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West Ham United
12 January 2014
• Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Referee: A. Taylor
• Attendance: 27160
P. Crouch 39'
C. Adam 45'
J. Walters 85'
R. Shawcross 5' (own goal)
L. Suárez 32', 71'
S. Gerrard 51'
D. Sturridge 87'
Thank you for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed the action and found yourselves suitably entertained. Farewell!
FULL-TIME: Well, what a match. Liverpool emerge victorious with the 5-3 scoreline after a quite remarkable encounter. It looked all set to be a walk in the park when the visitors raced into a two-goal lead midway through the first half, but the two sides went into the break level after a brilliant end to the first period by Stoke. The second half saw another four goals, but ultimately it was Liverpool who earned the win and they probably just about deserved it.
90' + 4'
Great save by Mignolet! Adam whipped in a fierce delivery from a corner and Liverpool captain Gerrard directed the ball towards his own goal, but luckily for him his goalkeeper pulled off a very good stop to keep their two-goal lead.
90' + 1'
Four minutes of stoppage time have been added.
Nearly a fourth for Stoke! Pieters' cross form the left holds up nicely for Crouch and the giant forward sees his header come back off the post and Liverpool clear.
Just the eight goals so far then. Will we see more in the dying stages?
Goal Daniel Sturridge
GOAL!!! Stoke's delight is short-lived as Liverpool get a fifth! Suarez peeled off to the left and played a dangerous low cross in towards the back post. Sturridge saw his first effort saved brilliantly by Butland, but the England forward kept the ball in play, got back into a more forgiving position and found the back of the net. What a game this has been.
Good chance again for Stoke! On this occasion Crouch rises to meet a cross from deep, but he nods the ball wide, with there not really enough power on the delivery.
Assist Marko Arnautovic
Goal Jonathan Walters
GOAL!!! Walters makes no mistake this time, however! Excellent wing play by Arnautovic as he produces a good low cross towards the edge of the Liverpool area for the former Ipswich man. His first touch takes Toure out of the game and he then fires a left-footed shot in past Mignolet. The goalkeeper arguably could have done better, but Stoke won't mind! What a finish we could be in for here.
Good save by Mignolet! Crouch hooks the ball into the danger zone for Walters to meet with a header, but the Belgian goalkeeper gets down to palm his effort away.
Stoke are still looking to attack as often as possible. After all, they took down Liverpool's two-goal deficit in the first half, why not again?
Adam has put in a good display today against his former side and he is pulling the strings again. He lofts a pass into the Liverpool box from a deep position. Toure tries to cut it out with a header, but the Ivorian's effort is directed towards his own goal. Mignolet nervously tries to reach it, but luckily for Liverpool it lands on the roof of the net.
Good footwork by Sterling down the right as he produces a few stepovers in an attempt to dazzle Pieters. He beats the Dutchman and chips a fairly poor cross towards the goal. Butland makes a bit of a meal of it, but Stoke do hack it away in the end.
Encouraging play by Stoke. Crouch drops deep to collect possession before playing a through-ball beyond the Liverpool defence for Arnautovic. He gets on the end of it and tries to pick out a team-mate in the centre, but he wastes the opportunity.
Assist Daniel Sturridge
Goal Luis Suárez
GOAL!!! And what do you know, Liverpool catch Stoke on the break to reopen a two-goal lead! The visitors stole possession inside their own half and quickly worked the ball forward. Eventually, Sturridge cut inside from the left before producing a magnificent reverse pass into the area for Suarez, who fired the ball into the bottom-right corner of the goal.
Stoke are looking particularly committed to attacking at the moment, but they are increasingly stretched and open at the back. This is a dangeorus setup.
Good opening for Liverpool as Suarez and Sturridge link up in attack for the first time in the match. The ball eventually comes to Sterling to their right, but his tame left-footed shot is straight at Butland.
This change could spell danger for Stoke. Coutinho comes off for Sturridge, who makes his return from injury.
Decent chance for Liverpool. Suarez manages to retain possession and pokes it back to Coutinho on the edge of the area. The Brazilian charges into the left side of the area and quickly cuts the ball back on to his right foot, but Butland makes an easy save.
Liverpool are not impressed as Adam callously takes Sterling down on the touchline with a late tackle. Somehow he escapes a yellow card.
In goes another corner and it is flicked on at the front post, but no one else can reach it at the other side of the goal.
