Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

Fixtures & Results

England ENG 2

Sweden SWE 0

REPORT

Russia RUS 2 (3)

Croatia CRO 2 (4)

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France FRA 1

Belgium BEL 0

REPORT

England ENG 1

Croatia CRO 2

REPORT

Belgium BEL 2

England ENG 0

REPORT

France FRA 4

Croatia CRO 2

Full Time

Liverpool v Stoke – story of the match

The Reds failed to break down Paul Lambert’s side, who are still fighting for Premier League survival.

Liverpool failed to replicate their midweek Champions League heroics as they were held to a 0-0 draw by relegation-threatened Stoke at Anfield.

Mohamed Salah, searching for his 44th goal of a remarkable season, spurned a gilt-edged chance in the early stages as the Reds looked to pick up where they left off after Tuesday’s stunning defeat of Roma.

But Jurgen Klopp’s men looked laboured on their return to Premier League action and Stoke, running out of time to escape the bottom three, were unable to take advantage.

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Tweet of the Match

Liverpool paid tribute to fan Sean Cox, who was critically injured in an attack prior to Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Roma. As well as the displaying of the Irishman’s name on electronic boards as ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ was sung prior to the game, a St Peter’s Dunboyne GAA jersey – a club of which Cox is a member – was hung in the dressing room.

Star Man – Erik Pieters

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Stoke' Erik Pieters (left) kept a tight watch on Mohamed Salah

The Stoke defender coped with Salah better than many other opponents have this season. Trying to shackle the prolific Egyptian, just a few days after arguably his best performance of an outstanding season, was a daunting task for the Dutchman. Yet aside from losing him for a chance Salah fluffed in the opening minutes, Pieters stuck to his task superbly and barely gave the Liverpool forward a look-in.

Moment of the match

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Salah missed a good early chance

It was a match of little quality, with Liverpool understandably suffering a drop in intensity after Tuesday and with the game coming immediately prior to the return leg in Rome. Initially, however, it did seem that Liverpool and Salah were in the mood. Salah burst onto a long pass from Jordan Henderson and seemed certain to score as he closed in on Jack Butland’s goal. He opted for a typical dinked finish and supporters immediately started celebrating, but the ball unexpectedly dipped wide.

Data point

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Salah missed a good early chance

Stoke’s hopes of avoiding relegation faded further after a result which extended their dismal record at Anfield. The Potters have still never beaten the Reds at the ground in the top flight. Of their 55 meetings, Liverpool have won 43 and there have now been 12 draws.

Ratings

Liverpool: Loris Karis 6 (out of 10), Trent Alexander-Arnold 6, Joe Gomez 6, Virgil van Dijk 6, Ragnar Klavan 6, Alberto Moreno 6, Georginio Wijnaldum 7, Jordan Henderson 7, Mohamed Salah 6, Danny Ings 6, Roberto Firmino 6. Substitutes: James Milner (for Ings, 65) 5, Nathaniel Clyne (for Alexander-Arnold, 65) 5.

Stoke: Jack Butland 6, Kurt Zouma 6, Ryan Shawcross 6, Bruno Martins Indi 6, Erik Pieters 7, Xherdan Shaqiri 6, Joe Allen 6, Badou Ndiaye 6, Moritz Bauer 6, Mame Biram Diouf 6, Peter Crouch 6. Substitutes: Ramadan Sobhi (for Martins Indi, 52), Darren Fletcher (for Crouch, 65).

Who’s up next?

Roma v Liverpool (Champions League, May 2)
Stoke v Crystal Palace (Premier League, May 5)

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