Liverpool warms up for Dortmund with 4-1 win over Stoke
11 April 2016, 08:04
Liverpool, England — Liverpool warmed up for its next Europa League clash by scoring two goals in each half to defeat Stoke 4-1 in the English Premier League.
Alberto Moreno's fine opener in the eighth minute Sunday was canceled out by Bojan Krkic in the 22nd before Daniel Sturridge restored the hosts' lead 13 minutes before halftime at Anfield.
Two goals from halftime substitute Divock Origi capped the best week of his Liverpool career.
The victory lifted Liverpool into eighth place.
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp made seven changes from the team that drew 1-1 at Borussia Dortmund — thanks to Origi's opening goal — with Thursday's quarterfinal second leg at Anfield in mind. Two changes were enforced, with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson's knee injury ruling him out for the rest of the season and Emre Can suspended.
Kevin Stewart and Sheyi Ojo made their first Premier League starts while Roberto Firmino and Sturridge were given the chance to impress in attack.
It took Liverpool little time to break the deadlock through the unlikely Moreno, who had not scored since December 2014.
Stoke gave the Spaniard all the time in the world to pick his spot after James Milner had found him with a short free kick and Moreno lashed his effort into the far corner from 20 yards.
The visitors scored from their first chance in the 22nd. Xherdan Shaqiri, back after a month out injured, curled a free kick into the box after Martin Skrtel fouled Peter Crouch and it was the smallest man on the pitch, Bojan, who flicked in the header for Stoke's first Premier League goal at Anfield.
Former Liverpool player Crouch thought he had scored on only his second Premier League start of the season but his header was ruled out by an offside flag.
At the other end, Sturridge shot just wide but the striker didn't have long to wait. He was given the simple task of nodding in after Ojo, having switched from right to left, tricked his way past Shaqiri and dug out a perfect cross to the back post.
It was a surprise to see Ojo replaced after an impressive half but less than five minutes after coming on Origi rose unchallenged to head in Milner's cross.
Origi put the game out of Stoke's reach in the 65th.
The striker picked the ball up wide on the left and drove into the area before curling the ball just inside the far post. The Belgian may well have been intending to pick out Sturridge but could not have placed it better.