Stoke always make me nervous. The way they play and Liverpool's inability to score made this a nervy affair leading up to it for me. However, Liverpool really took it to Stoke and played quite well, attacking often and limiting Stoke to a handful of chances. In addition, we saw some decent finishing. That is now two games in a row where Liverpool have been a bit more ruthless in front of goal. I like it and it needs to continue. This now sets up a potential Derby semi-final. That would be interesting. On to the ratings:
Reina - 6 - Should have done more to try to get around his blocker on the first goal. Whether he was blocked or not, he seemed to be playing for the foul rather than playing the game. That is U-7 coaching lesson #1.
Enrique - 7 - Another solid outing. He is probably the most consistent player on the team. He didn't get forward as well as usual, but that was likely because he was paired with Maxi.
Skrtel - 8 - What an immense presence he was and has been all season. Dealt with everything thrown his way by a physical Stoke team and also did well with Crouch in open play. Very good game.
Carragher - 7 - Decent game where he really didn't do anything wrong and kept the defense well organized. He needed that after a string of lackluster performances.
Kelly - 5 - Well that was a bit of a let down. He struggled with the pace of the game and overall he just looked tired. Hopefully that was just a one-off game and he'll be back marauding down the flanks again.
Downing - 8 - This is probably the first game where Downing has been decent on the right. Considering how he couldn't rely on Kelly to help him get forward, he still provided decent width. His cut in for his goal was the first time we have really seen it pay off to play him on the right. Great move, great finish. He appears to be getting his form back. I still want him back on the left though.
Gerrard - 7 - A bit subdued by his standards but he partnered with Spearing to put in a good defensive display and, as is typical of Gerrard, he supported the attack quite well. I am not sure if he meant the assist to Downing, but it was a beauty nonetheless.
Spearing - 7 - Another solid display as the holding mid. He kept everything well in front of him and really shielded the defense well. His heart was clearly on display as he went into 3 crunching challenges in a row in the second half including winning an aerial battle. Yeah, an aerial battle; you read that right.
Maxi - 5 - Not good. It was a nice one two to set up Suarez's goal. Aside from that, he was dreadful and looked lost as the other 21 people on the pitch played football around him. On another note, is he trying to grow a mullet? It sure looked like the back was getting disproportionately long.
Carroll - 6 - Didn't offer a whole lot. He picked it up a little towards the end of the game, but this was definitely not a great performance from him. He lost Crouch for the opener, well actually he just stopped for some reason. I have no idea why. He would drop deep, but then struggle to get back into the attack. It was definitely a different Carroll to the one we saw against Everton.
Suarez - 8 - What a beautifully taken goal. He still had it all to do when he got the layoff from Maxi and he buried it, giving Sorenson no chance. He was a constant threat the whole game (as he usually is) and really kept the pressure on the Stoke defense. I hope this is a sign that he has found his finishing touch. Let's just hope his injury isn't too serious.
Kuyt - 6 - Much needed for the below par Maxi. Shored up the right side and shifted Downing to the left. Two positives in one move.
Coates - 6 - Made amends for his poor showing against Sunderland with some good defending as Stoke were applying the pressure towards the end.
Henderson - N/A - No real time.