It was vital that Liverpool secured all three points from their trip to Stoke City on Wednesday night.
Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal are dropping very few points right now - and Liverpool, if they lost this match, would have been in danger of allowing the aforementioned clubs inside the top four to drift away from them.
Furthermore, Burnley are hot on their heels. Sean Dyche’s men had the opportunity to leapfrog them in the Premier League table if results went their way. Factor in Tottenham, too, and it’s patently clear that Liverpool already have their work cut out to secure a top-four finish this season.
However, Jurgen Klopp’s side have been in decent form of late in the Premier League.
They haven’t lost since their 4-1 defeat to Tottenham at Wembley on October 22 and travelled to the Bet365 Stadium after picking up 10 points from their previous four fixtures.
Klopp raised a few eyebrows before the match with his decision to hand Dominic Solanke his first ever Premier League start in this match.
Liverpool fans are all saying the same thing about Solanke
However, by the end of the match, Liverpool fans were all saying the same thing about the 20-year-old.
Impressed by his creativity and work ethic, it seems almost every Liverpool supporter now wants the talented Solanke to retain his place in the starting line-up ahead of Daniel Sturridge, who was an unused substitute against the Potters.
Check out the reaction on Twitter (Look away now, Daniel…)
Solanke provided the assist for Mane
It was Solanke who provided the assist for Sadio Mane to open the scoring in the 17th minute.
The game remained 1-0 to the visitors until Klopp deployed the red-hot Mohamed Salah for Solanke midway through the second half.
Salah notched his 16th and 17th goals in seven second-half minutes to continue his remarkable start to his Liverpool career.
Klopp praises Solanke's performance
After the game, Klopp joked in his post-match press conference that Solanke should have scored, but praised the former Chelsea forward’s overall performance.
“He should have scored,” Klopp smiled, per the Liverpool Echo. “Fantastic boy, well-deserved, really happy he could do that. Fantastic player.
"He can improve in pretty much everything but he's already a good player, so that's probably the best news, so I'm really happy I could give him this opportunity tonight.
“He has to work like all the others but everybody who is with England thought tonight 'that looks good' – really good player.”
Liverpool fans: does Dominic Solanke deserve to be ahead of Daniel Sturridge in the pecking order? Have your say by leaving a comment below.