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Stoke City 3-5 Liverpool: Wild match sees Stoke comeback and Reds brilliance as Liverpool take spoils (video)

Jan 12, 2014, 1:05 PM EDT

A frantic, back-and-forth match saw Stoke shoot themselves in their foot twice early, come back from two goals down, and concede a penalty early in the second half which Steven Gerrard converted for the win.

Finding themselves 2-0 down thanks to a bit of bad luck and a lot of bad defending, a ferocious Stoke side roared back to draw level at the break, with Peter Crouch and Charlie Adam on target.

However, Raheem Sterling won a soft penalty, Gerrard finished, and Luis Suarez revitalize his relationship with Daniel Sturridge to seal the win.

An early bit of fortune saw Liverpool ahead inside the opening five minutes, and started off a tough day for Stoke City.

Liverpool defender Aly Cissokho took a “why not” shot from distance as both teams settled into the match, and the shot was going comfortably wide.  But it smashed into Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross who had little time to react, and the ball redirect past Jack Butland into the net.

As the match progressed, it became a physical battle, with a number of thumping 50/50 airborne challenges.  A 20th minute spell of pressure by Stoke City backfired, and only resulted in a counter-attack by Liverpool leading to a shot for Philippe Coutinho that blazed over the bar.

Stoke built momentum though, and they seiged the Liverpool defense in the 26th with a beautiful spell of pressure involving a pair of corners.

The home side however gifted the visitors their second goal, and made things incredibly difficult for themselves going forward.  A poor header backwards from Marc Wilson allowed Luis Suarez to chase the otherwise lost cause, and when the ball came to Shawcross the pressure from Suarez caused him to bungle possession.

Suarez cooly took the ball and finished between the legs of a confused Butland for a 2-0 lead and the Uruguayan’s 21st goal of the season in just 16 matches.

source: Getty Images

Liverpool capitalized on an early gift from Stoke City’s defense.

But the home side wouldn’t quit, knowing they’ve only done themselves harm, and pulled one back before halftime.  With Suarez defending Marko Arnautovic, the winger whipped in a cross and Peter Crouch connected with his head, directing from some way out past Simon Mignolet.

It’s the first headed goal for Stoke City all season, leaving just West Ham without a headed goal this Premier League season.

And directly after, Stoke completed the frantic comeback. Jordan Henderson was caught in possession deep in Liverpool’s own half, and Charlie Adam pounced on the loose ball, slicing through the defense and unleashing a powerful shot into the top corner for the equalizer at 2-2.

On a day when refereeing decisions have already been brought to the forefront at St. James Park, Liverpool benefited from another contentious decision. A penalty was given by referee Anthony Taylor after Raheem Sterling had a breakaway but failed to get clear of Marc Wilson.  With Wilson defending tightly, instead of attempting to cut inside Sterling went to ground and won the penalty.

Gerrard finished the penalty low and hard for a renewed Liverpool lead. Replays also showed the officials may have missed a handed ball by Sterling in the buildup to the goal.

Nevertheless Liverpool were ahead again as the game continued to fizz back and forth.

Stoke kept up the attack, but Luis Suarez killed Stoke off.  With his early-season strike partner Daniel Sturridge on as a substitute, the two rekindled old brilliance.  The English international brought the ball up from the Liverpool half, cut back at the top of the box, and flicked on for Suarez who finished strongly at a tight angle.

Stoke pressed for another miraculous comeback, as Jonathan Walters slid a shot past Mignolet in the final five minutes with the keeper screened by his defender. It wasn’t enough though, as Sturridge swung the final swipe of the blade with a brilliant late goal as the rain came down.

After some holiday stumbles, Liverpool are back above cross-town rivals Everton and into the top four.

GOALS:

Liverpool – Suarez 32′, 71′; Gerrard 51′ (pen); Sturridge 88′
Stoke City – Shawcross (og) 5′; Crouch 39′; Adam 45′; Walters 85′

LINEUPS:

Stoke City – Butland; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Walters, Nzonzi (Ireland 81′), Adam, Whelan, Arnautovic; Crouch.

Liverpool – Mignolet; Johnson, Cissokho, Skrtel, Toure; Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson; Sterling, Coutinho (Sturridge 66′), Suarez.

  1. footballer4ever - Jan 12, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Electrifying football match that was. The referee messed up in calling hand before calling penalty in favor of Liverpool.

