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Full-time: Stoke 0-1 Liverpool

  • Jordon Ibe comes off the bench to score a first-half winner for the visitors following Adam Lallana's cross
  • Liverpool impress but endure another costly night of injuries as Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren both limp off with hamstring problems
  • Kolo Toure also looked to be struggling with injury late in the second half
  • Stoke will travel to Anfield for the second leg on 26 January needing to overturn a one-goal deficit
Jordon Ibe
Substitute Jordon Ibe netted the winner for Liverpool on a costly night of injuries for Jurgen Klopp Getty

That is all from this live blog, but stay tuned to IBTimes UK for post-match reaction. We will also be back tomorrow night to bring you live coverage of the other Capital One Cup semi-final tie between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park.

Until then, goodnight.

So substitute Ibe's first-half strike is enough to give Liverpool a slender advantage. After a disappointing early showing Stoke improved after the break but could not exploit Klopp's multitude of injury worries.

The German's strong opinions on a lack of a winter break in English football are sure to be voiced once again this week after Coutinho, Lovren and potentially Toure all suffered from hamstring injuries.

The second leg at Anfield takes place on Tuesday 26 January, but next the FA Cup will take priority for both of these sides as Stoke face Doncaster and Liverpool travel to League Two side Exeter.


Stoke 0-1 Liverpool

Stoke loft the ball forward in desperation. Crouch wins a slight flick-on to release Walters, but he drags his shot wide. That should do it.

Walters heads wide and it looks like Stoke will travel to Anfield for the second leg on 26 January trailing by a goal to nil.

With Skrtel, Sakho and Lovren all out, Toure is currently Liverpool's only fit centre-back. Unbelievably, he is also now grimacing and holding his hamstring as he shepherds Arnautovic's pass towards Joselu out of play.

Three minutes of added time to play.

Assertive goalkeeping from Mignolet to punch the ball wide after Afellay tries to find the head of Crouch. Toure and Can then work hard to clear their lines from the resulting corner.

Committed defending.

There is certainly no doubt over Stoke's approach in the dying stages of this match with the diminutive Shaqiri replaced by someone of Crouch's stature. Liverpool are not allowing any aerial balls into their box at present.

With just eight minutes plus stoppage time remaining, Hughes throws the dice for one final time as the towering figure of Peter Crouch jogs on. Shaqiri is the man to make way.

Almost costly from Ibe as he loses possession down Liverpool's left-hand side. Shaqiri needs no invitation to burst forward and he beats Lucas before an attempted cross is blocked by Toure. The Swiss international then disappointingly puts a corner into the side netting.

Just moments after taking an elbow to the face from Shawcross, Firmino tries his luck once more but again his shot is wide.

A third and final substitution from Klopp sees Benteke sent on in place of the impressive Allen.

Close for Stoke as Arnautovic dummies a low pass and Joselu's shot deflects off Clyne and forces Mignolet to palm over the crossbar. The Spanish striker then tries to turn home the corner at the back post but his volley is sent wide.

A very nervy moment for Butland as he thumps Shawcross' backpass straight into Firmino. Luckily he is able to collect the rebound without it flying over his head.

Mignolet has been dithering over his goal kicks with Liverpool leading. To the delight of the home supporters, his latest bout of not-so-subtle timewasting earns him a yellow card.

A second change from Hughes as Joselu replaces Bojan. Stoke are intent on finding this equaliser with 20 minutes of the first leg remaining.

A chance at either end as Ibe exchanges passes with Firmino before driving a low effort into the side netting from close range. Shawcross then looks to exploit a mismatch with Clyne from Walters' inviting cross, but his header flies over.

Liverpool have had two penalty shouts in the last five minutes, one for an apparent Whelan trip on Allen and the second for Arnautovic's coming together with Clyne. Referee Taylor looks to have made the right decision on both counts.

Liverpool pass the ball around patiently on the edge of the Stoke penalty area. Instead of playing in Nathaniel Clyne on the overlap, Firmino then cuts inside and hits a shot wide of Butland's left-hand post.

Stoke are monopolising possession now, but Liverpool almost break clear due to some robust tackling from Lucas. The makeshift centre-back continues his run forward but compatriot Firmino's return pass is cut out.

Apologies for the lack of updates over the last few minutes. We appear to be having one or two technical hiccups here at IBT Towers.

Stoke are really growing into this game now. Far more confidence and attacking impetus on display from the home side.

By shoving Walters in the back, Toure gives away a needless free-kick that causes real problems for Liverpool, but Milner gets down well to block Milner's low drive.

Whelan wants a penalty for what he feels was a foul on him by Moreno as he tried to shoot, but Taylor doesn't oblige.

Impressive play from Allen and Coutinho to free Firmino. Shawcross fails to intercept, but Johnson is on hand to block.

The first shot in anger of the second 45 comes from Emre Can, but his effort is far too high to worry Butland.

With Walters on, the second half is off and running. A big 45 minutes for Stoke, you feel.

