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.
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.
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.
Liverpool – Suarez 32′, 71′; Gerrard 51′ (pen); Sturridge 88′
Stoke City – Shawcross (og) 5′; Crouch 39′; Adam 45′; Walters 85′
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.
Oct 31, 2014, 8:40 AM EDT
Bradley Wright-Phillips netted twice in the final 13 minutes and Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes was left to explain the loss.
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Oct 30, 2014, 11:37 PM EDT
Robbie Keane stands ready to play for his international side right after the LA Galaxy’s playoff contests vs. Real Salt Lake.
Oct 30, 2014, 10:20 PM EDT
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Oct 30, 2014, 9:38 PM EDT
Men in Blazers preview Round 10, most notably the Manchester derby.
Oct 30, 2014, 8:36 PM EDT
Fernando Torres, expanding on his decision to leave Chelsea on loan, says he wanted to “feel important.”
Oct 30, 2014, 7:21 PM EDT
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is happy for the recent triumphs of criticized Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.
Oct 30, 2014, 6:35 PM EDT
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney will be available in the upcoming Manchester derby following his three-match suspension.
Oct 30, 2014, 5:56 PM EDT
Action taken against alleged racist actions in the Scottish Premiership.
Oct 30, 2014, 4:44 PM EDT
Sturridge on injury woes: “Maybe it’s my body type, maybe it’s hereditary.”
Oct 30, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT
A young Messi was eyed by Juventus in 2005, says Russia manager Frank Capello.
Oct 30, 2014, 3:12 PM EDT
How has the soccer world (via Twitter) responded to the news? With a mixture of interest and humor.
Oct 30, 2014, 2:49 PM EDT
In what will be called “Los Angeles Football Club” as it goes through its branding, MLS has announced that L.A. has officially been awarded another team.
Oct 30, 2014, 2:25 PM EDT
So who do you have tonight: the Red Bulls or the champs?
Oct 30, 2014, 1:35 PM EDT
Mike Prindiville and Joe Prince-Wright join Jenna Corrado to discuss the Manchester Derby between Manchester United and Manchester City.
Oct 30, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT
Like Steve McQueen in “Papillon,” only nattily-attired, the Newcastle United manager just seems to be constantly yelling out, “Hey… I’m still here.”
Oct 30, 2014, 12:09 PM EDT
He’s being linked with Swansea City, though club chairman Huw Jenkins said while the club is entertaining investors, any specific names would be “pure speculation.”
Oct 30, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT
The proposed moves would leave only 10 days prep time before the World Cup began, and would also alter the UEFA Champions League schedule.
Oct 30, 2014, 10:40 AM EDT
What do you think? Mean-spirited to the public or just a decent Candid Camera-style prank?
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