galaxy during the summer, with Jordan Henderson needing to stand up and be counted during a new era for the Reds. Stoke are a tough test, especially after making a few interesting summer signings.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Liverpool's opening game of the Premier League season against Stoke. The last time that the Reds travelled to the Britannia Stadium was the last fixture of the previous campaign, which ended in an emphatic 6-1 win for Mark Hughes' men. Brendan Rodgers will hope that lightning won't strike twice for his away side this afternoon.
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