Tuesday, 14 January 2014

SAS Triumph In Stoke Thriller

Liverpool returned to the top four after coming out on top in an eight goal thriller away to Stoke.

The return to the starting eleven of captain Steven Gerrard was buoyed by the news that Daniel Sturridge was named on the bench after a long injury layoff, Stoke started with heavy pressure forcing a number of corners but it was the visitors that struck first as Sterling lifted a cross in and found Cissokho who hit a powerful effort at goal but got lucky as it deflected in off the unfortunate Shawcross for a 1-0 lead.

Sterling was the creator again as he pulled the ball back to Coutinho who hit a curling shot that's narrowly went over the crossbar, Arnautovic hit a volleyed chance off target while Toure denied Crouch a shot at goal from a Stoke corner.

Liverpool countered and Suarez hit a free-kick wide with the visitors expecting a repeat of his recent heroics but within minutes, he showed why he is the league's top scorer as he capitalised on a defensive mistake to slot past Butland for a two goal lead.

Recent away trips have seen Liverpool lead and be pegged back and soon history repeated itself as former red Crocuh connected with an Arnautovic cross to head home past Mignolet to make it 2-1, Suarez clipped the ball into Coutinho at the other end and forced a superb save from Butland.

Stoke levelled just before the interval as the curse of the former reds struck again as Adam hit a long range shot that sailed past Mignolet to cancel out a Liverpool away lead yet again. Stoke began the second half the better but it was Liverpool that struck first after Gerrard converted from the spot after Wilson had fouled Sterling.

Sturridge made his comeback from injury in the 66th minute in place of Coutinho but Stoke had a brilliant chance to level when N'Zonzi hit a curling shot that looked to be going into the top corner but was denied by a well timed block.

After a long wait, the SAS were back in business as Sturridge picked out Suarez who hit a superb curler past Butland into the far corner to make it 4-2 and surely dampen Stoke's comeback. However, Walters connected to a Crouch delivery and was excellently denied by Mignolet.

Five minutes to go and Stoke hit a third as Walters broke through the defence and finished past Mignolet to ensure a frantic finish at 4-3 but the Liverpool nerves were ended by a stunning ending as Suarez found Sturridge who hit for goal only to see Butland deny him but a chip and headed skill saw him convert his second chance to make it an incredible score of 5-3.

There could have been more as Crouch headed against the post and Mignolet luckily prevented Gerrard from hitting into his own net as Liverpool held on for a first league win at the Britannia.