Liverpool: Karius; Gomez,Van Dijk, Klavan, Moreno; Trent Alexander Arnold, Wijnaldum, Henderson; Salah, Ings, Firmino
Stoke: Butland; Pieters;Martins Indi, Shawcross, Zouma; Shaqiri, Ndiaye, Allen, Bauer; Diouf, Crouch
The game got off to a steady start with Stoke tending to be more positive than expected. The mystery about Liverpool’s line up was sorted with Trent Alexander-Arnold lining up in the midfield.
Liverpool get their biggest chance in the 5th minute, as Salah exposes Stoke’s high line to leave himself 1 v 1 against Butland, but Salah incredulously misses a dinked effort.
Liverpool create another opportunity which starts off a headed clearance from Karius . The move reaches Moreno whose wonderful delivery is just ahead of Salah, and the resulting effort is blocked. Stoke slowly grow into the game and create their first chance in the 20th minute as Bauer sets up Diouf whose headed effort hits the side netting.
Liverpool immediately create a chance at the other end as Wijnaldum delivers a crisp cross-field pass to Salah who sets up the on-rushing Arnold who gets the ball caught under his feet and struggles to get a good shot on goal. Moreno then kickstarts Liverpool’s next move as his pass to Firmino is flicked onto Wijnaldum. Wijnaldum’s near post shot is just wide.
Arnold then tries to set up Salah but his effort is overhit, but Butland fumbles a regulation collection and the ball gets to Salah, who is then fouled by Pieters on the edge of the box.
Ings creates the next opportunity as he passes to Wijnaldum whose effort is beaten away by Butland, Ings scores off the rebound off a tight angle but his effort is flagged for a marginal offside.
Liverpool then try to prise open Stoke for the rest of the half in vain as the half ends scoreless.
Half Time : Liverpool 0 – 0 Stoke
Liverpool kick start the second half and get their first chance in the 50th minute as a corner reaches Salah but his strike is wide off the post. Stoke make their first chance as Sobhi replaces a limping Martins Indi and Sobhi creates a chance immediately whose effort is saved by Karius.
Liverpool get their next chance as Salah twists and turns and gets ball to Ings whose shot is blocked by Butland. Liverpool then make a double change as Milner and Clyne replace Trent and Ings respectively. Stoke reach by bringing on Fletcher for Crouch. Liverpool then create a double chance of Clyne and Moreno, but both efforts end fruitlessly.
Liverpool’s next big chance comes in the 75th minute as a dangerous cross from Moreno to Salah but is cleared by Zouma. Stoke continue to frustrate Liverpool who are denied a very good penalty shout as Wijnaldum’s cross strikes Pieters’ arm, but the referee waves away the appeal.
Stoke then create their biggest chance of the game as Diouf’s hard work ensures that he lifts the ball over Karius to Shawcross, whose touch is wide with Karius nowhere in picture.
Liverpool appeal for yet another penalty in dying minutes as Firmino goes under the challenge of Pieters but the referee isnt interested as the final whistle is blown.
Full Time : Liverpool 0 – 0 Stoke