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Barclays Premier League

Anfield (ATT 44,531) 7th October 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: L Mason

Liverpool Liverpool vs Stoke City Stoke

ft

Stoke 0

Solid Stoke deny Reds

Reds hit woodwork but cannot find a way through

Last Updated: 07/10/12 9:56pm

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Stoke produced a solid defensive display to hold off Liverpool and take a hard-earned point away from Anfield.

Man of the match: Ryan Shawcross. Led the defence well as Stoke held off Liverpool to earn a point.
Shot of the match: Steven Gerrard hit a long range swerving effort in the first half which was heading into the net which Asmir Begovic saved well to his left to push the ball out for a corner.
Save of the match: As above - Begovic from Gerrard.
Moment of the match: Luis Suarez made a fantastic mazy run from near the halfway line into the Stoke box but put his shot wide.
Talking point: Robert Huth looked to have stamped on Suarez early on but the incident was missed by officials and Stoke kept 11 men on the field to aid their defensive display.

But their task was made easier when officials missed an incident where Robert Huth appeared to stamp on Luis Suarez early on after a tussle which would have resulted in his dismissal.

Liverpool created chances and hit the woodwork on three occasions in the second period via Raheem Sterling, Suarez and Martin Skrtel.

But Stoke's stalwart defensive display made it five draws in seven matches for Tony Pulis' men, while Liverpool continue their wait for a first home league win under Brendan Rodgers.

It could have been worse for the Reds, who twice almost pushed the self-destruct button, but ultimately this will be viewed as another disappointment in a stop-start season.

Rodgers made eight changes from the side beaten by Udinese on Thursday, after which he called his players "lazy", and one of his targets, Stewart Downing, was not even on the bench.

Started brightly

The Reds started brightly and Stoke were lucky to have Huth on the field when he appeared to stamp on Suarez after the pair tussled for the ball and the striker fell to the ground but the officials missed the incident.

Then twice goalkeeper Jose Reina attempted to pass the ball out to a midfielder; twice, Stoke scented a weakness and pounced, and twice it was only the reactions of the Spaniard which saved Liverpool.

Stoke had clearly anticipated Reina would refuse to launch the ball long, and the first time it was Nuri Sahin who conceded possession, giving Charlie Adam a chance to humiliate his former employees. The Scot advanced toward goal, but Reina was quickly out of the blocks to narrow the angle and parry the shot.

Liverpool committed the same mistake again soon afterward. This time it was Steven N'Zonzi snapping into the challenge as another Reina pass went awry and Michael Kightly tried to flight the ball into the goal, but the keeper recovered to turn it over.

Having passed up those chances, Stoke reverted to type, striking long balls and stopping their opponents, collecting six yellow cards in the process, and the game disintegrated as a spectacle.

Liverpool's frustration increased and all that there was to give the Reds fans some hope before the break was a sweeping shot by Steven Gerrard turned aside by Asmir Begovic, and a toe-poke from Daniel Agger that bounced wide.

Chances

Liverpool had just about all the chances of the second period, although none were clear-cut.

First, a terrific combination between Gerrard and Suarez was just thwarted. Gerrard then picked out Glen Johnson's run with a pass of arrow-like precision, but his England team-mate, on the run, could not keep the shot down.

A run of genuine brilliance by Suarez, the most gifted person on the pitch by some distance, nearly brought a superb goal, but he just bent the shot wide of the angle.

Sterling was presented with perhaps Liverpool's best opportunity after Agger's driving run, but he tried to drill it inside the near post and only found the outside of the woodwork.

Suarez then showed the best and worst of his talents in the space of a couple of minutes, first with a dive in the penalty area that was embarrassingly obvious, then bursting down the right and powering a shot against the outside of a post from a tight angle.

Skrtel nearly snatched a winner at the end when he hooked Joe Cole's ball back across goal, but it hit the post, agonisingly for Liverpool.

The goalless draw at home will hardly provide much succour for Rodgers whose side have taken just six points from their opening seven games, two less than the Potters.

LiverpoolTeam StatisticsStoke City
0Goals0
01st Half Goals0
2Shots on Target2
11Shots off Target3
5Blocked Shots1
5Corners5
9Fouls18
0Offsides2
0Yellow Cards6
0Red Cards0
81.1Passing Success66
13Tackles25
92.3Tackles Success68
63.5Possession36.5
53.4Territorial Advantage46.6
524Total Passes288
22Total Crosses13
172Lost Balls170
64Recoveries41
60.31st Half Poss.39.7
68.32nd Half Poss.31.7

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Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 16 39
2 Manchester City 17 39
3 Manchester United 17 32
4 West Ham United 17 31
5 Southampton 17 29
6 Tottenham Hotspur 17 27
7 Arsenal 16 26
8 Swansea City 17 25
9 Newcastle United 16 23
10 Everton 17 21
11 Liverpool 16 21
12 Aston Villa 17 20
13 Stoke City 16 19
14 West Bromwich Albion 17 17
15 Queens Park Rangers 17 17
16 Sunderland 16 16
17 Crystal Palace 17 15
18 Burnley 17 15
19 Hull City 17 13
20 Leicester City 17 10

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