Capital One Cup
Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, England
Liverpool took a slender one-nil lead back to Anfield in the Capital One Cup thanks to a goal from substitute Jordan Ibe. The winger came on 18 minutes into the first half, because of an injury to talismanic midfielder Philippe Coutinho, to score the only goal of the game to give the Reds the edge of the Potters.
The away side started confidently and within the first minute, a loose ball was seized upon by Roberto Firmino, who fired from range, but Jack Butland had it covered and gathered with ease.
In the seventh minute, another strike from range, this time from Adam Lallana, was well tipped away by Butland again.
In the 18th minute, the visitors made their first change of the game as Philippe Coutinho departed for Jordan Ibe, due to a hamstring injury.
In the 23rd minute, substitute Ibe cut-inside before shooting off-target.
Two minutes later, the home side had a good opportunity to take the lead when a well-worked corner from Xherdan Shaqiri found Bojan, but he miscued his effort, and when the ball eventually fell to former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson, he shot harmlessly wide.
Soon after, a Firmino cross was flicked-on by Lallana to find Ibe, whose half-volley was easily saved by Butland.
In the 33rd minute, the away side were forced to make their second substitution of the game, due to another hamstring injury. This time Dejan Lovren made way for James Milner.
In the 37th minute, the visitors took the lead when a Milner through-ball released Lallana, who cut the ball back to find Joe Allen, whose miscue fell kindly to the substitute Ibe, and he sent Butland the wrong way.
Three minutes later, Ibe came close to getting his second. Again, Lallana was in the thick of it, crossing for the youngster, who curled his effort wide.
There were three minutes of additional time, and right at the end of it, a Bojan corner eventually fell to Johnson, but his volley was well pushed away by Simon Mignolet, under-pressure.
That was the last action of the first half as the referee blew his whistle to bring the first 45 minutes to an end.
During the interval, the home side made their first change of the game, bringing on Jonathan Walters for Geoff Cameron.
The first attempt in the second period came from the visitors, when Emre Can fired off-target from range.
In the 58th minute, Lallana found Firmino on the edge of the box, but his shot was always rising.
Four minutes later, Firmino created space to fire just wide of Butland’s near post.
Soon after a Milner effort was cleared off the line, before moments later, Ibe cut-inside to shoot into the side-netting.
Moments later, a Walters’ cross was headed over by Ryan Shawcross.
Moments after, the home side made their second change of the game, with Joselu replacing Bojan.
In the 73rd minute, the visitors almost got a surprise second when a Butland clearance was charged-down by Firmino, but the keeper managed to gather the looping the ball.
In the 76th minute, a deflected effort from substitute Joselu hit the bar and went over for a corner. The resulting corner found the Spaniard at the back post, but he couldn’t control his volley, and his effort flew off-target.
Moments later, Firmino found space to shoot off-target from range.
In the 78th minute, the visitors made their third and final change of the game, with Christian Benteke coming on for Allen.
In the 82nd minute, the Potters made their final change of the game bringing on former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch for Shaqiri.
There were three minutes of added time, and in the last of those, a long ball headed on by Crouch found Walters, who was through on-goal, but he dragged his half-volley wide.
That was the last action of the match as the referee blew his whistle to bring the game to an end.
The result meant that Liverpool took a one-goal advantage back to Anfield for the second leg of the tie, with Stoke City eager to overcome the Reds in order to book a place in the final.