Liverpool produced an improved performance after their 2-0 defeat away to West Ham on the weekend.
However Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren picked up hamstring problems in the first half, and then Kolo Touré ended with a cramp.
Having combined well in the early stages with Firmino, Coutinho pulled a muscle and was off quickly, to be replaced by Ibe with just 18 minutes played.
On 34 minutes, Lovren seemed to strain something reaching for the ball and broke down chasing it again minutes later.
The goal came three minutes after that, starting with a tackle won by substitute James Milner on the right who played in Lallana down the wing. He cut the ball back for Allen who looked like he was trying to shoot but succeeded in moving the ball on perfectly for Ibe at the back post where he took one touch and picked his spot past Jack Butland.
However Klopp wasn’t entirely satisfied.
“If we’d scored one or two goals more then maybe [it would have been perfect]. In this part of the season after the last game, it is always easy to criticise things – you can say we have to make this better, or make that better,” Jurgen Klopp told the media after the game.
“But as a football game with our start, how we continued, how we stood in the game and how we defended first the playing build-up of Stoke, then the long balls, and how smart we were in defensive things, with pressing, coming out and moving – it was really good.”
Klopp was right. The Reds should’ve scored more. Firmino got the ball from Glenn Whelan in midfield but he lost the opportunity due to a poor touch.
Later, in the second half Alberto Moreno’s tackle on Glenn Whelan could have resulted in a penalty – as could the Stoke midfielder’s challenge on Allen at the other end – before Firmino almost inadvertently made the match safe when Butland’s blasted clearance rebounded into the goalkeeper’s hands and fortunately not over his head while Stoke’s greatest threat came from substitute Joselu’s deflected shot which Mignolet tipped over.
Walters dragged a shot wide with the last kick of the match but Stoke are far from out of the tie as they head to Anfield knowing that is where Liverpool are often more vulnerable.