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May 24, 2015
• Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Referee: A. Taylor
• Attendance: 27602
M. Diouf 22', 26'
J. Walters 30'
C. Adam 41'
S. N'Zonzi 45'
P. Crouch 86'
S. Gerrard 70'
FULL TIME! Stoke cap a brilliant season with a 6-1 victory over Liverpool, with Diouf, Walters, Adam N'Zonzi and Crouch contributing to the demolition. Gerrard grabbed a consolation goal for the visitors, netting on his final appearance for the club, as Rodgers' side drop to sixth place on the final day. That's all that we have time for, I've been Simon Harrison and I hope to see you again next season!
90' + 2'
Lambert tries to send a looping header towards goal, but the Englishman sends the ball some way wide of the post. Stoke then try to break again, this time through Odemwingie on the right, but the Nigerian striker is easily dispossessed, much to the annoyance of the home fans.
There are three minutes of stoppage time at the Britannia.
Stoke's fans have certainly been treated to an entertaining final game at the Britannia this season. Six goals against Liverpool will be a great way to end the campaign, with plenty of players getting in on the goalscoring act. With Southampton 2-0 behind against Man City, there isn't much to play for here anymore.
Assist Mame Biram Diouf
Goal Peter Crouch
GOOOOOOOOAL! CROUCH MAKES IT SIX! The former Portsmouth striker merely has to apply an easy finish from six yards out, nodding home a brilliant cross from Diouf! Sakho just isn't tight enough to the former England international, leaving Mignolet to pick the ball out of the back of the net once again.
Stoke are happy to sit back and see out the remaining minutes, with Rodgers' men being given the opportunity to stroke the ball about. No matter what performance the hosts turn in, they appear to be destined to finish in sixth place.
Whelan lifts a cross into the box, but Mignolet claims above Diouf. Liverpool break as a result, with Ibe and Gerrard combining well, but the former can only win a throw in high upfield. Coutinho tries to play a one-two with Lambert, but a poor touch from the substitute is cut out well by Whelan.
Crouch is introduced for the final 10 minutes at the Britannia, with the former Liverpool man sure to be looking for a goal against his ex-employers. Arnautovic gets a standing ovation as he leaves the field of play, with the Austrian winger having a storming first half.
Henderson clips the aforementioned free kick into the box, but it bobbles behind for a goal kick. Moments later, Lallana breaks down the right before trying to sidestep Pieters, but the Englishman goes down claiming a penalty. The former Saints man needs to be stronger.
Yellow Card Erik Pieters
Spurs are still leading against Everton, meaning that Liverpool are currently going to finish in sixth. Pieters gives away a free kick for a poor tackle, earning the Dutchman an easy yellow card. He scythed Henderson to the ground.
Lambert is thrown in up top for the visitors, with the former Bristol Rovers striker at least able to battle and hold up the ball against Stoke's physical two central defenders. Stoke have taken their foot off the gas slightly in the second half, with the Reds having the better of possession.
Muniesa leaves the field with yet another suspected injury, with Wilson replacing the former Barcelona defender. Coutinho then shoots from range, but the former Inter midfielder's ferocious drive is gobbled up by Begovic, who gets his body behind the ball well.
Assist Rickie Lambert
Goal Steven Gerrard
GOOOOOOOOOAL! GERRARD NETS A CONSOLATION GOAL! Gerrard takes aim from 30 yards out, but the Liverpool captain curls a right-footed effort high and wide of the target. Moments later, he makes a great run through the middle, before sliding a low finish into the bottom-left corner.
Arnautovic is penalised for tangling with Lallana, but the Austria international just appeared to stand strong. Gerrard whips in the resulting dead ball, but Begovic is easily able to claim under no pressure. Liverpool's lack of cutting edge has been profound this afternoon. Contrastingly, Stoke look dangerous throughout the majority of their attacks.
