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Stoke City 3, Liverpool 5: First Thoughts

An ugly, sloppy, terrifying, hopeless match finally ends with Liverpool coming away the victors in a catastrophically horrible thriller.

Laurence Griffiths

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Stoke City 3: Crouch 39', Adam 45', Walters 85'
Liverpool 5: Shawcross (og) 5', Suarez 32' 71', Gerrard (pen.) 51', Sturridge 87'

  • I hate this fixture more than any other, and I won't ever like it and nobody can make me. But seeing Ryan Shawcross (albeit unknowingly) put his own side down a goal after Aly Cissokho just sort of went hey I'm going to hit the snot out of this because life is for the living and one massive deflection later life is wonderful. Until it's not again, of course.
  • If Martin Skrtel wants to stop trying to commit a foul on every set piece Liverpool have to defend that would be just spectacular. Sure-fire penalty on the Ryan Shawcross arm bar and probably a sending off with the follow-through. Add Philippe Coutinho's continued Row Z efforts to that list.
  • This was just so ugly in every possible way, and the ugliest moments somehow saw Liverpool be the aggressor and Stoke end up on the back foot despite the 532 corners they had in the first 25 minutes. The ugliest from a Stoke perspective had to be the Suarez goal, and for Liverpool it was the shut-down that led to Peter Crouch's goal. Fun.
  • Raheem Sterling did well (almost too well with his arm) to get the break early in the second half, but he was always going down under Marc Wilson's challenge. Looked soft and the time and there's little that will change my mind. But whatever, Steven Gerrard did what Steven Gerrard does, sending Jack Butland the wrong way and putting Liverpool 3-2 up. This match was awful.
  • STUDGE TO SUAREZ was a lovely reminder of how potent this duo can be. Good patience from both, smart from Sturridge to draw the defender in on the far side, lovely layoff, and a fantastic curling finish from Suarez. 4-2 and in the clear?
  • NOPE NOPE NOPE Walters goal through Toure and Mignolet and then Sturridge gets denied point blank by Butland but then head and chest control and 5-3 and then Stoke hit the post and then Gerrard nearly scored an own goal in the final minute *really really dead*

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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