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Liverpool 1 Reading 0


Raheem Sterling's first goal for the Reds proved to be enough to give us the three points.

Luis Suarez's delicate flick-on was seized by the teenager who raced through and fired a shot across Alex McCarthy and into the far corner of the net. We dominated the first half and but for more poor finishing and some good defending we would have been out of sight in the opening period.

The visitors improved after the break and Brad Jones, playing in place of the injured Pepe Reina, was called into action with a couple of good saves. The Reds had opportunities to make the game safe late on but Steven Gerrard, Suarez and Glen Johnson all failed to take advantage.

The first half was virtually one-way traffic but as now become our want, we lacked a cutting edge, too often over-complicating matters with one pass too many in and around the penalty area. Sterling found himself in the best attacking positions on several occasions but managed to get a shot off on target just once and Alex McCarthy easily held.

During an injury break for Jem Karacan, who was eventually forced off by the effect of Steven Gerrard's block tackle, Rodgers took the opportunity to pass on some advice to Sterling. Whatever he said appeared to have the desired effect as in the 29th minute the England Under-21 international finally made the breakthrough. Suarez's delicate flick-on was seized by the teenager who raced through the inside-right channel and fired a shot across McCarthy and into the far corner of the net.

Just before half-time, Suarez went to ground under a challenge from his Latvian marker close to the byline.
Referee Roger East waved play on and then was soon waving away protests from a cluster of Liverpool players as he whistled for the interval. Suarez, accompanied by the club doctor, gingerly hobbled off well after both teams had left the pitch but returned for the second half, which was less than a minute old when Sterling should have made it 2-0 having turned smartly in the penalty area but fired straight at the goalkeeper.

Liverpool were almost caught by a swift counter-attack with substitute McCleary forcing a save from Jones, on his first league start for the club in the absence of the injured Jose Reina, who also punched away a Jobi McAnuff shot.
The home side redoubled their efforts as Martin Skrtel flashed a header wide, substitute Jonjo Shelvey, caught in two minds, miscontrolled Suarez's cross and Gerrard saw a narrow-angle shot squeeze through McCarthy's fingers but wide of the post.

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