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League Cup

  • 26 October 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • Referee: L. Probert
  • • Attendance: 24934

Stoke City 1-2 Liverpool: Brilliant double from Luis Suarez sends Reds into League Cup quarter-finals

Stoke City 1-2 Liverpool: Brilliant double from Luis Suarez sends Reds into League Cup quarter-finals

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The Uruguayan was again the match-winner for the Reds as his two goals helped Dalglish's men come from a goal down, after Kenwyne Jones had given Pulis' side the lead

Luis Suarez’s brilliance proved to be the difference between the two sides as Liverpool came from a goal down against Stoke City to run out 2-1 winners at the Britannia Stadium and book their place in the League Cup quarter-finals.

Tony Pulis made five changes to the side beaten at the Emirates on Sunday, most notably Asmir Begovic and Peter Crouch dropped to the bench with Thomas Sorensen and Kenwyne Jones replacing them.

The big news as far as Liverpool were concerned was the inclusion of both Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez, starting together for the first time since the Merseyside derby. Steven Gerrard failed to make the squad while Lucas Leiva returned to the starting XI.

The visitors began the brighter of the two sides, with Dalglish’s men looking to take advantage of the height of Andy Carroll and the pace of Luis Suarez.

Liverpool looked threatening on the break, and following hesitant play from Glenn Whelan they broke well and found themselves four on two, only for Jordan Henderson’s cross to be well intercepted by Robert Huth.

The away side then really should have taken the lead through Luis Suarez. Maxi Rodriguez’s cut back found Suarez who did well to stay onside, but his 12-yard effort was parried by Sorensen.

Against the run of the play the home side thought they had taken the lead shortly after the half hour mark.

Following a typical Rory Delap throw-in, Jonathan Walters nicked in ahead of Pepe Reina to head home. Similarly to Grant Holt’s equaliser at the weekend, Reina was left all at sea, only this time his blushes were spared by referee Lee Probert, who deemed Walters to have fouled Reina, to the bemusement of the home crowd.

Shortly after, the home side did take the lead. Uruguayan defender Sebastian Coates was hassled by Walters, who, after nicking possession, drove to the byline before cutting back to find Kenwyne Jones who stooped to head home and give his side a surprising half-time lead.

It didn’t take long for Liverpool to restore parity. Just a few minutes after half-time, Luis Suarez received the ball on the corner of the 18-yard box, and after nutmegging Stoke's Ryan Shotton he curled a superb effort into the left-hand side of Thomas Sorensen’s goal, leaving the Danish goalkeeper helpless.

Pulis looked to shuffle his pack shortly after the equaliser, as the away team began to take control of the game. Cameron Jerome was brought on to replace Matthew Etherington and Jermain Pennant replaced Shotton.

Similarly, Kenny Dalglish started to ring the changes, with Craig Bellamy replacing the ineffective Maxi Rodriguez, as both managers appeared to be readying themselves for extra-time.

Bellamy almost had an instant impact, striking the post from the edge of the 18-yard box after good hold up play from Andy Carroll.

Just minutes later it was the Suarez show once again. The little Uruguayan latched on to a lobbed ball from Henderson at the back post to give his side the lead just minutes from time.

Suarez limped off just seconds after celebrating, to a rapturous standing ovation from the 4000 travelling Liverpool fans, as his two goals proved enough to send Liverpool into the quarter-finals.