Eyewitness Report: Liverpool 1 - Stoke City 0 (eeeeyessss!!!!)

Posted by Harinder on August 18, 2013, 04:17:56 PM

12.45pm kick offs are never easy. Early starts post late nights and week of work and you’d almost wish for being closer to make for an easier journey. You already know the parts that will conspire against you. “Fuel in the car thanks to the misses” is equal to” fat chance of that happening” and the M6 being clear pre and post Stoke at J15 is almost guaranteed to never ever happen.

That along with Henderson starting over Allen. Cos Joe’s teachers pet and all that jazz.

Well Henderson did start over Allen, there was a need for petrol in the car and the M6 was an absolute pain. I’ll take that one out of the three though anyday! The one thing the traffic does allow though is to get a lovely glance at all the LFC aligned number plates. 180 KOP, S666 LFC, C100 EEY. The last one I know isn’t but the car definitely is! You won’t miss its noise or its bright red colour. I didn’t try and look for the Stoke City ones.

In these cars I always wonder what the fans are thinking? First goal? Starting line ups? Any injuries? Where will I park? Will I leave early? If you think the last one ever you really should turn the car around. Staying for the whole match has got to be the pre-requisite. What’s the point otherwise? I mean you spent all that money and what not on a private plate, the parking, the fuel and you’ll be paying for the trip with nag nag nag when you get home so enjoy the day. Support with all your heart and feel part of it all.

End of soapbox moment and back on to the day. It still fills me with an immense feeling of joy when you see kids who are up for their first ever match. It’s the purest version of support you’ll ever be able to exemplify it to anyone as it isn’t tainted with anyone else’s view. Poor kids got all that to come. The excitement on their faces and the eager anticipation of seeing their heroes rubs off on all those around. It definitely did on the idiot adults who dragged all and sundry to a white Range Rover Evoque when Suarez arrived at around 11.30am. You’re old enough to know better now so if you are the fella who overarched with his iPad only to drop it when looking for the money shot, well, more fool you!

Pre match warm up

Interestingly I was fixated with Stoke. It was the fat factor you see. Our lads were looking sharp and trim with Aspas especially but Stoke left me speechless during the warm up. Now when I say fat I don’t mean worlds heaviest teenager on Sky Living level, I’m talking athlete who’s been binging level. Charlie Adam had most definitely found the Mars bars during Summer. Crouchie found a tanning salon. Kenwyne did a number on the kebabs and Palacios on Chicken Kormas.

Fat fat fat. Charlie was out of breath after 10 minutes of ball chasing and Kenwyne looked extremely disappointed at having to jump up and down. Palacios just hid near the goal keeping coach

I’d already made a bit of decision to  do a Player cam. I.e. a bit of watching the play and position for a while of just one player. Today for me it's Kolo. When typing this at half time when I’m making notes for this he auto corrects to Kilo. Hope it's not a sign! He doesn’t appear to need the pills which is a good thing.

We definitely had  a bright start. Just end product was missing so a case of so close but so far. Kolo scared the living daylights of them. Our big first test was that cross and before that Stoke didn’t have much of a look in to things. Kolo passed his first test in it by managing Huth. He then covered Simon as he came out and no-one did anything else. The others forgot to do their job hence the goal attempt that cracked the bar. Mignolet looked a little nervy and to be fair those nerves kind of stayed til his great save with 10mins of first half to go

Attacking intent was most definitely there. Henderson was more in your face than last season and less of the American Football straddles like The Waterboy. Aspas too. The first time I’d seen him play up close and personal and his endeavour and slipping in and out troubled Stoke. Finally. A way through the bus parking wankers. Sturridge had slippers on but it didn't stop him banging one in to the right corner to send the Annie road wild along with the rest of us. Before this we had threatened and my man Kolo was getting in on the action too! 1-0 Liverpool and Daniel can dance in the middle of the pitch all day long. That was a peach of a goal.

Half time musings

• Kolo is boss. In fact he’s a boss. He’s a marshall. He’s a general. He’s on a mission and by God he’s here to tell you all.
• Henderson doing everything right
• Hahahah Jonathon Walters. Just laugh at him all day long
• “We’re passing the baa-aa-ll. We are Stoke City, we’re passing the ball” Shock horror!
• Coutinho…..how did Aspas not score?
• Mark Hughes. Hahahaha.

Second half

Coutinho is not liked by Nzonzi. I don’t think he gives a shit as its not Philippe getting a yellow card. How we weren’t 2/3 nil up in the first 15 minutes is beyond me but Begovic did have an inspired afternoon between the sticks. Denying so many who tried to beat him was getting a little soul destroying as the inevitable thoughts of previous seasons crept in and you could sense it. When Jordan hit the post it resonated that sentiment around the ground. Were we going to lose the lead again and feel robbed of the three points

Lord knows were being robbed of 3 goals already thanks to Begovic. He saved Stevie’s free kick and people started to head home. Hold your head in disgrace. Mignolet’s gonna stop you (newng newng newng ooh ehh – think KLF). Well I’m guessing this is what he sang to Walters (hahahahaha) whilst attempting to break the crossbar. When he pulled off the double save it wasn’t just that sinking feeling he exorcised, he made sure we didn’t just remember him for his nervy start. It then took an eternity for the ref to blow the final whistle. I think that was because he wanted some Stoke players to burn off some excess. We all just wanted Nzonzi to get battered by Lucas and Coutinho.

We won. Opening day hoodoo removed. Last season a loss. Season before a draw. Season before that a draw too. Roll on to the Villa next week

That M6 was just as painful on the way home. Burnt out car, then jack-knifed lorry with a shed load from its trailer and to top it all off a pick up truck buried into a central reservation. Poor Sparky probably didn’t get home til way past his bedtime. All that time longer to stew over a loss whilst Brendan carried on sipping from the Happy cup  ;D

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