Another stop from Begovic! Gerrard makes a good run to break into the opposition penalty area, but his off-balance shot is easily saved by the Stoke goalkeeper. He scrambles low down to his left to concede a corner, which isn't capitalised upon. The Potters counter immediately, before going through three versus three, but Arnautovic sees a shot deflected behind.
Lallana scampers in behind the Stoke back four, before going one-on-one with Begovic, but the Bosnian goalkeeper makes himself big to make a solid stop! That's the closest the Reds have gone all afternoon and we have played an hour.
Walters breaks down the right-hand side, keeping his balance well to shake off a challenge from Skrtel. The Irishman whips in an eventual cross, but it is cleared, with Diouf not getting any real service in the second half thus far.
Liverpool have half an hour to make this scoreline less embarrassing, but Begovic hasn't had anything to do this side of the interval. After a very entertaining first half, this second period has lacked any sign of sparkle. Lallana runs the ball out of play for a goal kick, with the Englishman kicking the advertising hoardings in frustration.
The away fans are starting to make a bit more noise, with Rodgers' change of system at least allowing for the Reds to hold onto the ball with slightly more luck. Stoke are content to sit back and absorb pressure, leaving Diouf as an isolated figure up top. Ibe breaks down the left to beat Cameron, but the Englishman's cross is blocked.
Liverpool have had more of the ball in the second half, but the lack of a focal point for the visitors is hampering their offensive efforts. Coutinho tries to break into the penalty area yet again, but Shawcross is on hand to lash a clearance into touch.
Coutinho attempts to wriggle into space on the edge of the box to shoot, but the Liverpool midfielder is promptly dispossessed. Stoke continue to look dangerous on the counter attack, but Hughes is prepared to keep more red and white shirts behind the ball if needed.
Liverpool's change of formation is asking Ibe and Henderson to work hard as wing-backs, but Rodgers' men will be unable to involve their wide men too often if they are irresponsible on the ball. Lallana breaks down the right, but Pieters tracks back brilliantly to outmuscle the Englishman.
Liverpool just haven't got any kind of threat down the middle, with Shawcross and Muniesa having a very easy afternoon at the moment. At least playing Lambert would give the Reds a focal point or someone to battle with Stoke's defenders.
Yellow Card Martin Skrtel
Ibe and Toure come into the fray for the visitors, with Rodgers looking for an immediate improvement on his side's awful first-half showing. It should lead to a change of shape for the Reds, but Stoke will continue to be competitive regardless. Liverpool just can't seem to create anything meaningful. A corner delivery from the right is headed clear by Shawcross.
We are underway in the second half at the Britannia! Stoke are 5-0 ahead and looking in imperious form, with Gerrard currently showing no signs of making his last Premier League appearance memorable for the right reasons.
HALF TIME! Stoke head into their dressing room with a five-goal advantage at the interval! Goals from Diouf, Walters, Adam and N'Zonzi have put the Potters in a fantastic position, with Gerrard set to bow out of Premier League action on the end of an absolute mauling from the Potters. Be sure to rejoin us in 10 minutes!
45' + 3'
Adam tries to shoot from inside his own half, but his heroics against Chelsea aren't to be replicated and Mignolet claims with ease. Coutinho is brought down on the edge of the penalty area for Liverpool, earning the visitors a free kick. Gerrard strikes it, but thumps the ball into the wall.
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Ryan Shawcross
45' + 1'
We're into the first of three minutes of stoppage time in the first half.
Assist Marko Arnautovic
Goal Steven N'Zonzi
GOOOOOOOOOOAL! N'ZONZI MAKES IT FIVE! Stoke aren't done yet! The Frenchman makes a darting run through the middle of the park, before curling a right-footed effort into the far corner! Mignolet has absolutely no chance. The Potters are on fire!
Lallana is fed in behind the Stoke back four, but the through ball into the Englishman's path is gobbled up easily by Begovic. Only a few minutes remain of the first half, with Liverpool appearing to have no way back into this contest whatsoever.
