The fifth meeting of the season between these two teams ended in a narrow, but deserved 2-1 win for Liverpool over Stoke, courtesy of two quality finishes. Liverpool scored first with a beauty from Luis Suarez when he fired in a quality finish past Thomas Sorensen from just outside the penalty area.
But almost immediately Stoke had levelled in controversial circumstances when the Potters were awarded a 'ghost' corner. To compound the Reds sense of injustice lanky striker Peter Crouch appeared to impede keeper Jose Reina before heading home Matthew Etherington's delivery.
But the Reds deservedly regained the lead just after the break with another quality goal. Steven Gerrard provided the assist for Stewart Downing to find space before powering a shot past the visitor's keeper from 18 yards.
But last season's FA Cup runners-up, who were playing a fourth consecutive tie out of four away from home in this season's competition, failed to respond as they had done in the first half.
Despite having plenty of possession the Potters failed to make much headway in the final third and even five minutes of added time was not enough for them to take this tie to a replay as the Reds took full advantage of being drawn at home at home for the fourth time out of four in this year's FA Cup.
Referee: Kevin Friend
Liverpool scorers: Suarez 23, Downing 57 Stoke scorers: Crouch 26
TRIBAL ASKS: Are Liverpool on course for Carling Cup and FA Cup double this season? Yellow cards: Reina (LIV), Kelly (LIV), Whelan (STO), Wilkinson (STO), Shawcross (STO), Wilson (STO)