Luis Suarez scored twice and Daniel Sturridge marked his return with a goal as Liverpool beat Stoke City 5-3 at the Britannia Stadium.
The Merseyside club looked to be coasting to their first Premier League win at the Britannia Stadium when Aly Cissokho's speculative strike went in off Ryan Shawcross and Suarez scored his 21st league goal of the season.
Stoke had other ideas, though, as former Liverpool duo Peter Crouch and Charlie Adam struck in a pulsating first half to peg Brendan Rodgers' side back.
Steven Gerrard put Liverpool back in front from the penalty spot on his 650th appearance for the club after referee Anthony Taylor controversially awarded a spot-kick for what appeared to be an innocuous challenge from Marc Wilson on Raheem Sterling.
Fit-again striker Sturridge was the architect for the prolific Suarez's second goal before Jon Walters set up a tense finale when he pulled one back.
But Sturridge then scored a goal of his own to seal the points and ensure Liverpool held on to leapfrog neighbours Everton into fourth place in the Premier League.
Defeat for Stoke was only their second at home in the league this season and Mark Hughes' side remain 12th, just four points above the relegation zone.
Sturridge was named among the substitutes after recovering from an ankle injury, while Kolo Toure paired Martin Skrtel at the heart of the Liverpool defence in the absence of Daniel Agger (calf).
Walters and Crouch returned to Stoke's starting line-up in place of Kenwyne Jones and Oussama Assaidi, who was ineligible to face his parent club. Goalkeeper Jack Butland made his first Premier League start as Thomas Sorensen was left on the bench.
Liverpool took an early lead at the Britannia Stadium last season and were in front after only four minutes on this occasion courtesy of a major stroke of luck.
Cissokho's long-range strike was never going to trouble Butland until it struck the unfortunate Shawcross and flew past the wrong-footed Stoke goalkeeper and into the net.
Stoke could do nothing about the opening goal, but they only had themselves to blame for Liverpool's second after 31 minutes.
Wilson was the chief culprit as he failed to get enough on his attempted header back to Butland and the alert Suarez slotted home after Shawcross failed to clear.
The home side responded and Crouch gave them a lifeline eight minutes later with Stoke's first headed goal of the season after he was picked out by Marko Arnautovic.
Butland got down well to deny Philippe Coutinho and Shawcross nipped in to clear the rebound, then Stoke were level just before the break when Adam let fly with a fine left-foot strike from 20 yards out that flew into the far corner.
Wilson had another moment to forget four minutes after the break when he fired the ball straight at Sterling and was then adjudged to have brought the winger down by referee Taylor when there appeared to be minimal contact.
Gerrard sent Butland the wrong way from the spot to restore Liverpool's lead on his landmark appearance for the Merseyside club.
Sturridge made his eagerly-awaited comeback 65 minutes in and the England striker took only five minutes to demonstrate his telepathic understanding with Suarez as his delightful backheel presented the Uruguay international with the opportunity to find the far corner with a clinical finish.
Walters was denied by a fine save from Simon Mignolet, but the Stoke forward beat the Belgium international with a tame finish six minutes from time.
Sturridge had the final say, though, as he was first denied by Butland, but kept his composure to fire home the rebound with his left foot. There was still time for Crouch to be denied by the post in an incredible game.
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Koeman plays down importance of Vitesse links|
|Schneiderlin keen to learn from experienced duo|
|Mandzukic´s maiden Juventus goal seals win in Poland|
|Fofana completes Bastia loan|
|Deila delighted that Gordon pledges future to Celtic|
|Grenier ruled out for four months|
|Rooney: United squad ready for title challenge|
|Messi and Neymar available for start of season|
|Szczesny seals Roma switch|
|Benitez cools Mourinho war of words|
|Filipe Luis vows to win back Atletico fans|
|Besiktas in negotiations over Gomez switch|
|Kishna seals Lazio switch|
|Diaby completes Marseille move|
|Platini is bad for FIFA - Prince Ali|
|Bilic keen to make further additions|
|Brady makes Norwich move|
|Southampton complete Caulker loan|
|Rummenigge feels Muller ´will never leave´ Bayern|
|Platini to stand in FIFA presidential election|
|Howedes to remain Schalke skipper|
|Albion sign Hull defender Chester|
|Lucescu defends Fred selection amid doping allegations|
|Fabregas still in love with Arsenal|
|Luis Enrique ´happy´ with Barca´s US trip|
|Mourinho optimistic over Cahill and Costa|
