Maybe the hardest league game of the season – Stoke at Anfield. The toughest and most physical team, playing away from home with little pressure on them for a win, therefore a lot of defending with 9 men behind the ball for long periods.
Countless attacks by Liverpool within Stoke’s final third led to a number of near misses and four more hits of the woodwork! The 4-3-3 formation from Liverpool will produce results against less stout teams this season as was seen in the 5-2 win against Norwich.
A few observations from the game…
– Liverpool had 3 times the shots compared to Stoke and I bet near that in terms of passes. LFC need to get more of their shots on target.
– Suarez tries way too much to dance his way through a group of players in the last third instead of finding the short and deadly pass. I can’t remember seeing a better ‘ball stuck to the feet’ player but he needs to improve the finishing and passing side of his game,
– Raheem Sterling is a 17 year old playing like a 25 year old – awesome player and huge prospect. The guy just didn’t stop attacking the whole game and never gave up, particularly in the face of very strong defending and larger players than himself. Technical, quick and very accurate.
– Andre Wisdom (19 years old):, like Sterling looks like he’s been in the first team for years. Got forward from right back numerous times to support the tighter 3 man midfield and attack and not afraid to take on players in both defending and attack.
– Reina needs to very quickly to improve his distribution – at least 2 near misses in this game alone involving very sloppy passes to players who were already under pressure from Stoke players.
– At least 2 more yellows should have been given to Stoke players in the 1st half alone – Stoke finished the game with 6 yellows and they were very lucky to escape without a red.
– The Suarez ‘dive’. he got clipped (just) and sort of stuttered, but then decided to do an extra little jump and flop onto the ground which was completely unnecessary.
Overall, a lot of positives from the game and clear signs of progress from much of the team.