Prior to kick off and before we’d seen the starting XI I was pretty convinced we were going to lose this game and so it was no real surprise that we failed to take any points from the game. What was surprising was the manner in which we lost the game. We were a shambles at the back and we had no striker on, not even Raheem Sterling was playing as a forged striker today because he’d been a naughty boy and had to simmer on the bench.
To be honest I’m not sure how I felt about leaving Sterling on the bench. Part of me thought we should teach him a lesson but the other part of me realised that we needed him on the pitch in order to have any real hope of winning the game.
Watching the game live, it felt as though we had crumbled a lot sooner than we actually did as Stoke had to wait 20 minutes for their first goal. Liverpool had created no real danger in the first portion of the game and they wouldn’t offer much prowess in attack once Stoke started scoring either.
Stoke’s first goal of the game came via Diouf who was quick to spring after Mignolet saved a shot from Charlie Adam but parried his effort directly in Diouf’s path. It was an easy finish for Diouf to put his Stoke side ahead.
Just four minutes later and Diouf had scored again. This time via a lovely strike from the edge of the box. It was far too easy for Stoke who were breaking through the defence, particularly on Can’s side like it was nobody’s business.
Liverpool had no time to regroup, they looked completely flummoxed and struggled to create anything on the break due to having a slapdash set up with no striker. Some would disagree but to me, any striker is better than none at all. It has frustrated me the whole season this problem and it was no different on Sunday.
Another four minutes passed and another goal appeared. A cross from Stoke fell to Can who headed the ball almost directly to Walters. I have no idea what Can was thinking here but it was too late, he’d set up Walters who scored after an initial save from Simon Mignolet.
The Reds managed to find ten minutes of breathing space before Stoke returned once again. This time it was the midfield faltering as Lucas lost possession. Charlie Adam saw his chance to strike from outside the box and put his side 4-0 up. It was truly embarrassing, and we still had more to come before half time.
Again, just four minutes after their fourth goal, Stoke had found a fifth. This time it was Nzonzi who had a great game for Stoke who scored a fantastic effort to put his side 5-0 up.
I had resorted to laughing by the time this goal had gone in because it was just pathetic. There’s no excuse for that performance, it was just shambolic.
The second half saw Brendan Rodgers bring on Jordan Ibe and Kolo Toure. I can see why he made both of these substitutions and Ibe certainly improved our performance but I still didn’t get why he didn’t just chuck Rickie Lambert on, we’re already 5-0 down, it could hardly get much worse?
It was no surprise to me about 20 minutes later when Lambert was finally brought on that we did find a goal. Yes it’s easy for me to say I told you so but I honestly feel in a lot of games this season we would have benefitted from having a proper striker on. Just because they aren’t world beaters and don’t move around like the Sturridges of the game, it doesn’t mean they can’t help the team get a result.
Rickie’s assist put Gerrard straight through on goal and there was no way the captain would be missing his chance to score here in his final game in a Liverpool shirt. His strike went low to the right of Begovic and gave Liverpool at least something to cheer about. The Stoke fans cheered too to be fair to them!
Despite the goal Liverpool just couldn’t stop the rot and at 85 minutes the home side had found yet another goal. Peter Crouch came on as a sub and managed to find a record breaking 47th headed goal.
And that finally ended the misery for Liverpool who must have been over the moon to hear the final whistle. The result ensured that Liverpool would end the season in 6th place with no silverware and no Champions League.
As for Brendan Rodgers? He surely must be worried about his position? I’m never one to call for a manager’s head because I just hate it however I’m seriously struggling to defend Rodgers and I personally have been so frustrated with his tactics the whole season long. Not to mention some, if not nearly all of his transfer buys.
I’ve said this on Twitter recently, I’m willing to give Rodgers one last chance but I can’t say I would be sad if I woke up tomorrow to see he had been sacked.
We certainly have an interesting summer ahead whatever happens at Liverpool. Thank you all so much for reading the blog again this season, it’s not been the most exciting but I have enjoyed covering our games as always and offering my opinion.
A season review will appear on the blog over the coming weeks and some special posts no doubt over summer so keep your eyes peeled for that. Back sooner than you think! – Kirsty