Matthew Etherington believes even the world's best defender would have been mesmerised by Steven Gerrard's superb assist in Wednesday night's 4-0 victory at Anfield.
The Stoke winger was filling in at left-back when Gerrard produced a stunning high-speed turn on the edge of the box to create the space to set-up Liverpool's third goal for Dirk Kuyt.
Etherington said: "Liverpool have got world-class players, especially when you see what Gerrard did for their third goal. I do not think the best defender in the world would have expected him to do that. It was certainly the last thing I was expecting."
But Etherington insisted the 4-0 defeat was a harsh reflection on Stoke's dogged efforts at Anfield, a ground that saw them produce a defiant display last season to claim a 0-0 draw.
Etherington said: "It probably is an unfair score when you look at it. But from the moment we conceded a goal so early in the game, it was always going to be an uphill task against a team of that quality.
"Just before they scored their second, shortly before half-time, we had a sustained period of pressure and I thought we were playing pretty well.
"That second goal killed us, but again I think we did well before their third goal. I suppose that finished it then."
Fernando Torres, Glen Johnson and David Ngog were the other scorers for Liverpool.
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