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Walters penalty enough against Reds


Jon Walters

Jon Walters

Jon Walters

Liverpool slipped to their first defeat of the season as Stoke claimed a 1-0 victory at the Britannia Stadium with Jon Walters scoring a 20th-minute penalty after being fouled by Jamie Carragher.

Martin Skrtel, pushed into service at right-back, nipped in front of Ryan Shawcross to prevent the Stoke captain getting his head to Matt Etherington's free-kick as the hosts generated the early pressure.

But Carragher was caught out of position and wrapped his arm around Walters who went down, referee Mark Halsey pointing to the spot from which the striker scored the penalty.

Stoke were blocking most avenues open to Luis Suarez, as displayed by a sprawling Shawcross who smothered one near-post shot.

He easily turned Robert Huth on the left and crossed to the far side of penalty area where an onrushing Skrtel appeared to be clipped by Etherington just before he blazed a shot over.

After a relatively quiet start to the second half, the match exploded into action just past the hour as Liverpool had five shots in the space of 20 seconds but still could not find a way through.

Jose Enrique's through-ball sent Jordan Henderson racing clear through the middle but he side-footed his first shot straight at Asmir Begovic, the goalkeeper made a good save from the follow-up and Matthew Upson's chest blocked the third.

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However, the loose ball dropped to Charlie Adam's dangerous left foot but Shawcross blocked his first effort from the edge of the penalty area and Begovic got back to stop the rebound.

Midfielder Dean Whitehead and then Begovic denied Suarez who was denied a spot-kick when his cross hit Upson's arm but nothing was given.

In the fourth minute of added time Begovic and Shawcross got in each other's way but Suarez stabbed wide with the goal gaping.

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