Liverpool vs. Stoke City  0 - 0


Pulis flags concerns over Suarez

7 October 2012 20:29

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis singled out Luis Suarez after the Liverpool player appeared to dive late in the teams' 0-0 draw on Sunday.

Uruguay international Suarez has come under scrutiny this season following several instances of apparent simulation.

He went down easily in the box after minimal contact from Stoke's defenders in the English Premier League clash at Anfield.

Speaking afterwards, Pulis called for scrutiny over what he deemed to be unsporting behaviour,

"You have got Suarez falling over in the box second half which was really, really disappointing," Pulis said.

"I think that should be highlighted, as I have said before."

Pulis contrasted Suarez's reaction with that of Liverpool fullback Glen Johnson in a separate incident.

"There was a challenge in the first half in front of us, Jon Walters and Glen Johnson both went up for a header, it was a proper old-fashioned challenge," he said.

"Glen Johnson did absolutely fantastic, just bounced back up and got on with the game, it was a proper, proper challenge.

"I went over to him and said 'well done, brilliant' - not only did he play exceptionally well but his behaviour was fabulous."

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers claimed not have seen the incident involving Suarez, and sought to play down the forward's suspect track record.

"I haven't seen the incident so I can't really comment on it but whatever Luis does there will always be a problem, whether it's media, referees or whatever," he said.

"It gets brought up every week, it's something that is not new.

"I thought he was terrific today, some of his movement and combinations."


Premier League: Liverpool 0 Stoke 0

7 October 2012 18:02

Liverpool failed to secure their first home Premier League win of the season as Stoke battled to a 0-0 draw at Anfield on Sunday.

The hosts toiled in front of the goal, with Raheem Sterling, Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel all shaking the woodwork, but could not find the breakthrough against obstinate opposition.

A bright start from both sides was marred on three minutes when Robert Huth appeared to stamp on Suarez while the Uruguayan lay on the floor after a collision. Fortunately for the German, referee Lee Mason and his assistants did not see the incident.

Suarez was soon back on his feet and causing problems though, and when his clever run and cut-back found Nuri Sahin, only a block from the unwitting Sterling prevented the Turk's goal-bound shot from finding the bottom corner.

Liverpool's staunch devotion to playing their way out of defence under Brendan Rodgers has already resulted in some embarrassing moments this season, and on 20 minutes Stoke almost forced another. Goalkeeper Pepe Reina's wayward pass gifted the high-pressing Stoke possession some 25 yards out, and the Spaniard had to be at his most agile to tip over Michael Kightly's ambitious lob attempt.

But the Reds recovered from that shock and committed wave after wave of attack before narrowly failing to go ahead as Agger struck the post after getting the slightest of touches on a cross from the right.

It was the nearest the hosts came in a frustrating half for the Anfield crowd, which they ended by voicing their displeasure with a referee who had shown plenty of leniency to the physical visitors.

With their manager's words clearly ringing in their ears, Liverpool began the second period much brighter and almost broke the deadlock as Glen Johnson's cross was desperately nodded away after some nice build-up work.

And Johnson was at the heart of the attack again as he latched onto a raking cross-field pass from Steven Gerrard only to shoot narrowly over the bar in the box just moments later.

Despite their domination, the hosts were fortunate not to go behind when a three-way clash between Jon Walters, Andre Wisdom and Skrtel meant a clever interception from Agger was needed to stop a cross into the box with a goal looking certain.

Liverpool subsequently stepped up their onslaught on the Stoke box, if not Asmir Begovic's goal, and went even closer as Sterling struck the base of the post with a side-footed drive from inside the area.

However, they could not get past a determined Stoke back line, even as Skrtel hooked onto the post in the dying seconds.


Adam thankful for Stoke move

6 October 2012 12:14

Stoke City midfielder Charlie Adam has revealed he did not feel like a player during his short spell at Liverpool.

Adam believes he made the right choice leaving Anfield after only a year at the club, opting to join Tony Pulis' Stoke in a four million-pound deal.

The Scotland international knew he was not a part of Brendan Rodgers' first-team plans at Liverpool and says he was never going to settle for only making a handful of appearances.

"I want to be a footballer - and that means playing on a Saturday afternoon," Adam told The Telegraph.

"I could have stayed at Liverpool and played maybe 15 to 20 times a season, but that isn't enough for me.

"I want to play 30 to 40 times a season.

"For me, playing on a Saturday is what being in this profession is all about and thankfully I'm at a club where the manager wants to use me.

"Obviously I know that I have to perform to stay in the team and I'm happy with that.

"We have good competition here and that is only a good thing for every member of the squad."

Adam is grateful to Kenny Dalglish for giving him the chance to play at such a big club and does not hold any bitterness towards Rodgers ahead of a meeting against his former club.

"I'm looking forward to it," Adam said. "It will be nice to go back and see a few familiar faces again.

"I was there for a year and it was a special year for me. Playing for a club the size of Liverpool was a real experience for me and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

"I'm a Stoke player now, though, and I'm looking forward to going back to Anfield and hopefully getting the three points.

"If we can perform the way we know we can, then we can win the game for sure."


Premier League preview: Liverpool v Stoke City

5 October 2012 09:15

Liverpool and Stoke head into their Premier League clash on Sunday with their tails up having finally recorded a win last round.

Both teams started the season in indifferent fashion with neither the Reds nor Stoke able to secure maximum points in any of their first five matches.

Liverpool could only manage two draws in that period while Stoke were slightly more impressive with four stalemates to their credit before last weekend.

But Brendan Rodgers' men awoke from their slumber in emphatic fashion last start with a comprehensive 5-2 victory over Norwich at Carrow Road that was powered by a superb Luis Suarez hat-trick.

And Stoke finally broke their drought on the same day with a first-half Peter Crouch brace helping them to a 2-0 victory against Swansea at the Britannia Stadium.

Liveprool and Stoke will be hoping those impressive results will kick-start their respective campaigns as they still find themselves in 14th and 12th spot respectively on the Premier League table.

But Tony Pulis' men will not only have 11 Liverpool players to contend with at Anfield on Sunday, but they will also have to overcome a significant historical record in their quest for victory.

In their 150-year history, Stoke have never beaten the Reds at Anfield in the top flight.

Given that statistic, it is little wonder why Rodgers is glad to be back playing at home this weekend and the Liverpool boss is hoping that his side's change in fortunes continue against Stoke and into the foreseeable future.

"I love being at Anfield," Rodgers told the Liverpool Daily Post.

"There is a real excitement every time we play here and we are given tremendous support.

"We went to West Brom and Norwich and the away ends are packed out, but there's nothing like playing at home.

"We want to gain momentum and build up a winning streak.

"October was always going to be a great month in terms of not so much travel and giving us a real opportunity to play in front of our fans and show the development we have had as a team."

But Stoke defender Geoff Cameron believes his side's win over Swansea provided them with the perfect preparation for their date with Liverpool.

"I think there are similar styles between Swansea and Liverpool and I think we frustrated Swansea," he told Sky Sports.

"We cannot expect Liverpool to be exactly the same as them, but there are definitely similarities.

"We have to go there with the frame of mind that we can beat them. Every team is beatable but it's just a matter of how well we execute our game plan.

"Against Swansea we had some pretty good possession too - we controlled it at the back and had some good possession in midfield, so I think we can do that on Sunday."

On the selection front, Joe Cole (hamstring) and Jose Enrique (knee) could be in line for a return to the Liverpool squad after overcoming injury problems.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25