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Liverpool v Stoke 1 - 0

104TOSH

mystic, clown and philosopher
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Aug 21, 2009
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we actually may score a few from corners this season, Kolo is a real threat, unlucky to hit the bar today, and Aspas went close in the 2nd half with a header! usually our corners are naff!

but please! Michael Owen is awful! his voice and deadpan delivery are worse than a dentist's drill! he just utters pure drivel!

1-0!
Happy days!

PS my Scottish team Brechin City won too!!!

Magic!!!
 


spizfromoz

Es maluco, filho da puta!
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A tense game means the team has to work harder to get goals on the board. And improve defensively against set plays (think we might say this last bit all season TBH). Loved seeing Aspas play cleverly, Lucas back to THE Lucas and Mignoelet settle in. But Gerrard looked tired after international duty. Should've been subbed 2nd half.
 

Clive

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Big relief to get an opening day win more than anything. Was happy with the line up (although Allen can count himself as unlucky, suspect we went for Hendo's greater physicality) and we certainly created many chances. I'll take any win against Stoke after our results against them in recent years.

Defensively we coped ok, although I was surprised at Mignolet's apparent vulnerability to crosses in the first half, shaky start.

Hopefully that crucial penalty save kick starts his LFC career. Pretty crap penalty though, it must be said. I was dreading Charlie Adam stepping up to take it before Walters grabbed the ball.

Also thought Enrique looked strong, hopefully the increased competition with Cissoko sharpens his performances.
 

Anfield Iron

5 Times
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Great start, all in all. The new guys showed real promise -- Aspas in particular, full of energy. The defense will need some time to gel. Made up for Mignolet after a nervous start! 3 points!
 

DanLFC

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Very happy with the performance and the result, prolly should have killed the game off in the second half with all the chances we created but a bit of magic from Mignolet got us over the line and should really help his confidence.

Was pretty happy with Aspas and Toure, think they have both been underrated by alot of people here, thought both where impressive. Thought Johnson was outstanding he was everywhere made some brilliant runs and was always helping out attacks but then got back and made some crucial interceptions and tackles. Had him as our MOTM.

Thought Coutinho was a bit off, made some superb passes no doubt but didn't really get to his normal unstoppable standard but hey first game, players like him Sturridge and Aspas will only get better as they gel and get back into the form that playing week in week out against top teams brings.

All in all very happy, squad showed plenty of desire and kept on pushing for the second, everyone chipped in well and played a part in the result.

Roll on Villa who will be flying after their result v Arsenal...certainly not an easy game if they carry that form but should be 3 more points
 



gingerbread

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EveryGameNoExcuses said:
Roll on Villa who will be flying after their result v Arsenal...certainly not an easy game if they carry that form but should be 3 more points
They still have mid week against Chelsea before hosting us. So hopefully Chelsea will break their spirit up a bit, and completely tire them out.
 

shachart

"You're supposed to help people that need a bit."
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I watched the highlights again, and i have got to say the thing that really got me excited was watching SG reaction after the penalty save.
I havent seen him like this in a long time.
 

DanLFC

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shachart said:
I watched the highlights again, and i have got to say the thing that really got me excited was watching SG reaction after the penalty save.
I havent seen him like this in a long time.
Have to agree, the whole teams reaction was great, showed there is real spirit in the squad.
 

DeathOrGlory

Fortune Favours the Gegenpress
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EdWood said:
It's quite amazing really. I watched the highlights on MOTD and you would have actually sworn that Stoke had made a game of it. I can only surmise that the editor responsible was either a Stoke fan (unlikely), a bitter fan (equally unlikely), or a manure fan (hmmmm....).
As someone who watched the full game, I can tell you that they had plenty of good chances.
 



SGM

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All I know is this team this year is going to be fucking fun to root for. Long gone are the days of Fat Adam waddling back after losing possession stupidly, or Downing give us his full 70% performances. This team has guts, we need to develop the brains), but I can root for a team with heart. I think the least likable player (besides maybe Suarez, but he will bounce really quick with the fans IMO) is Borini, who is still really likable, but still leaves everything out on the pitch.
 

