Stoke 3-5 Liverpool – The Schoolyard Football Approach

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By Jonathan Carroll

Liverpool went to the Britannia Stadium on Sunday afternoon looking for their first win there in the Premier League against a historically physically tough and dogged Stoke City team. The result may have surprised even Liverpool supporters and may have shocked everyone by which they achieved the result.

Previous approaches by Rafa Benitez and Kenny Dalglish against Stoke were unsuccessful. A typical “match Stoke’s physicality” was often the hardline taken. Never before did a Liverpool side dare to play do a Newcastle from the Kevin Keegan era and simply score more than the opposition.

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Of course, conceding three goals is not a desirable result for any team but to score five away to Stoke shows just how much potential Liverpool have going forward. Add to the equation a Philippe Coutinho who can score and you have a bounty of riches going forward with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. Unfortunately, on the defensive side of the coin Liverpool are liable to leak goals like the Titanic leaked water. Martin Skrtel continues to try out for his cameo in pro wrestling with every center forward at set pieces and Kolo Toure seemed to think giving Peter Crouch room would hinder him. Daniel Agger and Mamdou Sakho would of course be higher in the pecking order over Toure who seems more suited to a full back position if needed.

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In midfield, Lucas Leiva and Steven Gerrard continue to stagnate. Both were responsible for goals on Sunday. Gerrard for Charlie Adams strike from distance and Lucas for Jon Walters’ strike in the second half. When Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson were used in tandem with Lucas, there was a bit more of a dynamic look to the midfield but now both Lucas and Gerrard look to sit deep.

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Brendan Rodgers may not have envisioned his team scoring five goals but what looked to be a second half of simply “score more than the opposition” worked. Tactics seemed a lost cause after being two nil up and conceding two easily preventable goals. Scoring three goals in the second half as well as seeing Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in full flow bodes well for the rest of the season. Suarez is simply the best striker going at the moment, bar none.

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There has never been a better chance for Liverpool to get back in the Champions League. Some strengthening at the full back position would be a welcomed addition plus a creative midfielder. As long as Gerrard and co keep winning they might just be up there come the end of the season. Top four still remains the ultimate goal for the season however.

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Stoke City

  • 22 Butland – 6
  • 20 Cameron – 5
  • 03 Pieters – 5
  • 15 N’Zonzi – 6 (Ireland – 81′ )
  • 17 Shawcross – 6 (Booked)
  • 12 Wilson – 4
  • 19 Walters – 6
  • 06 Whelan – 4
  • 25 Crouch – 6
  • 16 Adam – 7
  • 10 Arnautovic – 6


  • 05 Muniesa
  • 07 Pennant
  • 08 Palacios
  • 26 Etherington
  • 29 Sørensen
  • 30 Shotton
  • 32 Ireland


  • 22 Mignolet – 5
  • 02 Johnson – 5
  • 20 Cissokho – 6 (Booked)
  • 08 Gerrard – 6
  • 37 Skrtel – 5
  • 04 Kolo Touré – 5
  • 14 Henderson – 5
  • 21 Lucas – 6
  • 07 Suárez – 8
  • 31 Sterling – 7
  • 10 Coutinho – 7 (Sturridge – 66′ )


  • 06 Luis Alberto
  • 09 Iago Aspas
  • 12 Moses
  • 15 Sturridge
  • 33 Ibe
  • 34 Kelly
  • 52 Ward
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Attendance: 27,160

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