Two goals from Danny Ings cannot help Reds avoid defeat in seven-goal encounter. Stoke City swapped places with Liverpool after claiming a 4-3 win at Chester to go top of Group G.
Julien Ngoy gave the Potters an early lead but Lloyd Jones quickly headed the Reds level.
However, Stoke regained control and led 3-1 at the break as Tyrese Campbell and Oliver Shenton found the net.
Danny Ings converted the rebound from Harry Wilson’s penalty to halve the deficit but Daniel Jarvis restored Stoke’s two-goal advantage before Ings netted a late spot-kick.
Stoke have six points – two ahead of Liverpool, three clear of Bristol City and five ahead of Charlton Athletic.