RichLFC

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Old habits will always die hard with the likes of Huth, Shawcross etc, particularly at set pieces, but there were some noticeable differences. Hughes is not a great manager but he's not a long ball loving gaffer. And he seems to have done away with the long throw A bombs. Look a team in transition and think they will have a tough season, bottom 5 for me

Nice to beat a bogey team regardless but some of the mid table outfits have made some better than usual signings and could be awkward to beat this year, which is why maybe we need that one more attacking player of good quality to ensure we get enough goals consistently. In theory it should improve when Suarez returns, assuming we don't do something daft like back down at the last stretch, but feel we need one more. Aspas did well I thought but still feel he is Rodgers Spanish answer to Dempsey I.e. a squad option rather than a permanent fit in the first team

Defending still a bit ropey. Toure has added some calmness but has a way to go before everyone feels comfortable there and wouldn't really want to have to rely on him starting more than say 50% of the time at most. Coaching for set pieces still looks rank to me, not good enough there and though I thought Gerrard and Lucas held the middle ok, it does look slow especially when teams are flooding forward on the break

Mignolet it wasn't easy making a debut against that sort of team in that kind of weather but showed he's a good shot stopper. One frustrating thing about Reina for the say few seasons is that though his distribution skills remained first class, anything wide of him ended up a goal more often than not and as for penalties, they were basically guaranteed goals by the end, even if we saw a recovery towards the end if last campaign. Though wouldn't have minded begovic either, he is good and has been for a while
 

costared

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A good start, had not beaten Stoke for a while and had not won our first game of the season for a while either. It certainly would have been an injustice had we not won , yes Stoke had a few chances but no where near as many as us.
I am a little concerned at the amount of short passes we played in our own defensive third, a team with sharper strikers will close us down quicker and force mistakes which could cost goals.I think our build up was a bit over elaborate at times as well which can give defenders,and keepers , more time to get their positioning right.
I have not been Lucas biggest fan but thought he played well yesterday although he did not really have to defend. It will be interesting to see how he does when we are put under pressure by some of the better teams.
 

soberphobia

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I have to say it was a great game to watch. Whatever happens in Rodgers tenure one thing we can safely say is that his teams play a beautiful brand of attacking football. There was a lot to be happy about the Sturridge/Coutinho connection was alive and well. Interesting they came together but they seem to have an inate understanding of each others movements. Aspas was terrific and really put in a shift combined well with the aforementioned duo to.

It is hard to be critical of a fluid performance like that but we do ned to be a bit more polished in the final third. Begovich was just terrific for them and perhaps made it closer than it should of been. We weren't as solid at the back as one would like and i do hope we sign another quality centre half. Toure was impressive but it is a long season.
 



ptt

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Aspas did well and Gerrard and Lucas were OK? Man Rich, if winning the first game of the season doesn't light your fire give Suarez was out and we've a new keeper, CB and reletively new manager, very little will. Honestly mate, it was a great performance, dissecting all the negative points does not a happy chappy make :)
 

RichLFC

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ptt said:
Aspas did well and Gerrard and Lucas were OK? Man Rich, if winning the first game of the season doesn't light your fire give Suarez was out and we've a new keeper, CB and reletively new manager, very little will. Honestly mate, it was a great performance, dissecting all the negative points does not a happy chappy make :)
Only just though and this was against a team that looks to be on the way downhill unless Hughes can get his transition to work. Some familiar issues still remain very obvious. Though having Sturridge instead of Borini when Suarez isn't there is definitely an improvement on last year

We still do looks slow in the middle and pace wise think still Sturridge is the main line breaker along with maybe sterling off the bench. Rest is a bit slow and it does leave us vulnerable when we dont have the ball. Otherwise we do have to rely on people like Coutinho who will be closely attended to this year for an outlet. Needs another still

Trouble is we have these tight wins and people then wonder why we get Lukakued or Benteked the following week when up against more mobile players than Walters and crouch. Complacency is a constant killer here especially when combined with an established excuse culture so we do need to be prepared for a different challenge next week to avoid being caught out or lulled in to a false sense of security. That happened to Rodgers in a few occasions last year when he did admit he got a bit carried away on occasion as did the squad. Next week may show whether he has learned from those experiences

If we could pick up a high quality attacker like willain next week though then the picture changes a bit. As I said, Aspas is more of a Dempsey than a Suarez, he will do his bit but don't think he's going to be a 40 game man. Impact, rotation option etc. will provide chances for others but won't be nipping behind PL defences on a regular basis and won't be getting 20 goals. But that's ok, so long as we don't over estimate his natural level. In terms of tenacity though is an improvement in downing mind
 

darren kelly

"Luisito Estamos Con Vos"
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Death by football.Imagine Suarez for Aspas in a few games.Death by football.We can do big things.
YNWA
 

jayrrardno8

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Interesting stats.
25 shots shot accuracy 55% (11on target) need to take our chances but atleast we are creating chances.
Possesion 55.5% suprised at that thought would be a lot higher.
passes 526 accuracy 82.1% passing accuracy in opp half 75% liking this.
defence tackles 32 (tackles won 82%) very good.
 

redbj

hurry up, July 1st, let's get the show on the road
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My Mathis must be out but 11of 25 is not 55%.

