Football

Liverpool claim opening day win against Stoke

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Mark Hughes first game in charge of Stoke ended in defeat as Daniel Sturridge's goal was enough to give Liverpool all three points on the opening weekend.

The news before the game was that Wilson Palacios was unwell in the warm up and eventually was taken to hospital so Marc Wilson started at Anfield on his 26th birthday.

The game started out nervy as both Robert Huth and Kolo Toure hit the crossbar for either team inside the first 12 minutes. 

Daniel Sturridge also had the ball in the back of the net only, to be denied by the officials flag.

Stoke then had a spate of possession which saw Geoff Cameron unleash an inch perfect pass to Matthew Etherington only for his shot to fall short of Jonathan Walters.

Sturridge looked to be having trouble with the surface after he slipped over twice on the edge of the box, but the Liverpool striker managed to compose himself enough to give Liverpool the deserved advantage in the 37th minute as his powerful 25-yard-shot flew straight past Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and Liverpool had their noses in front.

Stoke took over the possession leading into the interval, this saw Walters with a sensational striker from a few yards out which tested Simon Mignolet for the first time in the game, and Lucas saved Liverpool on the line as Ryan Shawcross's back heel from Glen Whelan's corner looked to be trickling in.

Liverpool started the second half on top as Phillippe Courtino stuck his show wide of Begovic's left hand post.

Just 10 minutes later Begovic pulled off a spectacular save to deny Jordan Henderson after Daniel Sturridge slipped in the box and the midfielder hit the rebound to the right of the diving keeper.

Jordan Henderson was the third person to be halted by the woodwork after his shot rocketed off the left upright and denied Liverpool a two goal cushion.

Stoke found it hard to maintain the possession in the second half but as the ball pinged around Liverpool's box Huth struck the ball at goal but was denied again by Mignolet.

A few minutes later and Marc Wilson was also denied by Mignolet.

The last 20 minutes of the game showed Liverpool's nerves, only having a 1-0 cushion and Stoke's determination to score the goal they craved. Sturridge again let fly but this time his shot was wide of Begovic's goal.  

Charlie Adam tried his luck from the half way line and Mignolet scrambled to put the ball behind for a corner.

Daniel Agger handled in the area a minute before time and the referee awarded a penalty, which was saved by Mignolet who then became the hero and kept the game in Liverpool's hands.

The atmosphere at Anfield increased as Courtino left fly from 25 yards out, only to be denied by Begovic again. but Liverpool ended the game on top and look just as dangerous without main man Luis Suarez.

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Topics:
Premier League
Football
Daniel Sturridge
Liverpool
Stoke City

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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