Match Analysis: Liverpool 0-0 Stoke City

Match Analysis: Liverpool 0-0 Stoke City
© PA Photos
Sports Mole takes a closer look at today's 0-0 draw between Liverpool and Stoke City.

Liverpool and Stoke City played out a goalless draw at Anfield in the Premier League in what was a frustrating afternoon for The Reds.

Brendan Rodgers's side dominated the possession across the pitch, but lacked the clinical touch required to break down the visitors' stubborn defence.

Stoke's chances were few and far between, but they had no trouble picking up yellow cards, with no fewer than six players finding their way into Lee Mason's book.

So was it as one-sided as it seems? Sports Mole takes a closer look at the match.

Match stats:

Liverpool:
Shots: 16
On target: 5
Possession: 48%
Corners: 5
Fouls: 9

Stoke City:
Shots: 5
On target: 3
Possession: 52%
Corners: 5
Fouls: 16

Was the result fair?
Liverpool should have taken three points from this one after dominating possession for much of the duration. Luis Suarez could have had at least two, while Raheem Sterling squandered a golden opportunity to force an opening in the second half. Stoke City's defence deserve credit for holding firm under such pressure, but their disciplinary record left something to be desired.

Liverpool's performance
For all of their flare and attacking possession, Liverpool did not test Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic anywhere near enough. The 0-0 scoreline highlights just how desperately The Reds are in need of an out-and-out striker to partner Suarez.

Stoke City's performance
Credit where credit is due, The Potters' defence was solid today and it had to be to hold firm under constant pressure. However, with six players receiving yellow cards, their disciplinary left something to be desired. Tony Pulis's side were not only fortunate to escape with a point, but to finish the game with 11 men too.

Sports Mole's man of the match
Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan striker was guilty of theatrics at times, but for much of the game he was head and shoulders above the rest and unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet.

Biggest gaffe
Sterling's wastefulness on 72 minutes. The young winger made the decision to shoot from a tight angle rather than pass, and the result saw the ball hit the woodwork instead of the back of the net.

Referee's performance
Lee Mason really had his work cut out today, and he struggled to contain the game in the first period as tensions ran high. He handed out a fair number of cards, but there are instances where he should have been harsher. Suarez should have been booked for play acting at some point, to single out just one instance.

What next?

Liverpool: Liverpool are next in action against Reading in what is a must-win game for The Reds, who are yet to emerge victorious at Anfield in the Premier League all season.

Stoke City: After the international break, Stoke City have a tough trip to Old Trafford where they will take on Manchester United in the Premier League, a team that will almost certainly punish them if they ride their luck like they did today.

Luis Suarez
Read Next:
Live Commentary: Liverpool 0-0 Stoke City - as it happened
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City24212170185265
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd24165349163353
3Chelsea24155445162950
4Liverpool23138254282647
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs24136547222545
6Arsenal24126645311442
7Leicester CityLeicester249783632434
8Burnley249781921-234
9Everton2477102639-1328
10Watford2475123344-1126
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2468103042-1226
12Bournemouth2467112536-1125
13Crystal Palace2467112237-1525
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2466121941-2224
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2465132234-1223
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton24410102435-1122
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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