A second half Luis Suarez double ensured Liverpool deservedly progressed to the Quarter Finals of the League Cup and ended Stoke’s 20 match unbeaten home run.
Earlier this season the reds were unfortunate to leave the Britannia stadium with 0 points in a game we dominated. At half time it looked like the reds would once again be unlucky at Stoke.
Kenny Dalglish made 8 changes from the weekend’s side, in what was still a strong reds line up. The reds opened with verve and intensity and had a barrage of chances in the first half that should have put the tie to bed.
But in the final minute of the first half, Coates made a mistake on the left wing and Stoke pounced, sending in a cross which Kenwyne Jones fired in to put the hosts ahead.
Luis Suarez however turned the game on its head in the second half and equalised with a wonderful goal.
A Jay Spearing crossfield pass found the Uruguayan who was immediately booed, as is becoming the fashion amongst opposition fans. He nutmegged the Stoke defender before firing a curler in to the corner of the goal.
The reds continued to press and were rewarded when another fine cross from Jordan Henderson saw Luis Suarez lose his marker Ryan Shawcross and send a powerful header in to the net for the Liverpool winner.
Stoke tried hard for the equaliser, with their long ball tactics and trademark long throw ins in to the 6 yard box – but the reds defence marshalled it well – Sebastian Coates, despite his first half error, coping well with Stoke’s unique brand of ‘football’ and the half time change of central defensive partner – Carragher being replaced by Skrtel.
The only minor concern will be Luis limping off in the dying moments of the game.
Stoke’s impenetrable home record was ended as the reds deservedly marched through to the Quarter Finals for the first time in 4 years.
Liverpool will be hoping to finally be handed a home tie in this competition when the draw is made at the weekend.