A first half penalty and a steely defensive performance from the home side ensured Liverpool left the Britannia, once again, without any points. Although this year the reds can consider themselves a little more unfortunate than last time around.
Kenny Dalglish welcomed two new faces to the bench in Sebastian Coates and Craig Bellamy.
The reds opened brightly, whereas last year the reds were hopeless in the physical match up between the two sides, this time around the reds provided far more grit against a rugged Stoke side.
Rory Delap was providing his usual 40 yard throw in’s but the reds appeared comfortable in dealing with them, despite the debut of Peter Crouch for the home side.
In the 21st minute the winner arrived. Jamie Carragher getting the wrong side of Jonathan Walters before holding the player around the waist and conceding the penalty. Jonathan Walters duly despatched the pen, leaving Carra the unfortunate honour of being the man responsible for the reds last two conceded goals.
Suarez was the pick of the reds players in the rest of the half as they pushed hard for an equaliser. But Liverpool found it tough with Stoke piling players in to the defence.
The second half started flat, although the reds continued to have plenty of chances to score. Henderson having three attempts within seconds before Adam too added to list of shot failures.
The arrival of Craig Bellamy, replacing Henderson who was now on the left wing, intensified Liverpool’s pressure. Two handballs from Stoke were waved away, and late on Luis Suarez also had another chance to score – the ball edging wide.
The reds will consider themselves hugely unfortunate to have not picked up three points today, never mind one.
Liverpool travel to Spurs next week in another game that we lost last season. Hopefully next time we can be more clinical than we were today.