Stoke boss Mark Hughes was left to rue uncharacteristic defensive lapses as the Potters slipped to a 4-1 defeat at Liverpool.
Hughes’ men got off to a terrible start as Alberto Moreno fired the Reds in front after just eight minutes, but they responded well as Bojan Krkic headed in an equaliser.
However Daniel Sturridge restored the lead for the Reds in the 32nd minute and half-time substitute Divock Origi continued his fine week with two second-half goals.
Hughes felt the scoreline flattered Liverpool, but accepted that defensive errors cost his side.
“We had a decent amount of control in the game, we were working the ball up the pitch to good effect, getting the ball out wide, but unfortunately for us the story of the game was our inability to stop balls coming into our box,” Hughes said. “And when they did come into our box, we lacked the ability to clear them or defend them correctly.
“In the end 4-1 we feel is a little bit hard on us given what we did in the first half but you’ve got to have a full 90-minute performance and unfortunately we didn’t have that.”
Hughes and full-back Erik Pieters had words late in the game, with the full-back substituted shortly after and notably not exchanging so much as a glance with the Stoke boss.
The Stoke boss shrugged off the incident, saying: “There may well have been (words) but those things happen. We just needed to be a little bit more solid and I just felt I needed to make a change.”