No surprise to see Hughes make his first change of the night at half-time. Cameron, who was only permitted to play as a result of his successful appeal against the red card received at West Brom on Saturday, is replaced by Walters.

Further replays of that Liverpool goal suggest that labelling Allen's contribution as a "scuff" may have been a little bit harsh. The former Swansea man clearly looks over at Ibe as he makes contact with the ball, so perhaps it was an intentional pass?

If so, you will struggle to see a better assist than that all season.

An otherwise positive first half for Liverpool tempered by two further hamstring injuries sustained by Coutinho and Lovren.

Much of their forward play has been quick and incisive, while Hughes will likely be pondering changes to his side to avoid having to visit Anfield for the second leg needing to overturn a deficit.


Stoke 0-1 Liverpool

Shaqiri wins a late first-half corner for Stoke. Lucas, who has been moved to centre-back since the injury to Lovren, heads clear but Simon Mignolet is then forced into saving Johnson's low shot.

Allen commits a clear foul on Afellay just outside the Liverpool penalty area, but referee Taylor waves play on and Shaqiri fires a shot harmlessly over the bar.

The home crowd are far from pleased with that decision.

Three minutes of added time signalled by the fourth official as Stoke work the ball around patiently and try to find an opening in the pouring rain.

This game is really starting to open up now as Arnautovic spurns an excellent chance by failing to make contact with Johnson's whipped cross towards the front post.

Firmino then dispossesses Glenn Whelan before being denied by a strong challenge from Shawcross and Ibe curls a shot wide of Butland's goal after more good play from Lallana.

Some light relief for Liverpool fans as their side take the lead. Milner's excellent low pass down the right-hand flank is collected by Lallana, who cuts it back towards the run of Allen.

The Welsh midfielder scuffs his shot, but Ibe, who has looked lively since replacing Coutinho, picks up the ball and takes a touch before rifling it into the bottom corner with his left foot.

Goal: Stoke 0-1 Liverpool (Jordon Ibe)

After receiving treatment, it is clear that Lovren will also have to be substituted after straining his hamstring during those aforementioned sliding challenges on Shaqiri and Bojan.

Milner comes on in his place.

Lovren looks to be Liverpool's latest injury casualty as he signals to the bench while holding his hamstring. Unbelievably bad luck for Klopp.

There was a little bit of afters from Shawcross and Firmino a moment ago. Johnson then plays an enticing cross towards Arnautovic, but the latter tries to hook it rather than use his head and the chance goes begging.

Lovren is alert once again to pick up Johnson's dangerous through ball to Shaqiri. The Croatian centre-back then rushes out to make another sliding challenge as Stoke look to build some sort of momentum.

A chance for Ibe after Firmino's cross is flicked on nicely by Lallana but his snap shot is held by Butland.

An intelligent corner routine from Stoke sees Shaqiri tee up Bojan in space, but the Spaniard fails to make a proper connection. That was a real chance.

Smart defending from Lovren to snuff out the threat of Johnson after Alberto Moreno had totally misjudged the situation.

At the other end, Firmino sees a shot blocked by Erik Pieters before Ibe cuts in from the left and drives an effort over the crossbar.

There is no out ball whatsoever for Stoke just at the moment.

Coutinho, who appeared to suffer the problem while trying to deliver an earlier cross into the box, limps off to be replaced by Ibe. Yet another hamstring injury for Liverpool.

Liverpool have looked impressive in the first 20 minutes here but Klopp has now been dealt yet another injury blow as Coutinho goes down clutching his hamstring. He won't be able to continue.

More sustained pressure from Liverpool as ex-Reds defender Glen Johnson gives possession away cheaply and Firmino forces another corner. Stoke survive.

Allen, who has made an excellent start to this match, picks out the run of Coutinho with a lofted ball forward. Left in a one-on-one situation with Shawcross, the Stoke defender makes an excellent last-ditch challenge.

Stoke make a rare foray forward but are unable to get a shot away. Liverpool then come straight back with clever interplay between Coutinho and Firmino on the left-hand side, but Afellay eventually blocks their path to goal.

Stoke enjoy their first real period of possession but the passing is shoddy and they are deservedly caught out. Liverpool swiftly counter, but Coutinho's low pass towards Lallana is overhit.

There is a good/expectant atmosphere around the Britannia this evening. Butland is called into action once again to parry a long-range shot from Lallana.

Hesitant defending from Stoke and Hughes will be eager to see his defenders close down that sort of space.

A very fast start from Liverpool as they apply a lot of early pressure to win a couple of corners. Butland also forced into a save from Firmino's ambitious shot.

Referee Anthony Taylor gets us underway in the Potteries. Liverpool's last trip to this stadium saw them avenge the 6-1 humiliation suffered on the final day of last season thanks to a long-range thunderbolt from Coutinho.

We are under 10 minutes away from kick-off now.

Tonight is Stoke's first appearance in a League Cup semi-final in 43 years. In 1972, they needed two replays to see off the challenge of West Ham before beating Chelsea 2-1 in the final.