Adam puts in a good delivery from the corner, but Liverpool defend it well. The Stoke midfielder regains possession out wide and wins another corner off Cissokho.
Arnautovic gets forward on the left for the hosts and he wins a corner as his left-footed cross strikes Johnson and goes behind.
Yellow Card Ryan Shawcross
Clever feet by Suarez just past the halfway line as he flicks the ball through a Stoke player's legs, collects it and moves possession on. He wins a free-kick, however, as he is caught by Shawcross' late challenge.
Liverpool fail to make the most of the chance, however, with the ball ending up soaring over the Stoke goal.
Corner for Liverpool after positive play by Suarez in the Stoke area.
Replays suggest they have a point as the ball clearly strikes Suarez on at least one hand, but both of his arms are on his chest. It would have been harsh.
Adam takes the kick and cuts it back to the edge of the box for Arnautovic. He hits it first-time and Suarez makes an important block. However, Stoke are claiming they should have been given a penalty, insisting the ball struck Suarez's hand(s).
Yellow Card Aly Cissokho
Stoke are straight back on to the attack and they have a good chance now themselves as Adam wins a free-kick just to the right of the Liverpool area as he is tripped by Cissokho.
Penalty Goal Steven Gerrard
GOAL!!! Steven Gerrard marks his 650th Liverpool appearance in fitting fashion as he buries the penalty with composure. The visitors re-take the lead!
Penalty to Stoke! Sterling makes the most of a ricochet and he marches forward from the halfway line. He gets into the area and draws a cheap foul from Wilson, who nudges the winger over and concedes a penalty.
Liverpool look to make headway down the right and Johnson is slipped in towards the area. Arnautovic, however, tracks back well and steals possession back.
Stoke nearly get off to the perfect start. The ball sits up nicely for Adam just outside Liverpool's area and he hits a half-volley goalwards, but he clears the crossbar.
Liverpool get the action started for the second half.
HALF-TIME! Well, Stoke were unable to take a 3-2 lead into half-time, but they will be delighted to be level nonetheless. Liverpool looked on track to earn an easy win at the Britannia Stadium following an own-goal from Ryan Shawcross and Suarez's opportunistic finish, but Stoke fought back through ex-Liverpool duo Crouch and Adam. This could go either way now, so make sure you're here for the second half!
45' + 3'
Stoke look resurgent now as they search out another goal to potentially take an unlikely lead into the break.
45' + 1'
Four minutes of stoppage time has been added.
Goal Charlie Adam
GOAL!!! What a strike by Charlie Adam and Stoke are level! The former Liverpool man slipped but quickly got back to his feet 35 yards from goal. He latched on to the ball, charged towards the goal and let fly from just outside the visitors' box, driving an unstoppable strike past Mignolet.
Excellent pressing from the home side. Liverpool pushed a number of players forward and Henderson looked to try and unlock the Stoke backline, but he was forced to turn back towards his own half and he eventually played a pass all the way back to Mignolet.
Liverpool almost instantly re-open a two-goal lead! Sterling does well in the inside-right channel as he chips a clever pass into the centre of the penalty area. Coutinho volleys it first time, but he fires straight at the grateful Butland.
Assist Marko Arnautovic
Goal Peter Crouch
GOAL!!! Stoke are back in this! Arnautovic, who had been very poor for the first 39 minutes, finally does something decisive. The former Inter wide man cuts on to his right foot on the left flank and crosses into the centre. Crouch re-positions himself and directs a header past the helpless Mignolet. Game on!
Arnautovic looks to run at Johnson, but the Austrian effectively surrenders possession to the England right-back, who quickly moves the ball on to the lively Sterling.
Stoke have put 18 crosses in or around the Liverpool penalty area so far, which shows that they have seen plenty of the ball themselves until now. However, this highlights just how dreadful their final ball has been, because very few have caused Liverpool any problems at all.
It would be a brave man who bet against Liverpool earning their first Premier League win at the Britannia Stadium now. Brendan Rodgers' men have been excellent so far.
Goal Luis Suárez
GOAL!!! Liverpool double their lead through Suarez! The Uruguayan had been relatively quiet in this, but he remains so deadly even when he is rarely involved. Shawcross failed to deal with a long ball forward by Liverpool and Suarez pounces before knocking past the stranded Butland.
The free-kick goes just wide of the far post and Stoke get away with it.
Arnautovic has offered nothing in attack as of yet and he is now just getting in the way as a defender. He commits a foul in a very dangerous position just outside the hosts' area and Suarez looks set to take.