|River owe Tigres´ Esqueda - Mercado|
|Van Gaal expecting big season from Shaw|
|Begovic keen to challenge Courtois|
|Mourinho launches attack on Benitez|
|CONMEBOL ´knocked on a lot of doors´ to keep half-spot - president|
|America 0 Benfica 0 (3-4 on penalties): Primeira Liga champions finally win|
|Napoli striker Higuain ´untouchable´ - Gabbiadini|
|Arsenal´s friendly form will boost confidence - Wenger|
|Nagatomo-Melo swap possible, says agent|
|Chelsea 2 Barcelona 2 (4-2 on penalties): Courtois stars for Premier League champions|
|Eriksen calls for ruthless Spurs|
|Pulis praises Berahino attitude|
|Alderweireld confident of top-four finish|
|Villa ready for tough Spurs clash|
|West Ham edge win on Carrow Road anniversary|
|Kozak scores twice as Villa draw at Wolves|
|Stanislas brace leads Bournemouth past Yeovil|
|Watford slip to friendly defeat at Cardiff|
|Lukaku injury sours Everton win at Dundee|
|UEFA Champions League Review: Fenerbahce draw blank as Monaco impress|
|West Brom earn friendly win over Walsall|
|Vardy at the double as Leicester beat Burton|
|Atletico impress in win over Oviedo|
|Herrera sacked by Mexico after ´punch´|
|Gerrard, Keane and Bradley pull out of MLS All-Star squad|
|Marseille reach Diaby agreement|
|Sammer thrilled with Vidal´s winning mentality|
|Platini expected to launch FIFA presidency bid|
|Romanov sacked me over Barca snub - Korobochka|
|Villa complete Crespo capture|
|Wolfsberger v Borussia Dortmund: Bender praises ´fun but exhausting´ training|
|Okaka swaps Sampdoria for Anderlecht|
|Southampton v Vitesse: Fonte excited for ´dream´ sojourn into Europe|
|Bournemouth agree King compensation|
|West Ham v Astra: Kouyate confident West Ham can progress|
|Vidal completes Bayern switch, signs four-year deal|
|Fabregas calls for Champions League improvement|
|BREAKING NEWS: Filipe Luis completes Atletico return|
|Bayern to present Vidal|
|Wenger unfazed by Mourinho´s spending jibe|
|Pellegrini: Sterling will justify price tag|
|Cavani hit with two-match Uruguay ban|
|Bonucci to remain at Juve until 2020|
|No bids for Berahino - West Brom|
|Putin: Blatter deserves a Nobel prize|
|Howe: Swansea a benchmark for Bournemouth|
|New Parma to play in Serie D|
|Mata vows to hit the goal trail at United|
|Drogba ´perfect fit´ for Montreal|
|Berahino ´not yet´ ready for Tottenham - Irvine|
|Romero lauds caring Van Gaal|
|Jese flying at Real under Rafa|
|Sampdoria unwilling to pay €10m for Balotelli|
|Mourinho talks up Arsenal title chances|
|Hull sign Ryan Taylor, Sam Clucas|
|Kane, Pochettino hail MLS All-Star test|
|Di Santo sorry for swift Werder departure|
|Mourinho tells Ronaldo: Team honours come first|
|Khedira returns to Juve training|
|Celtic v Qarabag: Champions League return of utmost importance, says Collins|
|Pellegrini: Jovetic had to go|
|Manquillo completes Marseille move|
|Schalke reject Juve´s Draxler bid|
|Blanc: Di Maria deal ´close´|
|Di Santo debut ends in stalemate|
|Fire sign Drogba, trade him to Montreal Impact|
|FIFA and UEFA welcome ruling on third-party ownership|
|Juve kick off title defence against Udinese|
|Stoke sign free agent Afellay|
|Benitez confident Ramos will stay|
|Fenerbahce issue warning to fans|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: De Boer confident Ajax are ready for Vienna test|
|Bility: I am the favourite for FIFA presidency|
|Pienaar to miss start of season|
|Vietnam 1 Manchester City 8: Sterling shines as tourists run riot|
|All-Star Keane relishing Spurs clash|
|Shaun Wright-Phillips joins brother Bradley at Red Bulls|
|Inter 0 Real Madrid 3: Rodriguez stunner caps comfortable win|
|Villa sign Ayew|
|Watford complete Berghuis transfer|
|Robben returns to Bayern training|
|Pulis anxious to make West Brom additions|
|David Luiz eager to welcome ´fantastic´ Di Maria|
|Fernando injury free ahead of new campaign|
|Hummels blames weight issues for poor season|
|Defoe hoping for early Sunderland goals|
|Depay hints at identity of ´surprise´ United striker|
|Tigres UANL v River Plate: Hosts look to bounce back and make history|
|Crespo set for Villa move|
|Terry: I would never join a Premier League rival|
|Van Gaal coy on United future|
|Romero to cover potential De Gea exit - Van Gaal|
|Uruguay win men´s football gold at Pan Am Games|
|Pirlo thanks New York City fans for ´beautiful´ welcome|
|Mexico capitalised on ´the mistakes we made´ - Schafer|
|Herrera delighted with Mexico display|
|MLS Review: Whitecaps build happy home, Pirlo debuts|
|Guardado wins Golden Ball at Gold Cup|
|NZF confirms Olympics disqualification appeal|
|Jamaica 1 Mexico 3: CONCACAF giants complete form turnaround|
|New York Red Bulls 2 Benfica 1: Another scalp for MLS side|
|Romero signs with United|
|Moghreb Tetouan 1 Al Hilal Omdurman 1: Visitors go top|
|Van Gaal rules out Ronaldo bid|