Philippe Coutinho's stunning strike was enough to hand Liverpool a 1-0 victory over Stoke City in their Premier League opener to avenge their 6-1 defeat at the Britannia Stadium on the final day of last season.

The Potters were the first to threaten as Marco van Ginkel found space down the right and fired a low ball across the face of goal, but Charlie Adam could only scuff his first-time strike.

Stoke continued to threaten in the final third when Jonathan Walters played the ball through to Mame Biram Diouf, but his effort was tame and collected with ease by Simon Mignolet.

The Reds had an even share of possession, but struggled to deliver a quality ball into the final third for debutant Christian Benteke.

Van Ginkel caused further problems for the visitors when he raided down the right and cut the ball back forIbrahim Afellay, but his shot was blocked. Glen Johnson latched on to the rebound, but blasted his strike over the bar.

In the second half, Stoke almost found a breakthrough when Adam lifted the ball in from the right and his free kick sailed through a crowd of players to dip in front of goal, but Mignolet made the save.

Coutinho burst through the middle of the Stoke defence, although he was stopped the ball was deflected into the path of Benteke who fired at goal, but his effort was blocked by Geoff Cameron.

Liverpool began to up the ante as they won a corner and Martin Skrtel rose highest in the box to head at goal, but Jack Butland made an acrobatic save to claim the ball.

The Potters pushed to earn a winner as Johnson raided down the right and lifted a dangerous cross into the box for Diouf, but the forward could only head his effort wide of the target.

However, Brendan Rodgers's men took the lead in the 86th minute when Coutinho surged through the middle and blasted a stunning strike beyond the reach of Butland into the top corner to earn his side the three points.

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