Suarez Scores On Stoke Debut
Suarez celebrates after scoring at the Kop End on his Liverpool debut...
An unconventional line up chosen by Dalglish for last nights clash with Stoke, almost had people doubting the King (i stress the word almost) but as all great managers work, there is method behind the madness. A superb tactical set up meant Liverpool were extremely hard to break down, a Stoke side renowned for battling in games found it difficult to get anything through. This paired with enough attacking balance meant Liverpool came away with a deserved three points.
The man at the centre of all the talking - Luis Suarez was named on the bench and so he would have to wait to light up Anfield.
For Liverpool, a relatively new concept of "Wing Backs" meant despite the defensive looking line up, we had several attacking options. This was proved almost straight away when a cross whipped in from Martin Kelly was met by Glen Johnson, only denied due a great save from the Stoke keeper.
With Torres gone, many outsiders were questioning the Reds ability to cope without such an influential player but as we all know at Liverpool, greats have come and gone but the club has still fought. A fantastic phrase doing the rounds on Twitter i feel sums it up for me - "Liverpool will always be able to replace Fernando Torres but Fernando Torres will never be able to replace Liverpool."
We were looking strong although against a Stoke side offering little in front of goal. Attempts from Carew and Walters are the only real chances that spring to mind.
For Liverpool a first half filled with attempts from Dirk Kuyt all the way back to Kyrgiakos, meant sooner rather than later the Reds were going to punish.
Raul Meireles was the man to get the scoring underway after only a minute into the second half. Not only did the beauty win me a tenner but he brings himself up to three goals in four games which isn't bad at all for a player who under Roy Hodgson looked like he was becoming a spare part.
Man of the moment Suarez entered the field of play just after the hour mark as Fabio Aurelio made way. An exciting time for all eyes watching the match but most importantly for Liverpool fans keen to see what he was really made of.
Of course after one game we would have been happy with a glimmer of hope but Suarez wanted us to feel more than that...
Goalscorer Meireles was replaced by Jonjo Shelvey at 70minutes and what a time for our young prospect to enter the field of play. By now Suarez had a good ten minutes under his belt and the skill and movement on display from the Uruguayan was superb.
Steven Gerrard was also having a solid game and his anticipation was clear when linking up with our new number 7.
Just before 80minutes a great ball through from Dirk Kuyt saw Suarez on a run. A none existent Stoke defence began to track back but as Suarez took the ball around the goalkeeper it all seemed too little too late. As the number 7 calmly aimed his shot at the Kop End a last minute attempt from Wilkinson to clear the ball only helped the on target effort into the back of the net.
Anfield went crazy as El Pistolero ran off celebrating his first Liverpool goal in his first game for the Reds.
An emphatic win not only due to the clean sheet and goal tally but the fact that Suarez already looks set to be a winner. Yes, it would be stupid to be fully praising him so early on but after that performance it's hard not to. As Dalglish said after the game, the lad hadn't even had chance to train so once that has been addressed, who knows what could happen against Chelsea.
On the topic of Suarez and scoring on your debut, don't forget folks i have a competition running at the moment, it's unbelievably simple, just write a 250-300 word article on your favourite EVER Liverpool player for your chance to win the Istanbul Champions League Final DVD, follow this link for more details.
With Chelsea up next at Stamford Bridge in a crucial grudge match and then Wigan at home to follow, this could be a nice little run of results for Liverpool with a little luck.