The Liverbird

LIVER BIRD – Reds Net 5 To Take Back 4th

It was an eight goal thriller at the Britannia on Sunday as both sets of fans were treated to an end to end game in a thoroughly exciting football match. There were points of frustration for Liverpool who perhaps could have avoided some of their mistakes but the general consensus is that in years gone by, the Reds would never have fought on to win that game.Some early Liverpool pressure meant the game swung their way in less than five minutes after a somewhat fortunate goal. Sterling’s pass which he appeared to mess up eventually reached Aly Cissokho on the left of the box, his strike had power but it wasn’t on target. Ryan Shawcross however managed to get in the way of the effort and turned the ball into his own net.The following portion of the game consisted of chances for both sides with Liverpool perhaps getting the more feasible attempts. However neither side had scored and we’d have to wait until 30 minutes for a change in the scoreline.A lurking Luis Suarez was praying on the Stoke defence the whole game but this time he’d anticipated a mishap and was right to do so as a dodgy clearance from Shawcross and failed attempt to pressure Suarez from Butland left the Uruguayan with his chance which he converted easily from an angle.Now two goals behind, Stoke were beginning to feel frustrated, they had been playing well of course and the fans were making it very clear that they wanted their side to continue to apply the pressure on Liverpool. Just seven minutes after Suarez’s goal, Stoke got their wish.A free kick from Arnoutovic found its way to Peter Crouch who had managed to easily break free from Kolo Toure’s watchful eye. The ex Liverpool man then headed the ball home past Simon Mignolet and Liverpool were left wondering how they’d allowed that to happen.The Britannia of course has always been a difficult place for us to visit and so it was perhaps only a matter of time before Stoke found a goal, that didn’t mean Liverpool were suddenly going to be faced with a scrap for the three points though did it?A Charlie Adam goal just four minutes later answered that question. A rare poor pass from Jordan Henderson allowed Stoke to intercept. Charlie Adam then recovered from a slip to place a brilliant strike from distance into the Liverpool goal. It was a cracking effort to be fair.The second half couldn’t have come sooner for the Reds as they were beginning to make silly mistakes and it wouldn’t have taken much longer for Stoke to find another goal at that stage. A break was just what Liverpool required and they would again receive a bit of luck early in the second half.Raheem Sterling got away with a hand ball and in the process managed to make a run being followed by Wilson into the box. At which point Wilson made a challenge on Sterling and a penalty was awarded. Stoke were definitely hard done by with the hand ball decision and Sterling perhaps shouldn’t have even made it to the point of the penalty but soft or not, in my opinion it was a spot kick.Steven Gerrard stepped up to take it and as always the captain finished cooly and calmly to put Liverpool back into the lead.Shortly after the third Liverpool goal, the Reds put themselves in a bit of trouble when Aly Cissokho fouled Charlie Adam right on the edge of the box. The resulting free kick was dealt with well by the defence but it was clear that things were once again beginning to feel a bit edgy for Brendan Rodgers’ side.At 65 minutes Daniel Sturridge finally made his return to the starting XI replacing Philippe Coutinho. It took just five minutes for him to stamp his mark on the game.Immediately reigniting his partnership with Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge with a confident run made a break and then slipped the ball to Suarez on his left, giving the Uruguayan just enough space to curl his effort around Butland from an angle and sweetly into the back of the Stoke net.The SAS as they are constantly referred to then began to celebrate together in what was a simply brilliant scene for Liverpool fans who were reminded of what a prolific strike force they have. Sturridge would further instill this feeling later in the game too.After Liverpool had put the game to 4-2, they still didn’t feel safe and Stoke came back once again to set the nerves off. An effort from Walters forced Mignolet into a great save but shortly afterwards our keeper was left red faced when he allowed another Walters shot to go underneath his body. I’m not one for kicking a man when he’s down but I don’t feel as confident as I should in Mignolet at the moment, he’s a cracking keeper, we all know this but sometimes you just think “catch the bloody ball!” he’s not the only one that has been making mistakes though; see Liverpool defence.Liverpool had come so far in this game and with 4th place riding on the outcome they couldn’t afford to falter this late on. Thankfully, Daniel Sturridge decided he would quite like a goal in his first game back. After his initial effort was saved Sturridge then slipped, chested the ball, headed the ball and finally turned in his effort. He was assisted of course by that man Luis Suarez.Despite Liverpool now being 5-3 up with just ten minutes to go, Stoke still weren’t ready to give up. A header from Crouch hit the post and then Steven Gerrard nearly made things worse for Liverpool after nearly heading the ball into his own net, Mignolet saved well though.Finally the final whistle was blown and Liverpool could walk away with all three points with a mixture of pride and frustration in their performance. As many have said it was brilliant in attack but somewhat lacking in defence for the Reds yesterday. The positive is though that for the time being all that matters is the points.I asked you on Twitter for your thoughts on the game and here are a few on the responses:Next up for the Reds is Aston Villa.Like “The Liver Bird” on Facebook – www.facebook.com/TheLiverBirdsBlog

