The Reds took their third victory on the Bounce with a 2-0 victory at Anfield
by Rhydon Atzenhoffer
February 3, 2011
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.
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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 didnt 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.
Then on the 63' minute the Kop got what it was waiting for, Luis Suarez came on for Fabio Aurelio and the No. 7 shirt returned to the pitch with high hopes for a bright new future. Suarez was on the ball at once, tackling and scraping with precision and power as he harried the defense and showed he was ready to get stuck into the English game. It would take only 16 minutes and the Uruguayan rounded Stoke keeper Begovic and put the ball in the back of the net on the 79' minute. A late clearance attempt by Stoke defender Andy Wilkinson knocked the goal bound ball into the post but didnt keep it away and Anfield exploaded.
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His first match since December 8th, his first in a Liverpool shirt, his first day into the club without having trained at Melwood a day, and Suarez opened his account. It was a dream debut and one that will certainly ease the minds of many a Liverpool fan as the Young starlet looks to set a precedent of intent as he worked his socks off to show his brilliance in just a thirty minute stint on the pitch.
Kenny Dalglish responded to the at first controversial goal on whether it was Suarez's to claim, "I gave him it. It was going in," he added. "It is a great start to score on your debut and he worked hard and him and Dirk Kuyt linked up well a couple of times."
Tony Pulis also admitted he was happy for the new Liverpool frontman. "If I was Kenny, if he (Suarez) was half-a-yard anywhere near the ball I'd be saying it was his goal, "We are quite happy for the lad to have it. I watched him in the World Cup and in games for Ajax and he's a wonderful player - but give him a bit of time."
On the game itself he added, "We did okay for the first half but to concede just after half-time knocked us. But up until the second goal I thought we were in the game."
It was a great night for the Reds, and it looks to be true that Liverpool got the best end of the deal with Fernando Torres making his exit and Suarez and Carroll coming in.