Liverpool went down to a controversial 1-0 defeat to Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday afternoon, despite enjoying most of the possession and creating a host of chances.
Jonathan Walters earned Stoke a fortuitous penalty after going down very easily under the challenge of Jamie Carragher, but the Irishman got up and converted the resulting penalty to give Stoke all three points.
It was ‘one of those days’ for Liverpool and it ends their unbeaten start to the season.
Pepe Reina 6 – The Spaniard didn’t have the kind of busy afternoon you would expect at the Britannia Stadium as Liverpool dominated the match, but he unfortunately had to pick the ball out of the net as Walters rifled in Stoke’s match-winning penalty.
Martin Skrtel 5 – Out of position at right-back and he looked unorthodox getting forward, but he did fire a shot over from a Suarez cross in the first half. He struggled with Stoke’s threat from set-pieces and was fortunate to get away with some shirt pulling in the area. Replaced by Johnson in the second half.
Jamie Carragher 5 – He struggled with the threat of Walters, especially in the first half which resulted in him giving away a soft penalty, albeit a harsh one. Not one of Carragher’s best games.
Daniel Agger 6 – The Dane has started the season well and he had a decent game yesterday and was Liverpool’s best defender. Kept debutant Peter Crouch quiet for much of the game and looked composed.
Jose Enrique 6 – Typically solid display by the left-back and he dealt with the threat of Pennant on the right wing well. Delivered a wonderful pass to put Henderson through on goal in the second half which the midfielder squandered.
Lucas 6 – Another composed display in midfield by the Brazilian and worked hard as usual. But he looked scared to get forward much and was reluctant to shoot from distance when the opportunity arose.
Charlie Adam 5 – It was a frustrating afternoon for the Scot as he struggled to really to take the game by the scruff of the neck. He was twice denied by the fantastic Begovic in the second half.
Jordan Henderson 5 – Started the game brightly and looked assured in possession in the first half, but it turned into a game to forget for the former Sunderland midfielder in the second half as he unbelievably managed to miss when one on one with Begovic despite having three bites at it. It was by far Liverpool’s best chance of the game. He was replaced by Bellamy shortly after.
Stewart Downing 6 – Lively display by the England winger but he struggled to deliver a quality final ball in the first half and was switched to the right for the second half where he linked up well with Suarez. He missed a free header at the far post from Enrique’s cross.
Dirk Kuyt 5 – Hard working display by the Dutchman as usual but he lacked the quality to open up the Stoke defence. Replaced by Carroll in the second half.
Luis Suarez 7 – By far Liverpool’s best player and it looked as if no other player in a Liverpool shirt was on the same wavelength as the Uruguayan at times. He was a constant threat to the Stoke defence as he constantly moved about the pitch looking to create chances for his team-mates aswell as fashioning chances for himself. He missed a glorious opportunity to equalise at the death however, as he side footed wide after a mix up in the Stoke defence.
Subs: Glen Johnson 5 – Replaced Skrtel with 10 minutes to go to add width on the right hand side.
Andy Carroll 5 – Barely had a touch of the ball for the 25 minutes he was on the field.
Craig Bellamy 6 – Had the biggest impact of the substitutes as he added pace to Liverpool’s attack and linked up well with Enrique on the left wing. He also put a header wide.
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