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METRO – Joey Barton leads Twitter reaction to Eden Hazard’s boot on ball boy Charlie Morgan

Eden Hazard’s now infamous altercation with Swansea ball boy Charlie Morgan has provoked plenty of reaction with Joey Barton among the current and former footballers wading in on Twitter. Here are some of the views tweeted about the Chelsea man and the Swansea, well, man. ‘Hazard only crime is he hasn’t kicked him hard enough…

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METRO – Liverpool’s home woes continue but Brendan Rodgers remains optimistic

Brendan Rodgers refused to be downbeat after his Liverpool side were thwarted by Stoke in today’s goalless draw at Anfield. Liverpool’s Luis Suarez left frustrated once more (Picture: PA) The stalemate means the Reds are still searching for only their third home league win of 2012 and have picked up just six points from their opening seven games, but Rodgers saluted his men for standing up to Stoke’s physical style. He said: ‘I am obviously disappointed we didn’t win the game but I thought the attitude and application of the players was terrific. ‘They (Stoke) are a bunch of big men who make it difficult for you and there is no right or wrong way to play football. What I was proud of is our young guys stood up to that.” Liverpool last won back-to-back Premier League games in December, and Rodgers also praised Reds fans’ patience. He added: ‘To still get the backing of the supporters with that type of record, there’s not many clubs would give that.’ For all Liverpool’s prompting, it was Charlie Adam who almost came back to haunt the Kop when his shot was saved by Pepe Reina after a loose pass from the Reds’ keeper. The same happened when Michael Kightly was denied after Reina surrendered possession, while at the other end, Liverpool went closest when Asmir Begovic parried a Steven Gerrard shot and Martin Skrtel’s late effort dropped the wrong side of the post. Stoke boss Tony Pulis added: ‘We are pleased, we had to defend resolutely and they worked their socks off.’

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METRO – Charlie Adam completes £4m transfer from Liverpool to Stoke

Charlie Adam has completed his £4million move from Liverpool to Stoke after completing a medical. Liverpool’s Charlie Adam is set to join Stoke (Picture: PA) The 28-year-old midfielder only made the £8.5million move from Blackpool to Anfield last summer, but was not part of new Reds boss Brendan Rodgers’ plans at the club. The Scotland international follows Andy Carroll – who has joined West Ham on loan – as a flagship Kenny Dalglish signing who has lasted barely 12 months at Liverpool.Another, Stewart Downing, has reportedly been told he will have to play left-back to continue his Liverpool career. Also likely to leave the club is Jay Spearing, who is on the verge of a six-month move to Championship side Bolton.Stoke manager Tony Pulis said of Adam: ‘It’s no secret that we’ve been looking to bring more goals to the squad and Charlie is a fantastic signing in that respect.’ The outgoings at Liverpool could make space in the squad for the likes of Fulham’s Clint Dempsey and Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, although the Reds are outsiders for both signings. Stoke are expected to be busy on the last day of the transfer window and hope free agent Michael Owen and Tom Huddlestone – on loan – will also join the club. Last season, Adam made 37 appearances, scoring two goals and contributing 11 assists. Check out our latest daily transfer gossip live blog

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