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October 26, 2011
• Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Referee: L. Probert
• Attendance: 24934
K. Jones 44'
L. Suárez 54', 86'
90' + 5'
Game over! 2-1 to Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium, and although Stoke City had a number of quality opportunities they could not prevent succumbing to the class of Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan has had an incredible start to the season, and brought his form into the League Cup tie, with a wonderful first goal and a well-finished second.
90' + 3'
Stoke are struggling to clear their lines and it looks like they are destined to exit the League Cup competition at the last-16 stage. They will need an enormous dollop of luck to get anything from this game.
90' + 2'
Yellow CardRobert Huth
4 minutes added time. Stoke had a couple of corners after that goal, with substittute Peter Crouch getting into the mix but to no avail for the losing side.
Liverpool's two-goal hero comes off with what looks like cramp. Or at least, that is what fans of the away side will be hoping it is. Dirk Kuyt is his replacement for what could be the final few minutes.
LIVERPOOL TAKE THE LEAD! The ball is lobbed out of the box by Stoke but not far enough and Henderson lobs the ball in for a hovering Luis Suarez at the back post, the Uruguay international getting his second of the game. What form the forward the Anfield forward is in!
Bellamy has an immediate impact for the Reds. He takes the ball on the left hand flank, runs inwards at the Stoke centre and passes the ball through to a away-from-goal facing Carroll. The forward sets the ball up for the Welsh winger who bobbles the ball against the Stoke right post. Sorensen was beaten, Stoke were lucky.
Maxi comes off the field of play for Craig Bellamy. Stoke take the initiative afte play resumes, but Glenn Whelan boots wide from 40 yards out.
Reina doesn't look at all comfortable with Rory Delap's long thrwos, two of them from the right offering Stoke opportunities to take the lead but Liverpool defend successfully.
Ed Malyon, Goal.com's man at the Britannia Stadium, gives us a second half update: "Fifteen minutes remain here at the Britannia and while Liverpool look more likely to grab a winner at the moment, Stoke continue to threaten. Suarez has been at the centre of everything good in this second half and you feel that if Liverpool grab the decisive goal, then he will play a key role in it."
Whelan somehow avoids getting booked for a poor tackle on Liverpool's Jay Spearing. The free kick is, once again, wasted and nothing comes of it.
Delap takes quite a while to take his long throws. This propelled launch comes to nothing, as either side search for a breakthrough.
Dalglish is fuming after Suarez is tackled unfairly to the floor by Woodgate, but because advantage was played when Carroll keeps the ball, the referee does not go back to book the experienced centre-back.
Plenty of pushing and pulling in the penalty area, so the corner conceded by Stoke takes a while to be taken. When it is, however, it's anticlimatic and the ball is cleared from the box by Huth.
Another Stoke sub, Etherington for Jerome. Another body to throw in the box for Stoke.
Woodgate, the former Leeds United, Tottenham & Real Madrid man, floats a dinked ball down the right for Walters but the striker is unable to keep it in. Both teams fighting for the ascendency.
After a quite start to the half, Dalglish's side are beginning to press Pulis'. The first substitute for Stoke now - Ryan Shotton off and Jermaine Pennant on.
Yellow CardGlenn Whelan
Unsurprisingly, the away fans have become a lot louder after that equaliser. Just a reminder, there will be no replay - if the match stays a draw, it's extra time then penalties.
My word, what a sublime goal for Liverpool's LUIS SUAREZ! The striker collects the ball on the left-hand side of the penalty area, takes a second to think, nutmegs Shotton, and then - just inside the top corner of the box - curls outside a helpless Sorensen into the left corner of the net. Brilliant skill and fantastic finish. 1-1.
Delap powers a trademark throw from the left into the box but Agger reacts quickest to head it clear. This half, it's Stoke who are setting the tempo.
Jones, Walters and Walters are doing some neat short passing on the left side of the field. Liverpool take their time getting the ball back but they eventually do, but the through ball up to the forwards is negated by the fact Carroll is offside. The former Newcastle United striker and Suarez are being caught a little too often behind the back line at the Britannia.
Martin Skrtel on for Jamie Carragher is the only substitution at the halfway point. Stoke remain the same.
The second half is underway. Which of these two Premier League sides will join Arsenal, Cardiff, Crystal Palace and Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the League Cup? Stoke might have the advantage but Liverpool are only one goal behind so it’s all to play for.
Our man at Stoke's stadium, Ed Malyon, gives his half-time analysis: "Half-time at the Britannia and the hosts have edged in front at the end of a half that started brightly but began to fizzle. Sebastian Coates will take the blame for the goal, dallying in defence and the tireless Jonathan Walters picked his pocket to set up Kenwyne Jones for an excellent diving header. Liverpool have had their chances and can not afford to be so wasteful in the second period."
45' + 2'
The halftime whistle blows! Dalglish's side are 1-0 down despite dominating for large periods. Suarez and Carroll should probably have done better with their gift-wrapped opportunities, but credit goes to Stoke City for persisting and hanging in there, before making the most of a defensive error and making the away side pay.
45' + 1'
2 minutes of injury time. Suarez makes a mazy run into the Stoke box - Shawcross sticks a leg out but Suarez stays standing before dragging his shot along the floor wide of Sorensen's right post. He wants a penalty after the shot but Probert isn't listening. Looks like Liverpool will be heading in a goal down.