First real sniff for Suarez! Coutinho crosses from the left and Suarez manages to meet it with a header, but his effort is tame and doesn't even reach the goal. Butland may have put him off as he flew through the air, fist first towards the Uruguayan in his best Superman impression.
We are having a brief pause in play as the referee has a word with Shawcross and Skrtel. The two came together for that last corner and ended up tussling on the floor.
Initially the corner comes to nothing, but Stoke remain on the offensive. Eventually Walters crosses from the right and Arnautovic meets it with a volley on the edge of the area. His attempt, however, is awful and goes almost as high and wide as possible. It was akin to Jason Puncheon's penalty on Saturday.
The only area where Stoke have threatened has been down their right-hand side. Again Adam is involved as he drives inside, between two opponents before seeing his cross crashes off a defender and goes out for a corner.
Adam's delivery from the corner is a good one, but Liverpool are quick to clear and launch a counterattack. Sterling nudges his marker out of the way near the halfway line and bursts into the Stoke half. He bides his time and waits for support before cutting a pass across to the other side of the penalty area, but Countinho's first-time effort goes comfortably over.
Encouraging play by Stoke as Adam plays a clever reverse ball into the area for Walters and the forward wins a corner.
Lucas, Walters and Gerrard all end up on the backsides after a forceful clash. They all seem to be fine, although Lucas is clutching his elbow.
These breaks in play will only help Liverpool retain their lead. Stoke are struggling to string a meaningful number of passes together, while Liverpool's movement in attack looks very dangerous all of the time. Stoke need momentum on their side if they are to give this a good go.
Although he continues to grimace, Walters looks set to remain on here, at least for the time being.
Jonathan Walters is the latest Stoke player to receive medical attention. The forward clashed with Skrtel in the air and he appears to have hurt his knee on the way down.
The hosts eventually get the all-clear to take the free-kick. Adam clips in a delicate, inviting delivery, but no team-mates can quite reach it and Mignolet allows the ball to come straight into his hands.
Stoke win a free-kick about 30 yards from the Liverpool goal. Crouch did well to bring down a lofted ball from the back, but Toure headed the forward just above his right ear. The former England international appears to be in considerable pain after that.
Cameron gets forward down the right and he forces Gerrard to come across and make an important challenge. Good covering by the Liverpool captain on his 650th appearance.
The visitors are looking very confident and composed now. They are pouring numbers forward and Stoke are finding it difficult to contain their darting runs and interchanging.
Own Goal Ryan Shawcross
GOAL!!! Liverpool take the lead at the Britannia Stadium! Sterling cut in from the right with intent before chipping the ball towards the edge of the penalty area. His pass seemed to have taken the sting out of their attack, but Cissokho latched on to it and smashed a wayward volley towards goal. The attempt was drifting and heading well wide, but it took a huge deflection off Shawcross and beat Butland.
Liverpool appear to have grown into this now. They are now stroking plenty of passes together.
Their second corner is even less successful, however, as Adam's delivery goes straight into the sidenetting.
The hosts take the corner shot and Adam tries to cross from the right, but his delivery is put behind by a Liverpool defender. Another corner for Stoke.
Stoke begin very positively and are quick to win a corner.
Here we go, Stoke get the action started.
Kick-off is now just a few moments away.
Luis Suarez has netted 20 Premier League goals for Liverpool so far this season, but only five of them have come away from Anfield.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have only emerged victorious from one of their previous seven matches away from home in the English top flight. Four of their last six have ended in defeat.
Mark Hughes' side have only lost one of their last ten fixtures at the Britannia Stadium in the Premier League. None of Manchester City, Arsenal and Everton picked up three points there this term.
Stoke have not lost any of their last five home league matches against Liverpool, winning each of their last three.
And the Liverpool line-up is: Mignolet, Johnson, Cissokho, Skrtel, Toure, Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho, Suarez. SUBS: Ward, Kelly, Ibe, Aspas, Moses, Sturridge, Alberto
The Stoke team today is: Butland; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Walters, Nzonzi, Adam, Whelan, Arnautovic; Crouch. SUBS: Sorensen, Muniesa, Pennant, Palacios, Etherington, Shotton, Ireland.
Welcome to the live text commentary of the Premier League meeting between Stoke City and Liverpool. My name is Ryan Benson and I shall be describing the action for you today.
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