Liverpool finally recorded a Premier League win at Stoke City thanks to an own goal, Steven Gerrard's penalty, a Luis Suarez brace and Daniel Sturridge scoring late on. The visitors had never tasted victory at the Britannia, but got it here despite being pegged back to 2-2 at half time after leading 2-0. Peter Crouch and Charlie Adam came back to haunt their old club, restoring the Potters' parity following early defensive errors which Aly Cissokho and Suarez profited from. Raheem Sterling then won a soft penalty, however, and the returning Sturridge set Suarez up for a second. Jon Walters set up a grandstand finish, but Mark Hughes and his team went down 5-3 as Sturridge sunk Stoke at the death. Brendan Rodgers's Reds went ahead inside five minutes in fortuitous fashion. Cissokho saw his speculative effort take a massive deflection off home captain Ryan Shawcross and that left Jack Butland between the posts for the Potters with no chance. Stoke initially offered little threat in response with Marko Arnautovic shanking well over, but an aerial bombardment at set plays soon followed. The hosts then shot themselves in the foot with a defensive horror show after half an hour. Liverpool talisman Suarez nipped in ahead of Butland when Shawcross failed to cut out Marc Wilson's back header. The Potters pulled one back six minutes before half time as Crouch glanced an Arnautovic centre into the bottom corner against his former club. Moments later Butland made a reaction stop from Philippe Coutinho. Stoke's theme of old Liverpool players scoring continued when Adam equalized just before the break. His set piece deliveries were woeful, but the Scot really got hold of this strike. Five minutes into the second half, Sterling went down in the box after a coming together with Wilson. Referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot and Reds skipper Gerrard coolly dispatched this soft penalty. Rodgers threw on Sturridge and he made a fourth Liverpool goal and a second for Suarez 20 minutes from time. Sturridge ran at the heart of the Potters defence and a clever reverse ball teed up Suarez to fire under Butland. Walters forced Simon Mignolet into a fine save with a header for Stoke late on, but the Irish forward netted a scrappy third moments later. Any hopes of a late leveller for the hosts ended when Sturridge beat Butland at the second attempt after Suarez found him at the back post. There was still time for Crouch to head against the post and Mignolet to stop Gerrard from heading into his own net as this frantic encounter drew to a close. Rodgers keeps the Reds in the top four ahead of Merseyside rivals Everton whilst the Potters stay twelfth.
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Jamie Clark is a qualified Web Journalist after undergoing professional training at the University of Sheffield. A prolific and accredited sports writer, he also enjoys classic comedy, historic fiction, 80s music and heritage.