Stoke 3-1 Liverpool – Two Steps Back at the Britannia

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

By Jonathan Carroll

Not long after Liverpool hammered Fulham 4-0 at home and took a step forward in getting back to somewhat decent form, Brendan Rodger’s men took two steps back at the Britannia with an atrocious display. It all started so well on Thursday evening as Luis Suarez skinned Ryan Shawcross and the Stoke defender then proceeded to haul down the Liverpool striker. Howard Webb had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Steven Gerrard dispatched the penalty. 1-0 Liverpool. Time to sit back and hit Stoke on the counter, soak up the pressure and pick Tony Pulis’s men apart with passing.

Well, that was the plan anyway. Liverpool were ideally positioned. 1-0 up early, away from home and with a team that looked like it could be smart and play around a physical Stoke team who have previously scored fifteen goals all season. However most Liverpool players with the exception of Suarez failed to turn up let alone impact the game in a positive way.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Kenywne Jones scored from a corner heading home at the front post after Gerrard and Agger failed to deal with the big strikers movement. Liverpool answered back straight away. Some precise passing lead to Jonjo Shelvey being played in but the midfielders touch deserted him and the chance was gone. Shelvey’s touch was absent for most of the game in fact. Suarez later found himself in Shelvey’s position and again the players touch let him down.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Less than five minutes into the second half Jon Walters put Stoke 3-1 up with a well taken volley after taking a good touch on his chest from Jones’ flick on. Liverpool were reeling and failed miserably to deal with Stoke’s front two. In all honesty, Stoke’s eleven outplayed Liverpool. Not outplayed as in hoofed the ball down the pitch but rather passed around Liverpool. Glenn Whelan and Steven N’Zonzi had the freedom of the Britannia to play balls forward from midfield. Jordan Henderson and Joe Cole were brought on in the second half, Henderson for Lucas Leiva and Cole for Stewart Downing. Downing was one of the more positive players on the night and looks to be trying to assert himself more. Surely the first rule of substitutions should be followed here by Rodgers. Bring on someone who is equal or better than the player that’s coming off. Cole is neither.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Raheem Sterling injected some pace into Liverpool’s left flank and crossed for Luis Suarez but the Uruguayans shot tamely hit the post after being mis-hit. The rest of the game petered out from a Liverpool point of view. A disappointing follow up to the win over Fulham. Following the loss to Aston Villa I mentioned in my post match report that Liverpool would do well to get six points from the Fulham, Stoke and QPR games. So far the club have collected three points. A trip to Loftus Road will be no easy task with the Londoners fighting relegation. Rodgers is a likable manager who could do with adding a bit of steel to his public persona ala Kenny Dalglish or even Alex Ferguson. Make it difficult for officials to go against you, and put a bit of fear in your own players to let you down. Nice guys finish last.

Photo courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Match Statistics

Stoke City                                        Liverpool

Possession                      47%                                                  53%

Shots                                 7                                                      12

Shots on Target                6                                                        6

Corners                             6                                                        8

Stoke City

  • 01 Begovic – 7
  • 02 Cameron – 6 (Booked)
  • 04 Huth- 6
  • 17 Shawcross – 7 (Booked)
  • 28 Wilkinson – 6
  • 06 Whelan – 7 (Booked)
  • 15 Nzonzi – 7
  • 21 Kightly – 7 (Whitehead – 69′ )
  • 26 Etherington – 7 (Shotton – 83′ )
  • 09 Jones – 7 (Crouch – 78′ )
  • 19 Walters – 8

Substitutes

  • 29 Sorensen
  • 20 Upson
  • 30 Shotton
  • 16 Adam
  • 18 Whitehead
  • 25 Crouch
  • 33 Jerome

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina – 6
  • 02 Johnson – 5
  • 03 Jose Enrique – 6
  • 05 Agger – 4
  • 37 Skrtel – 3
  • 08 Gerrard – 5
  • 19 Downing – 6 (Cole – 77′ )
  • 21 Lucas  – 5 (Henderson – 59′ ) – 5
  • 33 Shelvey – 4
  • 07 Suarez – 7 (Booked)
  • 30 Suso  – 6 (Sterling – 46′ ) – 6

Substitutes

  • 01 Jones
  • 16 Coates
  • 23 Carragher
  • 10 Cole
  • 14 Henderson
  • 24 Allen
  • 31 Sterling
Referee: Howard Webb
Attendance: 27,490
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4 thoughts on “Stoke 3-1 Liverpool – Two Steps Back at the Britannia

  1. Very frustrating indeed jonner,I know the point your trying to make with the cole substitution but he’s on £100 k per week and fit,I suppose BR is just trying to get something out of him albeit prob just more frustrated..surely the last of the big contracts handed out at anfield for a long time to come…(the arsenal way might look a great model to base your club on but as a fan,it sucks).

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  2. Pingback: An au revoir to Anfield | The Red Letter

  3. Cheers for that Alan!

    Baz, the Cole substitution was frustrating. I’m all for putting him in the shop window but trying to chase a game isnt the time in my opinion. Cole’s best days are behind him and his £120k per week wages have hampered the club from bringing in better talent. The club have yet to buy anyone over 24 years old. Buying youth is great but there needs to be a mix of experience in there as well.

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