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Liverpool 1 Vs Stoke 0

 

Liverpool began the new Premier League campaign with a win, as they overcame a resilient Stoke City side 1-0 at Anfield on Saturday afternoon courtesy of a lone Daniel Sturridge goal.

With suspended striker Luis Suarez in attendance, the England international gave the Reds the lead just before half-time, after having an chance disallowed for offside.

A penalty in the dying stages looked to have denied Liverpool the win, but debutant Simon Mignolet dived low to his right to claw away Jonathan Walters' effort to secure the Reds' first opening day win since 2008.

The Reds dominated proceedings early on, but Stoke went close to taking the lead in the eighth minute as Mignolet flapped at a cross under pressure from Peter Crouch. However, Robert Huth lashed his volley onto the crossbar after latching on to the loose ball.

We reasserted our dominance and had the ball in the net just three minutes later as Sturridge headed home, only to be denied by the offside flag.

Toure then hit the crossbar from Steven Gerrard's outswinging corner, with Sturridge blazing the loose ball over before the England man rounded Begovic in the box but, with the angle too narrow to shoot, he saw his ball across goal cleared by Pieters.

The Stoke keeper had to be alert, rushing off his line to deny Jose Enrique and Jordan Henderson in quick succession, before palming away Sturridge's fierce right-footed drive.

Jordan Henderson played a ball into Sturridge 25 yards out from goal, the Stoke defence failed to close him down and he lashed a low effort across the Stoke keeper and into the right-hand corner.

Coutinho was at the heart of everything as the Reds pushed for a second after the break, first curling wide before cutting down the left and squaring for Sturridge, whose scuff fell kindly for Henderson, but again the Stoke keeper produced another superb save.

Begovic was again called upon to save Sturridge's near-post effort before getting fingertips to Henderson's lashed effort, diverting the ball onto the inside of the post.

Daniel Agger handled late on to gift Stoke the chance to secure a point they scarcely deserved, Mignolet seized the chance to make himself a Kop hero in his debut Anfield appearance. Diving to his right, he parried aside Jonathan Walters' penalty to get the Reds off to a winning start.

 

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