Liverpool moved back to within six points of leaders Chelsea after coming from behind to thump Stoke City 4-1 at Anfield.
The Reds had the added pressure of playing a day after their title rivals, but adapted well to turn it around after Jon Walters gave the visitors an early lead.
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The Merseysiders had initially found Stoke's tactics difficult to contend with, but recovered to seize back second spot in style thanks to goals from Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino, a Gianelli Imbula own goal and a quickfire effort from substitute Daniel Sturridge.
It was Sturridge's first Premier League strike of the season and saw the home side notch up 100 league goals under Jurgen Klopp in the German's 48th match in charge.
The result means the Reds leapfrog Manchester City, who they host on New Year's Eve, and have now lost just once in their last 20 league and cup matches.
Stoke will return to the drawing board as they bid to halt a run of four matches without a win when they visit table-topping Chelsea.

TALKING POINT

Liverpool are a joy to watch in attack - but both goalkeepers remain a weakness.
Liverpool have a ruthless forward line and clinched the milestone of a century of league goals under Klopp to illustrate they have the firepower to push for the title. They even saw Sturridge boost his confidence with his first league goal of the campaign.
Indeed, it all looks very rosy for the Reds, but they can't keep giving away cheap goals as a result of their goalkeepers. It has cost them points already this season and has done in the past. Much has been written and said about Loris Karius over the past month, but Simon Mignolet gave a timely reminder of just why Jurgen Klopp signed a new keeper in the summer as question marks were raised over the Belgian stopper's role in Stoke's opener. It didn't prove costly in this match but there's no doubt opponents see the Reds vulnerability in the air as a key area to attack. Don't expect Klopp to act in the January transfer window, but if goalkeeping gaffes hamper this exciting Liverpool side's bid for silverware in the second half of the campaign, it won't surprise anyone to see a new number one between the sticks come the start of the 2017-18 campaign.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool). The Brazilian's 15th PL goal of 2016 is the most from any Liverpool player and shows how pivotal he has become to Klopp's side. He snared their all-important second goal to put the Reds in the driving seat just before half time and gave another tireless display mixed with trademark Samba flair.

PLAYER RATINGS

LIVERPOOL: Mignolet 5, Clyne 7, Klavan 7, Lovren 7, Milner 8, Henderson 8, Wijnaldum 6, Lallana 7, Mane 7, Origi 7, Firmino 8. Subs: Sturridge 7, Can 6, Moreno n/a.
STOKE CITY: Grant 6; Johnson 5, Shawcross 5, M.Indi 5, Pieters 7; Diouf 6, Allen 7, Whelan 6, Imbula 5, Walters 6; Crouch 6. Subs: Sobhy 6, Afellay 6, Bony n/a.

Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary

KEY MOMENTS

12' - GOAL! LIVERPOOL 0-1 STOKE CITY. Jon Walters nods in at the near post via a hand of Mignolet from Pieters' left-wing cross.
18' - STOKE CITY CHANCE! Allen jinks free in the area. He lashes in a low shot that Mignolet parries superbly. Crouch can't reach the rebound straight away and the eventual follow-up from Pieters is hacked away from inside the six-yard box.
35' - GOAL! LIVERPOOL 1-1 STOKE CITY. Liverpool are level. Lallana pounces on an error from Johnson to slide the ball under the keeper from a narrow angle by the right byline. The England midfielder's touch onto Mane's cross looked to be halted by Johnson who dallied and paid the price.

verpool v Stoke City - Premier League - Anfield - 27/12/16 Liverpool's Adam Lallana scores their first goal

Image credit: Reuters

44' - GOAL! LIVERPOOL 2-1 STOKE CITY. Firmino fires Liverpool ahead. The Brazilian shifts it into space on the left of the area and fizzes a low drive that eventually crosses the line via both posts.
59' - GOAL! LIVERPOOL 3-1 STOKE CITY. Henderson feeds Origi on the left and his low cross is turned into his own net by Gianelli Imbula with Mane lurking for a tap-in.
70' - GOAL! LIVERPOOL 4-1 STOKE CITY. Sturridge makes an instant impact from the bench. The striker races onto Shawcross' woeful backpass, rounds the keeper and tucks it home.

KEY STATS

  • Walters has scored more premier league goals versus Liverpool than against any other team (6).
  • Roberto Firmino has netted more Premier League goals (15) in 2016 than any other Liverpool player
  • Daniel Sturridge netted his first league goal of the season, with what was his 21st attempt on goal.
  • Sturridge's goal against Stoke came just 56 seconds after coming on as a second half substitute.
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