They were also runners-up in 1964 and beat Luton, Fulham, Chelsea and Sheffield Wednesday en-route to the semis this time around.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have won this competition on no less than eight previous occasions, with their last triumph coming during the second reign of Kenny Dalglish in 2012.

They have knocked out Carlisle, Bournemouth and Southampton already this term, the latter coming by way of a 6-1 rout featuring a brace from Sturridge and Origi's hat-trick.

James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo reports via Twitter that Sakho's absence from the Liverpool squad tonight is due to a minor knee injury.

Meanwhile, here's a reminder of what Klopp had to say on Sturridge's latest setback during his press-match press conference yesterday.

Maybe you have the feeling that we trained now for three weeks with Daniel and say every day, 'More, more, more, more,' and every day he's fitter and fitter, and in the end I say, 'No, I wait.' It's not like this.

"Daniel had some problems in these weeks, not serious, but then he could not make the next session and we had to wait a day or something like this.

"[It's] how a pre-season can be. It's a pre-season without games so it should not happen too much but some little things happened, we always have to handle this.

"It's not a row of sessions and now we are here. I'm the first who will pick him when he's available, when he's ready for this – I will never hold him back.

"In this moment, because he didn't have one session with the team, which was the usual plan for this week, he's not available. What we are trying to do now is to fill his body with energy and strength and everything. That's what we have to do.

"It would be easy for me to say, 'Come on, let's try, we have problems, we don't score enough goals, bring him and let's see what happens', but that's where we have to be patient. We have to wait

Stoke are certainly a forced to be reckoned with on their own patch and in Arnautovic, Afellay, Shaqiri and Bojan they boast one of English football's most skilful attacking quartets.

Much of the speculation in the build-up to this contest has surrounded Bojan, with Mark Hughes forced to deny media reports that the former Barcelona forward's current contract contains a release clause of just £10m.

Klopp's decision to drop Benteke has certainly been met with a mixed reaction across social media. The Belgian international, who moved to Anfield in a £32.5m deal from Aston Villa in July 2015, has been well below par of late but remains Liverpool's only fit striker in the absence of Sturridge, Ings and Origi.

Liverpool's treatment room has been very busy indeed over recent weeks, although by contrast Stoke have practically a clean bill of health.

Only veteran goalkeeper Shay Given misses out, with injured duo Marc Muniesa and Stephen Ireland reportedly nearing a return to action.

Injury-plagued striker Daniel Sturridge remains absent for Liverpool tonight after suffering a setback in his recovery from a hamstring strain sustained against Newcastle in early December.

James Milner is named as a substitute after missing the last four matches with a calf issue. Martin Skrtel, Divock Origi and Jordan Rossiter are all still sidelined as a result of hamstring trouble, although Jon Flanagan featured for 45 minutes of an U21 victory over Morecambe earlier today as he steps up his comeback from a serious knee injury.

Captain Jordan Henderson misses out due to a heel problem, while summer arrivals Danny Ings and Joe Gomez remain long-term absentees.

Stoke are unchanged from the weekend, with United States international Cameron permitted to start after seeing his three-match suspension for violent conduct withdrawn by the Football Association (FA) on appeal yesterday.

Klopp has made three changes to the team beaten too easily at Upton Park. Kolo Toure lines up alongside Dejan Lovren at centre-back instead of Mamadou Sakho, while Jordon Ibe is replaced by Joe Allen.

Striker Christian Benteke also drops to the bench as Adam Lallana starts alongside Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino in attack.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Toure, Lovren, Moreno, Lucas, Can, Allen, Coutinho, Lallana, Firmino

Subs: Bogdan, Milner, Benteke, Brannagan, Ibe, Smith, Randall

Stoke: Butland, Johnson, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters, Cameron, Whelan, Arnautovic, Afellay, Shaqiri, Bojan

Subs: Haugaard, Wilson, Adam, Van Ginkel, Walters, Joselu, Crouch

Team news is on the way. Stay tuned...

Liverpool, who reached the final four of this competition last term under Brendan Rodgers before an aggregate defeat to Chelsea, approach this tie looking to redeem themselves following an abject display against West Ham on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp's side were searching for a third consecutive Premier League win in east London, yet turned in a lacklustre performance and were deservedly beaten courtesy of headers in each half from Michail Antonio and former Reds striker Andy Carroll.

Stoke were also looking for their third win on the bounce last weekend, but suffered defeat to a West Brom side managed by former boss Tony Pulis.

Substitute Jonathan Walters looked to have secured his side a point with an 81st-minute goal at The Hawthorns, but the visitors then saw Geoff Cameron dismissed following an altercation with Claudio Yacob and defender Jonny Evans went on to net a stoppage-time winner.

Good evening and welcome to IBTimes UK's live coverage of this week's first Capital One Cup semi-final first-leg clash between Stoke City and Liverpool from the Britannia Stadium.

Tonight's game is a 20.00 GMT kick-off, and we will have live updates for you throughout the evening in addition to breaking team news and confirmed line-ups.