Goal Charlie Adam
GOOOOOOOOOAL! ADAM GRABS THE FOURTH! The former Liverpool midfielder drives through the heart of the field, before placing a left-footed finish just inside the right-hand post! Stoke are absolutely dismantling the visitors, the referee's whistle to end the first half can't come soon enough for Rodgers!
Tempers are rising at the Britannia! After being the subject of another physical challenge from Shawcross, Lallana gets to his feet and going head-to-head with his opponent! Rodgers will need to make some changes at the interval.
Walters curls a cross into the penalty area from the right flank, but Diouf is beaten to the ball by a neat defensive header from Skrtel. Liverpool then attempt to clip a lofted pass into the box, but Arnautovic tracks back brilliantly to nod a cushioned header back to Begovic.
Lallana is picked out on the left-hand side, before driving into the penalty area. After being faced up by Cameron, the former Saints man throws himself to the ground claiming a penalty, but the referee isn't interested.
Henderson has a shot from the edge of the penalty area, but the Englishman's long-range effort is deflected behind for a corner. The resulting set piece is headed back square across goal by Skrtel, before Begovic claims. Stoke break themselves, before Adam sees an attempt charged down by Moreno.
Cameron tries to cut back a cross from the right-hand side, but Allen intercepts with ease. Liverpool just can't create anything, with Hughes' men able to dictate play and call the shots. Rodgers' side have conceded three within the opening half an hour and look incapable of staging a comeback.
Goal Jonathan Walters
GOOOOOOOOOAL! WALTERS MAKES IT 3-0! The Irish forward nods home a close-range header, after some more questionable keeping from Mignolet! A cross from the right is nodded down into a dangerous area by Emre Can, allowing for the Potters' striker to have two bites of the cherry to place the ball into the back of the net.
Sterling is warming up for the away side, with Liverpool struggling at the moment. Rodgers' men haven't been able to control possession nor create meaningful chances, with Mignolet very shaky when facing any efforts from the home team. Lallana is picked out in the penalty area, before sliding a pass in to Gerrard, but the Englishman is fouled by Arnautovic.
Assist Marko Arnautovic
Goal Mame Biram Diouf
GOOOOOOOOOOAL! DIOUF BLASTS HOME A BEAUTY! The Senegalese striker takes aim from the edge of the penalty area, before slamming a right-footed effort into the ceiling of the net! There's also a big goal at Goodison Park, with Kane heading Spurs into the lead! That means that, as it stands, Liverpool would drop out of the Europa League places. Mignolet will be disappointed with his goalkeeping.
The Potters have looked worth their lead thus far, with the away side struggling to ask any questions of Begovic. Lallana whips a cross in from the left, but the Bosnia international is able to catch with ease. Moments later, the former Saints forward is caught offside when racing into the clear.
Goal Mame Biram Diouf
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! DIOUF OPENS THE SCORING! Arnautovic cuts in from the left-hand side, before sliding a pass in towards Adam on the edge of the box. The Scot shoots at Mignolet, who parries, with the former Man United striker on hand to stab home the rebound! Stoke are ahead!
Just wide of the far post! Lallana dances into the penalty area, before curling a left-footed effort just beyond the upright! Begovic didn't move a muscle, with the England international causing a few problems early on. Arnautovic then breaks down the left flank, but the Austrian's delivery from out wide is too heavy.
Stoke are looking very dangerous on the break, with Liverpool struggling to find any kind of control in this game. Adam takes aim from 30 yards yet again, but the former Blackpool midfielder sends the ball some way above the crossbar.
Yellow Card Glenn Whelan
Adam whips in a free kick from the right-hand side, but Mignolet is able to come off his line quickly to claim with ease. Lallana then tries to break down the left flank, but the former Southampton midfielder is tugged back cynically by Whelan. The referee has had to be liberal with his use of yellow cards in the opening 20 minutes.
