Extremely quiet evening for the Spaniard but he kept his concentration to make a sharp reaction save to deny Walters just after Liverpool had gone two goals up.
The local lad has started every game under Kenny Dalglish and produced another solid defensive performance. Threat going forward and delivered pinpoint cross from which Johnson nearly scored.
Nearly got Liverpool off to the perfect start but his header from a corner was cleared off the line. Seemed to enjoy his physical battle against Carew.
A surprise inclusion in central midfield but it seemed to work as he instantly built a strong understanding with Lucas. Sat deep to offer protection for Liverpool's more offensive players.
Liverpool's change of formation allowed Agger time on the ball to play almost as a traditional sweeper - and he's such a classy customer. The Dane defended efficiently and started a number of attacks by striding into midfield.
By his own admission has been poor for much of the season but produced an impressive performance as he read the game well and made the right decision more often than not.
For some inexplicable reason the England man looks far more comfortable in defensive situations on the left side. But his real quality is going forward and he did so at every opportunity - almost scoring with a powerful header that Begovic somehow kept out.
Scored his third Liverpool goal with a fierce left-footed drive just after the break after the ball pinballed around the Stoke penalty area. Always a threat as he looked to pick the ball up in space and deliver a killer pass.
The foundation of Liverpool's fluid midfield, the Brazilian kept Liverpool ticking with his accurate passing and clever positional awareness.
Played with his customary drive and energy as Dalglish handed him offensive license to support Kuyt and drift out wide. Delivered some dangerous balls into the box and had at least one strong shout for a penalty after storming into the box.
The Dutchman led the line superbly for the hosts, particularly in the first half. Harried the Stoke defenders, offered a target for his team-mates and looked a goal threat as he forced Begovic into good saves with potshots.
Stunning reaction save to keep out Johnson's bullet header was the pick of a number of first-half saves. Tested fewer times after the break but the Bosnian could do nothing about either strike.
Should have kept out Suarez's goal once he got to the ball, but only manager to divert it into the net via the post. Worked hard but involved in some spiky clashes with Johnson.
Started brightly as he hounded around the midfield but then faded badly and was substituted in the 66th minute.
Seemed to struggle as Kelly ran from deep and sprinted past him, while Gerrard drifted out wide and whipped in crosses. Made one good last-ditch challenge.
Generally won challenges in the air but very clumsy against Liverpool's quick movement and footwork around the edge of the box.
Overrun in the centre of the pitch by Liverpool's extra man and their sheer desire. Made some decent breaks into the box but the ball never found him.
Never seemed to be with the pace of the game as he gave away a number of free-kicks and committed to rash tackles before he was hauled off in the 61st minute.
Back at his old club and Stoke's most dangerous player as he delivered some excellent crosses towards Carew and caused problems with his dribbling skills.
A strong physical presence leading the Stoke attack but far too isolated, particularly in the first half as the visitors struggled to relieve the pressure. Only sight at goal was a second-half shot that fizzed just wide from a tight angle.
Worked hard, never gave the home players a moment of rest and was rewarded with a couple of decent chances - but he didn't take either. Could have brought Stoke straight back into the game after Liverpool's second but smashed his effort too close to Reina.
- P. Gulácsi
- 23 J. Carragher
- 17 M. Rodríguez
Replaced Aurelio 15 minutes from time. Looked bright and eager to get on the ball.
The new £23 million signing came on to make his debut to a huge ovation in the 63rd minute. His first couple of touches looked nervous but he quickly settled and brilliantly rounded Begovic for the killer second goal. Wilkinson got the final touch but the Uruguayan - a natural goalscorer - will certainly try to claim that one. Another outrageous piece of skill on the edge of the area showed his quality.
- 29 T. Sørensen
Replaced Faye in the 65th minute and didn't do too much wrong - although the Stoke backline was caught out by Suarez's run for the second goal.
Replaced Diao just after the hour mark. Didn't have any opportunities to launch his trademark long throw into the danger area.
- 26 M. Etherington
- 6 G. Whelan
Came on in the 66th minute as the visitors tried to add another dimension to their play but was snuffed out by the Liverpool defenders.
- 9 K. Jones