Saturday, 28 April 2018

Dire Goalless Draw Not Helped By Ref

Sports - Football - Premier League- LIV 0:0 STK

It ended goalless between Liverpool and Stoke City in the lunchtime kickoff on Saturday, the Potters squeezing out a point and keeping their manager Paul Lambert’s unbeaten record at Anfield intact, a Premier League record of five games without defeat (5 = 2W 3D).

The home side did dominate as expected, star man Mohamed Salah missed a sitter early on and put a free kick wide.

With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out injured for the rest of the season, young defender Trent Alexander-Arnold played in a more attacking position, stumbling and wasting a great chance in the box.

Danny Ings, in place of a not-yet-fit Sadio Mané up front, saw his goal disallowed, flagged offside, so close.

Stubborn and very physical, the visitors had a couple of chances as well, nothing to worry Loris Karius too much though.

The second half continued dragging and frustrating for Jürgen Klopp and his men.

There was a handball appeal against man of the match defender Erik Pieters late on, who certainly gave his all, Georginio Wijnaldum was furious with the officials.

Virgil van Dijk was booked seconds later, Ryan Shawcross threatened with a chance but missed, it was end to end stuff in the final minutes.

James Milner was not happy with the referee either, nothing given after he was felled down, unlike when he had challenged to win the ball earlier on.

Six minutes were added on for all the injuries, Wijnaldum headed high, everyone in white surrounding Salah.

The great Egyptian looked tired, producing seven shots, none on target, the most he has had without scoring in a single game for Liverpool in all competitions. 

Roberto Firmino saw his penalty appeal in the final seconds ignored, Pieters getting away with it again, hugs all round as replays showed.

The Reds will be rightly disappointed to not have gotten more out of the match they bossed throughout, but the final edge was missing.

It was the first time in nine games the Reds failed to score at home in the league, since drawing 0-0 against West Brom in December, netting 27 in the eight games between the two goalless draws.

Klopp and co will be glad not to have more names added to the injury list after a very physical game with a lot of clashes and ouches, Jordan Henderson going down at the end of the first half but continued after treatment.

Next is the second and decisive leg of the Champions League semi-final in Rome on Wednesday before a trip to Stamford Bridge in the Premier League at the weekend with Chelsea looking to break into the top four.

Stoke meanwhile are three points from safety with two games left to play in the league (against Crystal Palace next weekend and at Swansea on the final day).

HT Stats: LIV 0-0 STK
Possession: 66%-34%
Shots: 7-1
On target: 1-0
Corners: 0-2
Fouls: 2-10
Yellow cards: 0-2

FT Stats: LIV 0-0 STK
Possession: 72%-28%
Shots: 19-5
On target: 2-1
Corners: 9-2
Fouls: 7-14
Yellow cards: 1-2

Liverpool Team: 1 Karius; 17 Klavan, 4 van Dijk (booked 88’), 12 Gomez; 18 Moreno, 5 Wijnaldum, 14 Henderson (c), 66 Alexander-Arnold (2 Clyne 65’); 28 Ings (7 Milner 65’), 9 Firmino, 11 Salah. 3-4-3 on Sky & PL apps, good old 4-3-3 on BBC & SFR with 18 & 66 completing the back line whilst 12 is in the middle... Bit of both in the end, sometimes back 5!!!
Subs not used: 6 Lovren, 22 Mignolet, 26 Robertson, 29 Solanke, 58 Woodburn.

Stoke City Team: 1 Butland; 3 Pieters, 15 Martins Indi (32 Sobhi Ahmed 52’), 17 Shawcross (c), 6 Zouma; 2 Bauer, 27 Ndiaye, 4 Allen, 22 Shaqiri; 25 Crouch (booked 36’) (24 Fletcher 65’), 18 Diouf (booked 42’). 4-4-2
Subs not used: 7 Ireland, 16 Adam, 20 Cameron, 29 Haugaard, 40 Campbell.

Referee: Andre Marriner
Man of the match: Erik Pieters
Ground: Anfield
Attendance: 53,255

Click here for my previous LFC match report.

All pictures, facts and stats were taken from the Sky Sports and BBC match reports, Twitter, Sky Sports and Premier League apps and SFR coverage.

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