Stoke 3-1 Liverpool Match Report

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Stoke 3-1 Liverpool Match Report

Liverpool faced a tough Boxing Day fixture away to Stoke who are undefeated at home this season and on a good run of form. Liverpool have had an inconsistent season, but were buoyed by their biggest win of the season at the weekend when they defeated Fulham 4-0 in their final match at Anfield of 2012, and go in to the fixture with confidence.

The Team

Brendan Rodgers kept faith in the side that defeated Fulham at the weekend for the visit to Stoke, so Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen had to be content with a place on the bench for the second match in a row. The eleven that started were Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique, Suso, Gerrard, Lucas, Downing, Shelvey and Suarez.

The Match

Liverpool got off to a flying start in the first minute when Suarez was tugged down by Shawcross in the penalty box, referee Howard Webb awarded Liverpool their first penalty in 31 games. Steven Gerrard made no mistake from the spot to give Liverpool the perfect start.

The lead was short lived, when Walters beat Reina after a slip by Martin Skrtel. Worse was to come for Liverpool, when they fell behind 6 minutes later, when Jones headed in from a Cameron corner kick.

Liverpool looked stunned by the quick reversal in the score, and tried to respond. Downing carved out an opening for Gerrard on the edge of the box, but his shot was just wide of the post. Then Suarez exchanged passes with Downing before shooting over the crossbar.

Reina did well to keep the visitors from falling further behind when he raced out to deny Etherington who had found acres of space inside the Liverpool penalty area.

Liverpool’s hopes of a comeback in the second half were dashed in only 3 minutes after the re-start when Jones flicked the ball into the path of Walters who chested the ball down before brilliantly volleying past the helpless Reina.

Liverpool tried to respond to the deficit with endeavour with Suarez looking the most likely and Gerrard trying his instrumental best, but Stoke looked comfortable and organised in defence. Gerrard brought out a fine save from Begovic from an effort from the edge of the box in one of Liverpool’s best efforts of the second half, but the damage was done and Stoke ran out worthy winners in a disappointing result for Liverpool.


I wasn’t surprised that Rodgers kept the same team that defeated Fulham after that impressive performance. But Stoke are not Fulham and I thought we were a bit small in stature to compete with Stoke’s physical approach, the likes of Lucas, Suso and Downing are a bit lightweight and I would have rather seen Henderson in the midfield and Coates in to bolster the defence against the Stoke aerial threat. I think the team were probably shocked to be awarded a penalty as it’s been so long. But after the great start it was so disappointing to lose the lead so soon and to get the stuffing knocked out of us right at the start of the second half was a big disappointment as the game turned into a carbon copy of the Villa match the other week. Enrique didn’t have one of his best games, but he gave everything for the cause. Suarez was once again our main threat but he needs more support against disciplined defences like Stoke. Gerrard played his guts out trying to drag Liverpool back into the game, but he had little help from his troops other than from Suarez. Worrying to see Agger and Skrtel once again being bullied from a couple of average strikers in the form of Walters and Jones, just similar to their inability to handle Benteke against Villa. I can’t understand how Shelvey remained on the park for the full 90 minutes, he was woeful, no effort and gave possession away at every opportunity. It was so disappointing to see the lack of fight against a team that was hungrier than Liverpool and only Enrique, Gerrard and Suarez looked up for the battle.


  1. king kenny done his up most for liverpool fc and its people pitty there wasnt even a shout from the kop in support for him after he won us our first cup in 6 years we need to let these owners we didnt want the change! fucking fan bass need to stand up for the club ynwa

  2. Think you are being kind to Gerrard as he did nothing except score the penalty.

    Enrique was the best player on the park by a country mile and Suarez was his usual self full of running but the rest were woeful. Shelvey was awful, Johnson has his worst game for a long long time. Downing was his usual ineffectual self.

    But for me the worst culprit is Rodgers – he has no plan B. Stoke hassled us out of the passing game (which is nonsense anyway) and we didn’t have a clue what else to do. Any manager that thinks there is only one way to play is not a very good manager.

  3. Good point about Coates, starting him may have helped our cause. This was always going to be a tough game, but I felt we could have at least got a draw out of the game. Bits of poor defending cost us, all three goals were preventable.

  4. I don’t agree in few points…the game vs fulham was not impressive at all if you watched it without fan eyes, the very point of that game was that fulham has been really really (but really) poor in everything (in my book, the worst team i’ve see this year). Next, i really don’t think that henderson should have played from the start…for what? cause he’s a little bit taller than lucas? come on…we’re simply a middle level team. That can be hard to face but it’s the reality. We win one game, we lose one, we draw one, and so we’ll until the end of the season. Just last thing, SUSO MUST PLAY IN CENTER LIKE XABI OR BETTER BEHIND SUAREZ, NOT WIDE…however i hope Benitez will be our next manager cause if you want a top team you need a top manager first.

  5. Well said I didn’t expect Shelvey to last that long downing was still more agile than Shelvey I think we need experienced players as our younsters seems bullied easily by average physical footballing sides Everton did it through fellani,Aston villa did it through Benteke and Stoke did it through Jones its such a shame we look lightweight in defence I was surprised not to see Coates in the team…I think Brendan should always select team accorinding to the opponents we play against

  6. The point is play a central midfielder who has no attacking qualities , or defensive in my opinion , and your going to struggle you are effectively playing with 10 men . You can give him any handle you want DM , Enforcer , Back Four Protector , but you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear as the saying goes . The sooner BR figures this out the better , in fact disappointed with him that he has’nt already , it’s blatantly obvious to me and many others , many many others . Give Stevie a break and play someone alongside him who can actually play . He the DM is holding us back BIG BIG time

  7. I repeat and I will never tier to repeat…FSG & their (ill) advisors should just swallow their pride and bring King Kenny back to steer the LFC ship back to course.

    Last season, LFC lost games which they did not deserve to lose (including this Stoke fixture) which they fought through to the final whistle, hitting the woodwork a countless times along the way, needless to say match-officialls and the FA were also not on our cause. The passion to win was in the team. Not this time around. The current team is losing games that they deserve to lose. Utter rubbish performamnce aggravated by a clueless manager, each time they lose. The Stoke game is a typical game where Andy Carroll and Coates would offer plan B but look what we have? The rest is history.

    Lord have mercy on LFC!

  8. No wait Liverpool4Life, WE CAN’T bring back KD. He too have made TERRIBLE choices that we’re still paying and we’ll probably continue to pay for a couple of years, 20 millions for Henderson and Downing, 40 for Carroll has been one of the most ridiculous and absurd transfer market OF ALL TIME so no. I like KD, he’s a nice man, a legend for lfc but he’s too old for today’s football, he was a very good manager a lot of years ago, when english football was only english football, but today the premier league is the most international league in the world so we need an experienced manager of this era of football.

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