GOAL! Well, Stoke pump the ball forwards and Coates fails to deal with the bounce and Walters capitalises, driving along the right-hand by-line and accuraterly crossing for Jones to head it past Reina with precision. 1-0 to Stoke City.
Yellow CardRyan Shawcross
Shawcross gets a booking for a fould on Luis Suarez. The resulting free-kick is curled in from a height but evades everyone and goes out for a goal kick.
Martin Kelly cuts in from the right hand flank about 30 yards out and drills an accurate left-footed strike towards the bottom corner but Sorenson stops the net from ruffling.
Goal.com's correspondent, Ed Malyon, gives us an update: "What began an end-to-end encounter with good chances for both sides has turned into a bit of a stop-start affair. Shotton and Walters both had good chances for Stoke but Carragher is marshalling his back line very well. Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll will both be wondering how they haven't scored when presented with simple opportunities."
The ball is in the back of Liverpool's net...but it's disallowed! The referee deems Pepe Reina to have been fouled when Walters heads a long throw over the Spaniard's head. It's not at all clear who or how Reina was fouled, and the Britannia Stadium faithful are predictably unhappy with the ref.
Lots of pulling players down and falling over too easily - they're giving referee Lee Probert a few nuisance decisions. Suarez is pushed over on the edge of the box, but nothing is given, Maxi falls over too softly in the penalty area, and then eventually Liverpool get a free-kick when Ryan Shotton wrestles Agger to the floor in front of the official.
The game has paused once more when forward Kenwyne Jones needs treatment on the field of play. A third of the game gone and it remains 0-0.
Stoke's first opportunity to use their aerial presence in attack. Etherington swings the ball in with his left foot but Carroll does enough to distract Robert Huth and the German heads high and wide.
Good work from Maxi Rodriguez and and Suarez allows Carroll to collect the within the box from an angle and the striker attempts to slot it to the left of the keeper but Sorensen gets down excellently to smother the ball.
Yellow CardJamie Carragher
The pause in play to give Etherington treatment slows down what has been quite a frantic League cup match at the Britannia Stadium. Liverpool looking by far the more likely to go ahead.
Carragher throws himself into a tackle, and although he doesn't clip the running Matthew Etherington, he gets none of the ball and gets a yellow card as a result when the winger goes down with a twisted ankle.
Carroll again gets a way from his marker when a corner ball is whipped in but can't get the header in the back of the net. Stoke are holding on in this game at the moment and have not got going just yet.
Liverpool continue to press, and get a three-on-one opportunity against the home side but Robert Huth incepts Henderson's cross from the right to momentarily clear the danger.
Suarez has another effort, this time Carroll slots him in and the Uruguayan tries dinking it over the Danish keeper, to no avail as he saves with ease.
Suarez neatly taps the ball down to a rampaging Andy Carroll about 40 yards out and the England striker bears down on the Stoke goal, shooting from 25 yards out. The shot is hit with power but straight at keeper Sorensen, Suarez cannot redirect the save goalwards and it goes out for a goal kick.
Liverpool are really controlling possession but don't rule Stoke out by any means. Walters curls in from the left-hand corner of the box with his right foot from a throw-in and it drops just over the net
A foul is given by the referee for shirt tugging in the Stoke box against Kenny Dalglish's side. Free-kick is taken but Liverpool regain possesion swiftly.
Liverpool get the first corner of the game, two minutes in after Daniel Agger runs down the left flank and wins a corner from a Stoke deflection. Andy Carroll should have done better with the header from the corner.
Only seconds until the game starts now. Excited? Nervous? Stoke City fans will be crossing their fingers for a repeat Wembley journey after getting to the final of the FA Cup last season, but ultimately losing 1-0 to Manchester City.
Goal.com’s correspondent at the Britannia Stadium, Ed Malyon, updates us: “Stoke boss Tony Pulis seems to be well aware of what is ahead of them tonight: “We will have our work cut out, but I'm sure the fans will raise their game like the players will have to raise theirs if we're to get the right result,” said the Welshman. Commenting on the Liverpool fans selling out the away end at the Britannia, he added: “There will be a tremendous atmosphere for another cup game here, but I hope a few more will come along to lend their support because we will need it. The very mention of Liverpool being in town should encourage them to come along.””
Liverpool beat Exeter and Brighton Hove Albion away from home to reach the last-16 of the competition. Stoke, on the other hand, beat Tottenham on penalties in the last round which was the round they entered into because of their European status.
So Liverpool make eight changes from the side that drew 1-1 at home to Norwich City at the weekend. Most significantly, Steven Gerrard is rested completely from the squad, however, Suarez, who was desperately unlucky not to score in Saturday’s Premier League tie, is bound to be a handful for the Stoke defence.
Liverpool’s starting line-up: Reina; Kelly, Coates, Carragher, Agger; Lucas, Spearing, Henderson; Maxi, Carroll, Suarez. Subs: Doni, Aurelio, Kuyt, Adam, Bellamy, Skrtel, Flanagan.
Stoke City’s starting line-up: Sorensen; Huth, Shawcross, Woodgate, Wilson; Shotton, Whelan, Delap, Etherington; Walters, Jones. Subs: Nash, Diao, Pennant, Upson, Crouch, Jerome, Palacios.
Good evening guys and girls and welcome to Goal.com’s live commentary for the Stoke City v Liverpool game at the Britannia Stadium. The two Premier League clubs are facing each other in the fourth round of the League Cup and (touch wood) should provide some good entertainment tonight.
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