A Philippe Coutinho wondergoal rescued a new-look Liverpool and gave the Reds a 1-0 win over Stoke City in an otherwise uneventful opening-weekend match at the Britannia Stadium.
The Brazilian playmaker broke 86 minutes of deadlock with a rasping 25-yard strike to ensure that the Reds started the new Premier League season with three points.
Here, fanatix rates and slates the performances of Brendan Rodgers’ side…
GK: Simon Mignolet – 7/10
The Belgian was confident coming for crosses and accurate with his long-ball distribution to Christian Benteke. He also made a couple of decent saves in a very solid opening-day outing.
RB: Nathaniel Clyne – 6/10
Did not have an awful lot to do defensively as Ibrahim Afellay preferred to drift inside off the Stoke left. Only got forward on a couple of occasions as he eased his way into Liverpool life.
CB: Martin Skrtel – 6/10
Mame Biram Diouf was a nuisance for the Slovakian and Dejan Lovren all game. Liverpool’s centre-back pair managed to nullify him in the end, but were lucky that he did not have more support up front.
CB: Dejan Lovren – 6/10
Fortunate to stay on the pitch when his elbow on Diouf was only punished by a yellow card, but leaves the Potteries with a morale-boosting clean sheet after his debut-season struggles for Liverpool.
LB: Joe Gomez – 7/10
The 18-year-old was very assured on his Premier League bow. If anything, his confidence was nearly his undoing as he overplayed a couple of times, when a more experienced player would have kept it simple.
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