Posted on May 5, 2016
Mark Hughes saw his team collapse remarkably in the recent meeting with Liverpool, which ended as a 4-1 loss for his team. Stoke City were coming into the game with aspirations of a European finish.
The club’s chairman Peter Coates recently claimed that qualifying for Europe regularly will be a sign of improvement for Stoke, who were a regular Championship club not too long ago. Any hope of featuring in the Europa League for only the second season in the club’s history may have come to an end after this loss against Liverpool at Anfield.
Stoke were feeling confident prior to the match since there was a belief that Liverpool will be having their entire attention on the midweek clash with Borussia Dortmund. The Merseyside outfit drew 1-1 with the German club in the first leg of the Europa League match. The return leg will be at Anfield and Jurgen Klopp was expected to rest some of his big-name players in anticipation of this game. This was not the case, as the likes of Daniel Sturridge, James Milner, and Roberto Firmino all played against Stoke. Sturridge scored a goal in the 32nd minute and stayed on the pitch for the full 90 minutes.
Hughes was feeling confident after going into halftime at 2-1, but conceding two goals in the second half made the scoreline flattering for Liverpool. “I thought first half we acquitted ourselves really well – we had a decent amount of control in the game.We feel 4-1 is a little bit harsh on us, especially after what we did in the first half, but you’ve got to have a full 90 minute performance and we didn’t have that today.We were not as resolute as normal. We had some had good moments, and at half-time we felt we were very much in the game,” said Hughes.