Not when I went to school.....
 



costared

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ptt said:
Aspas did well and Gerrard and Lucas were OK? Man Rich, if winning the first game of the season doesn't light your fire give Suarez was out and we've a new keeper, CB and reletively new manager, very little will. Honestly mate, it was a great performance, dissecting all the negative points does not a happy chappy make :)
I hope Brendan picks out the negatives like Rich otherwise we will not improve.We do need more pace in midfield and against a mobile ,aggressive front 3 like Villas we might need a proper DM next week.
Obviously we have to be pleased with yesterday but not complacent.
 

jimmydestiny

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EdWood said:
We should console ourselves that there'll be only one other game in which Bergovic will be between the opposition posts this season.....as long as we don't draw Stoke in the cups and he's not sold in January that is.
We play against Brad Guzan next. Another keeper in fine form
 

Genius

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What's different about this Liverpool team is the way they celebrated our first goal and the penalty save.
That shows the team spirit right there and in my eyes, its something you cant buy at all.
That's the Liverpool way, roll on the next game!
 

tesh

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People are getting a bit carried away with this win. Yes, we won and that is good.

However, the "problem" with this win is that we really should have beat them 3-0 or 4-0. We won 1-0. You can say that their keeper kept them in the game, and he did, but we have used that particular line for so many seasons now that it is getting a bit tired.

Stoke are going to struggle this season and further, they have invested the least in terms of players compared to other teams. Further, they have a new manager and a mandate to change the way they have played for about a decade (give or take). If we didn't beat them then there should have been some serious questions asked. Stoke probably also have the weakest attack in the whole of the PL and it pretty much showed. Their biggest threats came from set pieces and mistakes we made.

We should have put the game to bed by half time. We had the same issues this match that we have had for the past few seasons. Namely we were/still are extremely "unlucky" in the final third and the woodwork is actively plotting against us... If we have had this much "unluckiness", then it is s foregone conclusion that we will win the league by 20 points this time around - as these things tend to level out right?

I feels that we are just too rushed in the final third. This was for me incapsulated by Couthinio's pass to Aspas in the first half after some great interplay just prior. Couthinio as we've come to see is normally a great passer of the ball but this time he just over hit it and Aspas had to lunge to get a shot in. A wee bit of calmness and Aspas would have had a fraction more time to set himself for the shot. We were guilty of doing this a number of times - running and passing without thinking.

One has to ask why we have this issue in the final third. Are we trying to play too fast in those areas, do we lack quality, is there is strategic change that need to be made? I obviously don't know. This is not a new symptom so I guess a fix is in the works...

We were lucky that we did not come up against Southampton/Swansea/Villa/Fulham/etc., as they would have tested us a even more. I say "tested us even more" because we did our best to give away two points at the end of the match. We have been guilty of giving up points (2 or 1) so many time it is a bit like being a trauma victim, you just kind of develop a selective amnesia.

Good win but lots of areas to improve on.
 
R

RedRiot

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We didn't really have that issue last season. It seems like we've had trouble putting our chances away for awhile, but for the most part, we did well last season. We created more chances than any other team in the top European leagues last season, but we also scored bunches of goals. There were occasions where we struggled last season, but it was nothing compared to the season before last. I don't really think it's an issue. If anything, Suarez makes it looks worse than it is because he takes so many shots (as does Sturridge, really) that it begins to look like we aren't efficient scorers. We certainly could improve our efficiency and should try to, but it's not a major issue of recent history. If it continues as it did against Stoke for awhile, then you can worry about the return of the curse of the merciless post. Right now, I think we're just an incredibly creative team and we ran up against a great keeper, while at the same time, we were at times impatient (the Coutinho to Aspas example) or even hesitant when it came to the final ball. But most of our chances were just very good saves. 2 out of 3 of Henderson's shots should and won have gone in against a weaker keeper. Same with Enrique early on as well. Begovic is just an immense talent. He has to have some of the quickest reflexes in the six-yard box of any keeper I've ever seen.
 



