Liverpool Defeats Stoke City, Suarez Scores in Debut
Liverpool fans stirred in their seats anxious with delight and wonder as their squad prepared for their Wednesday night bow against hard nosed Stoke City. New signing Luis Suarez was starting on the bench as his work permit and paperwork cleared the night before allowing him the chance to possibly make his debut in front of the Kop.
Andy Carroll brought the crowd to their feet as he was introduced in front of the faithful before the start of the match. And with the match line-ups announced many were scratching their head at King Kenny's 3-4-2-1 set up. Fabio Aurelio and Soitirios Kyrgiakos started after absences from the starting eleven for some time, and Dirk Kuyt was set to lead the line, as many forgot he was signed as a striker from Feyenoord Rotterdam.
Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly were set to play more attacking wing backs while Aurelio was also in the match to try and provide additional width with Kuyt's aerial power hoping to be highlighted, as well as help hold the midfield with Lucas. But none the less no body could understand Kenny's strategy. Perhaps that was the idea, as Liverpool took the attack to Stoke with a constant push forward.
The first half saw several near moments as Kuyt was playing with a renewed vigor upfront like he had never been made into a right sided midfielder. Meireles and Gerrard were bright in the middle as both were pushing behind Kuyt for the opening goal.
Stoke had their own ideas as former Liverpool wide man Jermaine Pennant was set to provide service for on loan John Carew, while the commentators worried about the possible lack of service for Liverpool without a traditional wide attacker like there old No. 16.
The more the match opened up the more people realized Kenny had tailored his side specifically to the task of picking Stoke apart. Liverpool rained down pressure on the Potters and pressed through the first half but didn't break the deadlock.
The second half started with Liverpool attacking at an even greater level. Kenny must have roused his charges even more in the locker room as Meireles put the Reds in front at the 47' minute for his third goal in four games and the crowd lit up. Pressure continued to mount and the Potters kept pressing forward and opened up several more shots on Reina but just could not find the light at the end of the tunnel.Continued on the next page