Stoke City 2-0 Liverpool

Premier League
Saturday 13 November 2010 - 5:30 pm
Britannia Stadium
Stoke City2
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The apparent revival of Roy Hodgson’s Liverpool came tumbling down yesterday as Stoke City thrashed us 2-0 and put further question marks over the manager’s tactical approach in the Anfield hot seat.  The home side looked absolutely rampant on the ball, and much more likely to score when in possession out of their own half whereas we looked stiff, clueless and, quite frankly, hopeless as we frequently surrendered possession without any evidence of a fight.

It was a largely unchanged side, with Kyrgiakos the only new addition in the place of Martin Kelly, presumably to deal with Stoke City’s infamous throw-ins.  Carragher moved over to right back with Kyrgiakos joining Martin Skrtel in the middle.

Unlike Wigan on Wednesday night, there was no real glimmer of positivity in the early stages.  This match started as it meant to go on with Stoke looking lively and efficient on the ball.  There was no need to rely on their direct approach they’re known for with their throw-ins.  Stoke were managing to get in to attacking positions with scything runs down both wings.  Our defence and midfield looked rigid once again and the lack of support for Torres and Kuyt is sticking out more than Land’s End.

Stoke’s searching runs continued to threaten our goal.  Add to this Rory Delap’s throws which, contrary to Skrtel’s bold words that they would cause us no problems, were proving too much as our defensive frailties were there for all to seas chance after chance fell for the home side.

According to the stats, Liverpool did have opportunities but we were mainly reduced to 30 yard shots from Gerrard and the odd glancing header from a corner.  Truth be told, we were lucky to be going in at the break goalless.

The second half continued in much the same vein, with no changes made.  The frustration was evident as Torres tracked down Pennant and fouled him, resulting in a yellow card.

Then, in the 56th minute, a Delap throw found its way in to our box.  The mayhem that ensued was atrocious as the ball seemed to ping around the box for a good while before Ricardo Fuller poked it in to the net.

A speculative Gerrard shot from well outside the box shortly after the goal wasn’t enough to put us back in the game as Stoke continued to turn the screw.

N’gog and Babel were introduced for Miereles and Rodriguez as our attack looked to be bolstered.  Babel took a shot as soon as he had a sight of goal but it flew just wide of the post.  This was shortly followed by another long range effort from Gerrard but there was still no sign of the equaliser we needed.

Shortly before full time, we won a free kick not far from Stoke’s penalty area.  Gerrard dummied it for Konchesky who produced a Johnny Wilkinson-esque punt which nearly cleared the home side’s stand behind their goal.

A searching run towards the Stoke box saw him feed Carragher, who’s cross was cleared by the home side.  Stoke then broke and saw a curling shot just miss our goal.  But Pennant got on the ball again and fed Kenwyne Jones in to the box who made it 2-0 and ended any hopes of a Liverpool comeback.

To make things worse, Lucas was unfortunate to see a second yellow card for a rash challenge on Etherington.

It would be unfair to suggest that Stoke City were fortunate to have played us on a night where there was no evidence of the quality we know our squad has.  They thoroughly deserved their victory and their attacks, especially down the wings, were evidence enough that they do not need to rely solely on Delap’s searching throws in to the box.

This was our fifth Premier League defeat of the season.  Although thinking back through the performances we have had to sit through, it feels like it’s been twice as many as that.

Following the defeat, Roy Hodgson said:

“I’m obviously sad that a good run’s come to an end. It was always going to be tough because it’s a battle here.

“We did okay in the first half.  We dealt with the pressure of the throws, the corners and the long balls forward reasonably well.  When they scored from one of the long throws it was always going to be an even bigger uphill battle.

“They’ve got a very difficult style to play against.  We did our best to deal with it but they got the goal that was required.  Our forwards would have had to do a little bit more for us than they were able to do if we were going to get anything out of the game.  I don’t want to be seen to be making cheap excuses.  We lost to a strong team who out-battled us in certain occasions.”

