Liverpool 0-0 Stoke City – Match Review

Liverpool missed the chance to leapfrog Arsenal into fifth after being held to their seventh draw of the season at Anfield against Stoke.

Kenny Dalglish’s side dominated a majority of the game squandering a series of chances with Dirk Kuyt missing their best opportunity nodding wide from eight yards out. Martin Skrtel also headed over with the Potters’ best chance falling to Matthew Etherington who shot straight at Pepe Reina as they held on to claim a point. Tony Pulis’ men had failed to win in the red half of Merseyside on their previous 48 visits but became the seventh team to hold Liverpool at Anfield this season. The hosts enjoyed a lions share of possession but with Luis Suarez suspended they lacked a cutting edge in the final third with Kuyt and substitutes Andy Carroll and Craig Bellamy failing to breach a stubborn Stoke back four.

Captain Steven Gerrard started his second game of the week after scoring the winning goal in Wednesday’s Carling Cup semi final first leg tie against Manchester City and tried his luck from distance but failed to fully test Thomas Sorensen. Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson also saw efforts fly wide with strikes from range as the visitors sat back and soaked up the pressure during a first half lacking in any sort of excitement. The game started to pick up after the break and Glen Johnson went close to breaking the deadlock dragging a shot just wide as Sorensen’s quiet afternoon continued.

Referee Howard Webb then turned flurry of penalty appeals following the introduction of Andy Carroll who’s physical presence unsettled the Potters’ rearguard.¬†The ponytailed striker was up in arms after seeing his calls for a spot kick was waved away by Webb following tussle with Robert Huth.¬†Carroll then felt he was fouled by Ryan Shawcross in the area before Kuyt had a similar claim waved away after a run in with Jonathan Woodgate. However the Dutch striker should have won the game but could only head wide after meeting Jose Enrique’s deflected cross before Skrtel saw his header clip the bar. Charlie Adam then tried his luck from inside his own half as Stoke held on to take a well earned point back to the Britannia Stadium.