Sunday, September 11, 2011

Stoke City 1 - 0 Liverpool

Liverpool stumbled over a familiar hurdle at the Britannia Stadium as they slipped to their first defeat of the season.

Kenny Dalglish admitted his dismay at some of the decisions which went against his side at Stoke and feels Liverpool have had reason to feel hard done by in all four of the Barclays Premier League matches so far this term.

In four visits to Stoke since the Potters earned promotion to the Premier League, the Reds have collected just two points and lost their last two matches.

Not since 1968 have Stoke recorded back-to-back home league wins over Liverpool and the result brought a side brimming with confidence before the international break back down to earth with a hefty bump.

Jon Walters scored the only goal from a 20th-minute penalty after being fouled by Jamie Carragher.

From that point nearly all the possession and chances were created by the visitors, but the resilient hosts ground out the win despite a frantic final half-hour.

The Reds can consider themselves unfortunate to have not taken something, having applied heavy pressure to the Stoke goal in the second half as they pressed in search of an equaliser, but they were to be left frustrated by the home side's stubborn defending.

Dalglish opted to make just one change to the side that beat Bolton so comprehensively last time out, with Martin Skrtel drafted in for the recuperating Martin Kelly.

That meant new signings Craig Bellamy and Sebastian Coates were named on the substitutes' bench at the Britannia Stadium as the Reds went in search of a first win on the Potters' home turf since a League Cup tie in November 2000.

On that occasion, Liverpool ran out emphatic 8-0 victors, but Stoke have come a long way since that night - as proved by a teamsheet that contained club record signing - and ex-Red - Peter Crouch in the starting XI and fellow new boys Cameron Jerome and Wilson Palacios on the bench.

Jamie Carragher admitted the Liverpool players felt aggrieved at the manner of their first defeat of the season.

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