It was not a great game of football on Sunday but Liverpool did enough to win the match by taking their chances. We started quite brightly in this match but Stoke did so as well. At times they were passing the ball quite quickly and looked dangerous.
Martin Kelly was having a tough go of it and was booked for a poor challenge early on which seemed to really affect his performance throughout. Liverpool only made one change to the team that demolished Everton (I don't get tired of saying that) by bringing in Maxi in place of Henderson. Adam was left out again.
Maxi was involved in our first goal but the goal was started and finished by Suarez. Suarez had not done much right in the opening stages of this match as most of his lay offs and touches were directly to Stoke but once he fired home his confidence went up and he started to take control of the match. Stoke found themselves level after two poor decisions by the ref. First he gave a corner that wasn't and then he allowed a Stoke player to block off Reina without playing the ball. It was surely a foul but Liverpool picked themselves back up and started to take control. We did have a moment where the game could have gone beyond us when Spearing let Walters get behind him. The Scouser should have done better but his shot hit the side netting.
Liverpool had a good few free kicks around the box and all but one of them was wasted. Suarez was unlucky to see his glancing header go wide from a free kick however the rest of them were awful. Our break though finally came when Downing played a one two with Gerrard. He took the ball back and went round two Stoke players to hammer the ball home. Liverpool had a few chances to put the game out of reach but our finishing lacked the killer instinct. Suarez was guilty of two occasions of not putting the ball in the net but he was good enough to get in those positions. Carroll was just ok today. He seemed to lose Crouch for Stoke's goal and was not really involved in the game much but he certainly seemed to be trying. Kuyt gave us some needed energy as he came on for Maxi and both Kelly and Suarez picked up late knocks as the game was finishing up. Stoke had a few late throw-ins but Reina was on hand to deal with them and off the semi-finals we go.
Man of the Match = Martin Skrtel, another dominate display
Playing Wembley semi-finals is a bad idea and it goes without saying that my wishes got out to Muamba and his family.