Results and reports from both Domestic and European football.
Monday, 19 August 2013
Liverpool 1 Stoke 0 (EPL 1)
Liverpool opened the 2013/14 Premier League season in style against Stoke thanks to the heroics of Simon Mignolet who saved a late penalty.
Both sides started well and hit the woodwork in the opening 15 minutes, Stoke did so first as Mignolet failed to parry a cross and Huth hit a volley which pinged back off the crossbar. This inspired Liverpool who soon thought they had opened the scoring as Sturridge connected with Gerrard's free-kick to hit past Begovic but was judged to be offside.
Kolo Toure had a great chance to break the deadlock but his powerful header cannoned off the bar and Sturridge's follow-up went hight and wide to keep the score level. Aspas exchanged passes with Enrique and the left-back hit a low shot that Begovic kept out.
Coutinho slid a pass for Henderson but Begovic was quick to react and denied the midfielder but the Bosnian was soon beaten as Sturridge hit an unstoppable volley from 25 yards and Anfield eruped to the sight of the first goal of the new season.
Stoke fought back and forced Mignolet into an acrobatic save to keep out a 20-yard curler from Walters and soon Stoke were denied by a goal-line clearance by Lucas after Shawcross' effort and Liverpool led into the break.
The lead could have been two by the hour mark but Sturridge failed to connect to Coutinho's cross and the result was Henderson who hit for goal but was denied by Begovic. Sturridge tried again when he fired form a tight angle that caused Begovic to tip the ball onto the post.
Liverpool were looking good for their firsst opening day win since 2008 but as the game entered its final minutes, Agger handled the ball in the area and Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot but Mignolet was cool under pressure and dived the right way to keep Walters' effort out as Liverpool held on for the win.