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 liverpool 4-0 stoke

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PostSubject: liverpool 4-0 stoke   Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:24 am

Liverpool made amends for their opening day Premier League defeat at Tottenham with an emphatic victory against Stoke.

Fernando Torres gave the Reds the early lead when he stroked in Steven Gerrard's cross from 10 yards.

Glen Johnson then scored his first goal for the club with an acrobatic finish just before the interval.

Gerrard produced a wonderful piece of magic on the right to find Dirk Kuyt who poked in for 3-0 before substitute David Ngog nodded in in injury time.

In the end the scoreline was just about right, although there were periods after the opening goal when Liverpool looked like a team sorely missing the creative presence of Xabi Alonso.


606: DEBATE
What did you think of the game?
With midfield replacement Alberto Aquilani still a few weeks away from making his debut, last season's regular substitute Lucas Leiva has been promoted to the first team.

The Brazilian was one of the better players on show in the defeat at Tottenham but against Stoke's five-man containing midfield he found it difficult to find the time to provide the sort of killer passes Alonso was renowned for.


Liverpool can improve further - Benitez
This would have caused greater consternation among the Anfield faithful had their team not taken an early lead.

Gerrard, who gave another powerhouse display, pulled a low ball back from the right which found Torres arriving to timetable - the Spaniard sidefooted his effort past keeper Thomas Sorensen.

Emiliano Insua should have made it 2-0 when Torres' cross eluded the head of Kuyt and found the full-back who positioned himself well at the far post but failed to get a good connection on the ball.

A lull in play followed largely because Stoke began to read Liverpool's attacking tactics all too easily, and it seemed that Tony Pulis' side would go into the break with the moral half-time victory.

But the visitors should have realised that the Reds under manager Rafa Benitez are anything but predictable.

With seconds remaining, Liverpool won a corner on the right which Gerrard delivered on to the head of Dirk Kuyt. The Dutchman's header was parried by Sorensen but only to Johnson who improvised instinctively.


Pulis rues early goal after Anfield defeat
Liverpool found more space after the break as Stoke realised the containing game would not win them any points.

The visitors' change in intentions led to their first shot on goal when Rory Delap forced a smart save from the largely-redundant Pepe Reina.

But from that point onwards it was all Reds traffic.

A run into the area from Johnson ended with Sorensen having to save low from the attack-minded wing-back.

Kuyt had a better chance to add to the tally when he got his feet in a mess after Sorensen palmed Gerrard's drive to the forward.

But Kuyt is known for his persistence in the final third and that paid dividends when Gerrard magical turn on the far right finished with the ball arriving at the feet of the Dutch chancer who tapped in.

And with almost the last touch of the game, substitute Ngog made the most of Sorensen's inability to deal with a deflected cross to head in under the bar.



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Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez:
"We needed to win and we needed to score goals.

"We have plenty of room for improvement though. Some players are still short of full fitness.

"We are working hard to bring in new good signings. We have enough money for now."

Stoke manager Tony Pulis:
"I hold my hands up, we were beaten by a better team and better players.

"Liverpool created more chances against us here last season, but just did not take them.

"Today they were excellent. They do not only have Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard, who are world class. They have great players through their team."

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