UK time is: 14:08:02
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Liverpool 0 - 0 Stoke City

Anfield

07-10-12, 3:00pm

Attendance: 44,531

Vital Report: Liverpool 0-0 Stoke City

Vital Liverpool report from Anfield on LFC's goalless draw against a battling Stoke City. A largely forgettable encounter where Liverpool's lack of creativity will be of great concern to Brendan Rodgers.

Report


Attending a Liverpool match pretty much dominates the whole day. From walking out the door to get the soccer bus, having a few pre-match beverages, watching the game, right through to getting off the train on the way home.

Unfortunately, it's a day that Liverpool fans will never get back and instantly forget after today's goalless draw against Stoke City. The club's incredibly poor home record continues and to say this was dull would be an understatement.

After a poor quality opening, it was Stoke who missed what was the best opening of the first half. On 5 minutes, Nuri Sahin gifted a back-pass straight to the recently departed Charlie Adam, but luckily for Liverpool, he could only fire straight at Pepe Reina when clean through on goal.

Incidents like the above are far too frequent an occurrence and it's clearly a result of Rodgers' courageous insistence on playing from the back - something Reina in particular appears to be uncomfortable with.

It was a case of déjà vu on 19 minutes when Reina gave it straight to Steven N'Zonzi who forced a fingertip save from the Spaniard with his attempted lob.

It was an alarmingly sluggish half from Liverpool and the only meaningful chance for the home side came on 28 minutes when Daniel Agger struck the post after stretching to meet a chipped Suso cross.

The team were likely to have received a ticking off from Rodgers at the break and in the opening minutes of the second half, Liverpool looked like a different team. The passing was much sharper and it resulted in a great chance on 51 minutes when a fine cross-field pass by Steven Gerrard was met by a rampaging Glen Johnson, but he could only lift his shot over the Kop bar.

As usual, Luis Suarez had a running battle throughout with the opposing defence and referee, but his immense talent shone through on 57 minutes when he came very close to breaking the deadlock. After receiving the ball just inside the Cottagers' half, he embarked on a slaloming run right through the heart of Stoke's defence and fired agonisingly over.

It was a case of 'from the sublime to the ridiculous' for the Uruguayan though, when on 76 minutes his pathetic dive in Stoke's penalty area was waved away by Lee Mason. Far from supporting Suarez, you could almost pick out a collective shout of 'get up' from Liverpool's fans.

Not only was it a sign of Liverpool's desperation, but it also shows why Suarez tends to suffer with refereeing decisions. Rodgers appeared to turn away in embarrassment.

Liverpool huffed and puffed but showed no signs of snatching victory, the only exception being Martin Skrtel's gilt-edged opportunity in injury time, when the Slovakian could only scoop the ball just past Asmir Begovic's post from a tight angle.

Vital Verdict


In the aftermath of numerous home league matches over the last twelve months, Liverpool have felt aggrieved when failing to secure all three points. Factors such as the striking of woodwork and poor refereeing gave rise to bitter frustration, but it also consoled fans because performances were often not the issue.

In today's game however, Liverpool had nobody to blame but themselves. Their play lacked cohesion and creativity from the first whistle to the last, and such an alarming shortfall in this regard will provide Rodgers with plenty of food for thought.

Teams will continue to adopt Stoke's negative tactics at Anfield this season (who can blame them?) especially if they suspect an opportunity to grab an easy point by sitting back and playing on the break. Therefore, the onus is very much on Liverpool to overcome such resolute defending.

It would be tempting to describe today as a setback, but with only one league win this season, Liverpool haven't really got going in the first place.

An international break beckons at an inconvenient juncture; as a result, the Premier League table will continue to provide uncomfortable reading for at least another couple of weeks.

Liverpool's Star Player


Daniel Agger. Today's performance provided perfect evidence as to why Liverpool were so keen to award Agger with a new deal. The classy Dane defended well when necessary but also tried to instigate several attacks with those trademark soirées forward. Unfortunately though, giving this award to a defender pretty much sums up Liverpool's performance.

Line-up


Reina, Wisdom, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Allen, Gerrard, Sahin (Assaidi 79'), Suso (Cole 67'), Suarez, Sterling.

Follow me on Twitter @antonyjlfc

Click here to read Brendan Rodgers' comments on the match

Not a Vital Liverpool member? It's a 100% free to join and get involved. Plus it only takes a few moments to sign up. Click here to become a member now!




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!

The Journalist

Writer: Antony Johnson Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday October 7 2012

Time: 8:13PM

Your Comments

Very frustrating game and not one that will live long in the memory, as you mention AJ. A clean sheet was very welcome but i'm really struggling to find anything else positive about the outcome. We also now have two weeks to wait before having another attempt at ending our home hoodoo.
The Bagman
should have won but didn't. not too much has changed from last season so far
BigRed83
 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

League Results (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
1. Liverpool 34 24 5 5 +51 77
2. Chelsea 34 23 6 5 +42 75
3. Man City 32 22 4 6 +54 70
4. Arsenal 34 20 7 7 +18 67
5. Everton 33 19 9 5 +22 66
6. Spurs 34 18 6 10 +0 60
7. Man Utd 33 17 6 10 +18 57

Breaking League News

Not the Best of Times?
» West Ham : 16/04/2014 13:03:00
Livermore Interest
» West Ham : 16/04/2014 13:02:00
Petrescu in Premier League Return?
» Chelsea : 16/04/2014 12:57:00
Could Luke Shaw be off to United?
» Chelsea : 16/04/2014 12:56:00
Could Man City lose Champions League spot?
» Everton : 16/04/2014 11:00:00
PATHETIC - EARLY GOALS
» Spurs : 16/04/2014 10:18:00
The Goodison factor
» Everton : 16/04/2014 10:00:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Who Was MOTM vs. Man City?
Suggested By:  The Bagman
Simon Mignolet 4%
Glen Johnson 2%
Martin Skrtel 8%
Mamadou Sakho 0%
Jon Flanagan 2%
Steven Gerrard 11%
Jordan Henderson 2%
Philippe Coutinho 44%
Raheem Sterling 22%
Luis Suarez 5%
Daniel Sturridge 0%
Joe Allen (sub) 0%
Victor Moses (sub) 0%
Lucas Leiva (sub) 0%