Liverpool vs Stoke City analysis: Kevin Stewart excels on first league start

The Reds won 4-1 with Origi helping himself to a double

Sunday 10 April 2016 18:25
Liverpool midfielder Kevin Stewart plays a pass
Liverpool midfielder Kevin Stewart plays a pass


Kevin Stewart. Divock Origi continued his fine week with two goals after coming on at half-time and Daniel Sturridge also did himself no harm but, playing in a holding role in midfield, Kevin Stewart did not put a foot wrong. It was a display of immense maturity and composure from the 22-year-old on his first Premier League start. It won't be his last.


Like Stewart, 18-year-old Sheyi Ojo was making his first league start for Liverpool and he produced moments of real excitement in his 45 minutes on the pitch. None more so than for the goal he created for Sturridge in the 32nd minute. Ojo started on the right but switched to the left and, after being found by Alberto Moreno, left Xherdan Shaqiri for dead before standing up a perfect cross to the far post.


Not surprisingly, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp made plenty of changes with Thursday's second leg of the Europa League quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund in mind. A couple were enforced, with Jordan Henderson ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury and Emre Can suspended. Stewart and Ojo made their first Premier League starts while Roberto Firmino and Sturridge were given a chance in attack. Stoke welcomed back captain Ryan Shawcross and Xherdan Shaqiri from injury but were without Glenn Whelan and Marko Arnautovic. Peter Crouch made only his second Premier League start of the season up front.

Divock Origi heads in his first goal against Stoke 


There was plenty to admire from an attacking perspective but both teams seemed to be under the impression that marking in the box had been outlawed. Three of the goals came from free headers, with Liverpool's problem defending set-pieces rearing its head again. They were fortunate only to concede once, while Stoke boss Mark Hughes would have been tearing his hair out at the ease with which Liverpool's strikers found space.


Bournemouth v Liverpool (Barclays Premier League, Sunday April 17)

Stoke v Tottenham (Barclays Premier League, Monday April 18)


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