Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers delighted to exorcise Stoke demons

Mark Hughes and Brendan Rodgers

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Brendan Rodgers felt Liverpool’s opening victory at Stoke in the Premier League allowed the Anfield club to banish memories of their mauling at the Britannia Stadium on the final day of last season.

Liverpool suffered a crushing 6-1 reverse at the hands of Stoke in what was Steven Gerrard’s final appearance for the Merseysiders before joining LA Galaxy.

Fate meant they returned for their next competitive outing as the new season kicked off and Philippe Coutinho struck a fabulous winner five minutes from the end to allow Liverpool bury the ghost of Stoke.

“To get a win and perform from where we were 11 weeks ago – I thought it was an outstanding collective performance,” Rodgers told reporters.

“You can never guarantee you are going to win or lose a game but for me it was about ensuring the personality came out in the team.”

The Reds boss made no secret of how much the previous visit to Stoke had hurt his club and he was glad to be able to consign it to history so early in the new season.

“Eleven weeks ago we were nowhere near that – it was embarrassing on the day. It was a one-off game, a unique game, but it still happened. I think that puts it to bed,” he added.

Liverpool can now look forward to welcoming Premier League new-boys Bournemouth to Anfield next Monday.

Rodgers revealed he was ready to substitute Coutinho just before the Brazilian’s wonder-strike won the day against Stoke.

“I am glad I kept him on but I can’t profess to be any sort of genius. It was fortunate he got the goal and he stayed on,” said Rodgers.

Liverpool are 1.50 to defeat Bournemouth in their next Premier League game.

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