When asked whether this result was going to be a reality check after a relatively good run of games, he repsonded:

“A reality check?  I don’t know.  We’re realistic.  We know we’ve still got some work to do, get some players back to fitness and work at our game.  We’ve had a good run and played some good football in that run.  Stoke City is a totally different type of game than the games we’ve played in the last few weeks because of the way they set out to play the game.”

Liverpool team facing Stoke City:

Reina, Konchesky, Carragher, Skrtel, Kyrgiakos, Lucas, Gerrard, Maxi, Kuyt, Meireles, Torres.

Subs: Jones, Kelly, Shelvey, Poulsen, Jovanovic, Babel, Ngog.

12 comments on
Stoke City 2-0 Liverpool

  1. Hodgson can’t motivate the players. Obviously against Chelsea they didn’t need any motivation, but when they do, Roy isn’t the manager that can provide it. The ctriteria for a good manager needs to be more than just a nice person. Please go, Roy.

  2. Still this saga rumbles on. Even the most ardent critic of Rafa Benitez has to admit that we were never this poor at any point during his tenure (and yes that does include you Danny Murphy). Roy’s poor, but the blame lies not with him. Blame Purslow and Broughton. They sacked the man that brought you your first European Cup in 21 years, several stellar runs in the CL and 2 of your best league finishes in the premier league era. Rafa only missed out on the title because Abramovich raised the bar.

    • We can blame every man and his dog – there is no real answer…Rafa was here last year – look how great we where then!!! Roy has picked up a squad and is turning it around – not as fast as I think he should be doing, granted – and I too think he is the wrong man (nice guy and all) for us. Look what Rafa’s achieving at Inter – 5th in the League…Not so good.

      We need time to settle and Stoke are our nemesis team right now.

      ***Rebuild year…for THE club, THE players and for OUR support


      • Roy is turning it around? Have you been to Specsavers mate? We’re worse now than at any point in the last 40 years. The Souness era was terrible, but at least we tried to play some football. Stick in the tape of the 3-3 draw with Utd from 1994, we played some great stuff in that game. Roy Hodgson = 13 away wins in 105 games in charge of English teams. Roy Hodgson = Failure

        • Calm my friend…Lost in translation. I dont mean he is going to turn us around and transform us into League leaders. Just he is turing around the dismal start, far too slowly. I reiterate I dont think he is the man for us at all. And yep fully take your comments on board. We used to be exciting and play – nowadays defensive, lack of ideas and frankly a poor squad of players (minus the usual suspects of course)…

  3. roys at it again having a pop at the fantastic travelling support at yesterdays game for chanting king kennys name sorry to inform you roy but these people help pay your wages and dont want to any more they want you out get the message and leave. and just to remind you and anyone else whos forgot about your statement of no excuses but thats the only constant thing along with the poor football you’ve dished up.

    • Thumb’s up to that comment.
      If you watch the after match interview, you will hear him say that he didn’t hear the chants, yeah right Hodgson, and neither did we, so now your a liar too, as well as being useless.

  4. On a personal level, I feel a bit for Roy, because he obviously a very nice an humble man, unlike the Jose’s and Fergie’s of this world, but on a footballing level I think he has to go. The players lack enthusiasm and personally I think we nneed a boss who can inspire. Not sure who that person is, but hopefully they are out there!

    • He may come across as the type of guy that some people may feel sorry for, granted but we fall into that trap at our own peril.
      The man should never have been given the job in the first place, I know it, you know it, thousands of other people know it and more to the point, he know’s it.
      We need a manager with a bit of fire in his belly, someone who’s not afraid to stand up and be counted, someone to instill some passion into his players, a man who’s not afraid to call a pig a pig. MARTIN O’NIELL

      • Completely agree with you Pete but you have got to remember the situation we were in when he was appointed. Administration was looming, we had no transfer fund and no decent manager would have walked into the mess that was H***s and G****tt! Added to that O neill became available right after Roy was appointed and I believe the situation would now be totally different.
        We now have owners that I believe are competent and no debt, i think it is only a matter of time for Roy now…

      • well said ! some of MON transfares have been outstanding its a manager that can purchase good players so the NESV can build a new stadium (a 3 year plan )champions l ….. ect

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