Verbal80

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I think there is a lot of over-analysing of the game. Before we break down tactics, systems of play etc, we need to remember the most influential aspect of the first game of the season is nerves. The first game always favours the underdog because they are under less pressure ie Arsenal v Villa. The most you can hope for is a win and you build from there. With us having two new signings in our defence, we're bound to be a little fragile. But the players have quality so settled well as the game went on. You're not gonna be able to nullify the opposition for the whole 90mins, regardless of whether you're the better team. Stoke reverted back to Pulis tactics when they realised we were penning them back and they couldn't get out. They ganged up on Phil coz they new he'd create and tried to bully our midfield. I thought played really well considering. Stoke is always a tough game so having them first was always gonna be a tricky game. Next week begins the real test of our tactics and systems of play etc.
 

huwzie

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Nice start of the season.

Thought we played really well. Aspas looked lively and ran everything down. Sturridge looked awesome. Toure did really well and will be a threat from corners and Coutinho was also great.

At 1-0 we needed that second goal because i sensed old habits might have bitten us in the hearts and it nearly did.

But Mignolet was fantastic. Great for him on his debut to be the hero.

Worked out well in the end for us but we need to get the second and third when we are on top because we cant let the doubts creeping in.
 

104TOSH

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For whatever reason visiting keepers have heroic performances against us! On another day it may well have been a 5 or a 6-0 win and then some fans would really be getting carried away! 1-0 still equates to 3pts! We will rack up some goals this season if we are able to play as we did yesterday, it was a joy to watch at times! Kolo Toure will be a real threat at corners and set pieces, his hunger and passion is written all over his face! He was unlucky not to score yesterday. I do have a moan to air though - I was hoping Ibe would have got a run out!!! It was young Sterling who gave away the free kick which lead to the penalty being conceded!!! Ah well, all worked out well in the end - well done Simon!!!
 

Redaido

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Exciting start to the season,

Pros:


Team spirit looked great ,

The new signings are on the same wave length as the manager and teammates which should lead to improvement.

Mingolet's confidence will surely rocket after his great save hopefully leading to him commanding his area with decisiveness.

Stevie G looked in superb form and ready to lead the team to greatness :)

We got the 3 points, which IMO we wouldnt of done last season.


Our squad looked FAR stronger than our opening game of last season

We were a constant threat dispute missing out best attacking player


Cons :

We looked wanting in 3 areas.

Firstly from set pieces, far too many Stoke players lost their markers and this enabled them to have free headers/shot. Mingolet's uncertainty from crosses spread through out the whole defensive system and it was more luck than good defending that prevented us from conceding from a set piece. I know that stoke are probably one of the stronger teams from set pieces in the league but this dosn't excuse the chaos that was often present in the Liverpool box when defending set pieces.

Distribution from the back:

I hate to be having a go at Mingolet again but his feet looked a little slow for a top class keeper, perhaps it was just a case of his legs being like jelly due to the opening day nerves ? I dont recall how is distribution was for Sunderland last season? Perhaps someone can let me know ? I guess I've taken Pepe's freakishly good passing and kicking for granted for the past few seasons.


The final third :

We almost lost 2 points and put ourselves under unnecessary pressure due to our missed chances. it really reminded me of our biggest weakness last season, not taking enough of our chances in the first 60 minutes leading to a tense and often disappointing last half hour. Will this improve once Sturridge is 100% fit, Suarez returns and Aspes gets more into the grove ? I hope so because if not we will end up in the same position as last season - outside the top 4.
 

Hope in your heart

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Some have said it already: the 1-0 scenario, even with that late heroic double save from Mignolet, is a much better one than an easy 6-0 in which everything goes the right way. Here the team had to dig out a hard-fought result against a still very physical side, which managed to put us under pressure during the last twenty minutes.

But the thing which matters is: we came out of this with three deserved points, a clean sheet and plenty of added confidence. However, no one will get taken away by this result, which, looking at it with a cold mind, is the least one would have expected. There are plenty of obvious areas which must be massively improved, and BR will be the first to know this.

With that kind of result, neither the gaffer nor the players will think it will be easy this season, and that's exactly the frame of mind needed: being confident, but without getting carried away.