    • emilymgarcia - Jan 13, 2014 at 5:46 AM

      my roomate’s aunt makes $72 hourly on the internet. She has been without work for eight months but last month her pay was $16589 just working on the internet for a few hours. learn the facts here now…
      w­­­­­w­­­­­w.Buzz19.COM

      • footballer4ever - Jan 15, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        huh! Really? Well, “whatever” your roomate’s aunt is doing on the internet it sure does not sound legal or sketchy at best (ROTFLOL)

  2. Ian's Rushtache - Jan 12, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    My thoughts on this game, in no particular order.

    Playing Gerrard in the deep lying role of a 3 man midfield is something that I have no issue with, and have used that position for him quite often in FIFA 14. But if you do this why is Lucas being pushed further forward. Lucas really offers very little in the attacking 3rd. If Gerrard is going to continue to play in that role then someone else needs to slide into the midfield. Possibly Coutinho, playing as the furthest forward of the 3, with Hendo playing in that space between SG and PC.

    Glen Johnson must be an absolute MONSTER on the training pitch, because it has been months since he has offered anything of quality in a match. That combined with the injuries in the back sees the options at the back limited. It doesn’t look like Martin Kelly is back to where he was prior to that injury, because he was definitely in form to push Johnson prior to getting hurt. For me, Johnson and Skrtel are massive liabilities and need upgraded this summer.

    Finally, I love how you guys continue to push this “Liverppol stumbles over the holidays” bit. Please, tell us exactly which teams are going to go to Stamford Bridge and the Etihad this year and walk away with points, let alone making those trips in a span of 3 days. Personally, I don’t see losing to the current 1 and 2 in the league, on their grounds, at the end of the busiest period of the schedule, as stumbling. They certainly did not play tip top against Chelski, but a loss there is certainly no worse than a loss at Cardiff, looking at you Citeh. Every writer on this site has written ‘Pool off, and quite honestly I also believe that the title is out of reach, but one thing that I have yet to see mentioned is that for the remainder of the season, ‘Pool has to play only 2 of the top 10 teams away from Anfield. Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton, Newcastle, Chelsea, and Citeh all have to travel to Anfield.

  3. Ian's Rushtache - Jan 12, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    My thoughts on this game, in no particular order. Made in 3 separate posts, because apparently I wrote too much to be posted at once.

    Playing Gerrard in the deep lying role of a 3 man midfield is something that I have no issue with, and have used that position for him quite often in FIFA 14. But if you do this why is Lucas being pushed further forward. Lucas really offers very little in the attacking 3rd. If Gerrard is going to continue to play in that role then someone else needs to slide into the midfield. Possibly Coutinho, playing as the furthest forward of the 3, with Hendo playing in that space between SG and PC.

  4. Ian's Rushtache - Jan 12, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Glen Johnson must be an absolute MONSTER on the training pitch, because it has been months since he has offered anything of quality in a match. That combined with the injuries in the back sees the options at the back limited. It doesn’t look like Martin Kelly is back to where he was prior to that injury, because he was definitely in form to push Johnson prior to getting hurt. For me, Johnson and Skrtel are massive liabilities and need upgraded this summer.

  5. Ian's Rushtache - Jan 12, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Finally, I love how you guys continue to push this “Liverppol stumbles over the holidays” bit. Please, tell us exactly which teams are going to go to Stamford Bridge and the Etihad this year and walk away with points, let alone making those trips in a span of 3 days. Personally, I don’t see losing to the current 1 and 2 in the league, on their grounds, at the end of the busiest period of the schedule, as stumbling. They certainly did not play tip top against Chelski, but a loss there is certainly no worse than a loss at Cardiff, looking at you Citeh. Every writer on this site has written ‘Pool off, and quite honestly I also believe that the title is out of reach, but one thing that I have yet to see mentioned is that for the remainder of the season, ‘Pool has to play only 2 of the top 10 teams away from Anfield. Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton, Newcastle, Chelsea, and Citeh all have to travel to Anfield.

  6. Ian's Rushtache - Jan 12, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    and my second post still does not show. bollocks

  7. mdac1012 - Jan 12, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    It was an exciting game, the biggest thing I take from it is seeing Sturridge come in and pick up where he left off in terms of chemistry with Suarez. With Sturridge on the pitch defenders can’t just key in on Suarez and it opens up more space for him.

  8. hildezero - Jan 12, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    Damn… This sounded like a crazy game.

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