Yellow Card Lucas Leiva
Gerrard spreads play out to the right-hand side, before Coutinho cuts in from the flank and sends a left-footed shot high and wide of the target! Selfish play from the Brazilian midfielder means that the former Inter man raises an apologetic hand on the way back to his position.
Arnautovic attempts to whip a cross in from the left-hand side, but Liverpool easily clear their lines. Based on the opening minutes, Stoke don't look like the team who have nothing to play for, with the visitors being somewhat pedestrian. Only Coutinho has looked to make anything happen offensively.
Sakho gives away a free kick, after raising his foot, with a corner resulting from it. The hosts can only see the delivery flash straight behind for a goal kick. Moments later, Walters shoots from 25 yards out, but the Stoke striker drags his effort way wide of the right-hand post.
Yellow Card Charlie Adam
Adam gets the first booking of the afternoon, after poor challenges on both Gerrard and Skrtel. The latter was clattered by the Scotland international, who had his studs showing, with Stoke unafraid to get in amongst the action early on.
Lallana breaks down the left-hand side, before clipping a cross into the box, but Muniesa heads away. Arnautovic then counters, before switching the play to Walters, but the Irish forward is denying by a sliding challenge. Stoke have started fairly brightly!
Shawcross makes a timely interception to deny a smart run from Allen, with Liverpool appearing to have reverted to their past system of a midfield diamond. Lallana and Coutinho will be asked to be the main runners, with Gerrard at the point. Adam shoots from 30 yards out, but the former Blackpool man blasts over the bar.
Diouf almost manages to get in behind Skrtel, but the Slovakian defender is just about able to muscle the former Molde striker off the ball. Stoke have looked to be offensive in the opening minutes, but Liverpool need to respond well. Gerrard is brought down by a scrappy challenge, but the visitors' captain is quickly back to his feet.
We are underway in the first half at the Britannia! Liverpool need some points from tonight's game, otherwise they will be at the mercy of performances elsewhere. They have both the Saints and Spurs breathing down their necks.
Liverpool substitutes: Toure, Lovren, Lambert, Sterling, Ibe, Markovic, Ward.
Liverpool starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Mignolet; Can, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno; Lucas, Allen; Henderson, Gerrard, Lallana; Coutinho.
Stoke substitutes: Ireland, Odemwingie, Wilson, Sidwell, Butland, Crouch, Wollscheid.
Stoke starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Muniesa, Pieters; Whelan, N'Zonzi; Walters, Adam, Arnautovic; Diouf.
TEAM NEWS: Liverpool leave Raheem Sterling on the bench after the controversy of the last week or so, with Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho and Steven Gerrard asked to pull their offensive weight. As a result, Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson are the more defensively minded midfielders. Emre Can continues at right-back, with Glen Johnson failing to make the bench on his last matchday for the Reds.
TEAM NEWS: Marc Muniesa starts at centre-back for the home side, with few selection surprises from Hughes. Asmir Begovic displaces Jack Butland in goal, with Charlie Adam slotting into the centre of an offensive trio which boasts Jonathan Walters, Marko Arnautovic and Mame Biram Diouf. After signing on a permanent deal, Philipp Wollscheid is only named among the substitutes.
Stoke are continuing to field a strong starting line-up, despite having nothing to play for. Mark Hughes will be pleased with his squad's performance this season, while Liverpool's job is far from over. With two teams chasing them, Rodgers' side can't afford to slip up, despite Rickie Lambert being the only recognised striker in the matchday squad for the Reds.
Hello and welcome to the final game of the Premier League season that will be hosted at the Britannia Stadium, with Stoke having already secured their highest ever top-flight finish of ninth. Liverpool will be looking to cling onto European football with a result here this afternoon, with Spurs and Southampton still able to leapfrog Brendan Rodgers' men. It is the end of an era for the travelling Reds supporters, as today marks potentially the last appearance Steven Gerrard will make for their club.
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