Liverpool-Stoke City Live: Liverpool Wins On Glen Johnson’s Late Diving Header

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Steven Gerrard and Philippe CoutinhoFinal, 1-0 Liverpool: It’s all over at Anfield. Liverpool ends its Premier League skid with a dramatic win.

Johnson saved the day with his late goal, as Liverpool downs Stoke City and earns three valuable points in the standings.

After a sleep-inducing first half, the teams upped their game in an open and entertaining second period. Bojan hit the post twice, and Allen did once for Liverpool, as the teams created chance after chance in the second half. There would have been more goals if the teams were more clinical with their finishing and the goalkeepers (and Sterling) hadn’t made crucial saves.

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90th minute +3, 1-0 Liverpool: Shawcross heads a corner kick wide by inches. Mignolet left his goal line but failed to make contact with the corner kick.

90th minute +2, 1-0 Liverpool: Bojan volley’s Toure’s clearing header off the crossbar. It would have been an excellent goal.

90th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: There will be a minimum of seven minutes of stoppage time in the second half. Seven.

88th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Stoke City makes its final substitution, replacing Arnautovic with Crouch.

Liverpool replaces Coutinho with Lovren, as Rodgers looks to secure the three points.

85th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Johnson has given Liverpool the lead with just five minutes remaining in normal time.

Lambert headed Henderson’s cross off the crossbar. Johnson reacted first, charged toward the goal-mouth and headed the rebound into the goal. Johnson suffered a head wound in a collision with Begovic and a defender.

82nd minute, 0-0: Walters tests Mignolet from distance, but the Liverpool goalkeeper collects it easily.

82nd minute, 0-0: Sterling saves Diouf’s shot off of the goal line.

Shawcross headed a corner kick to Diouf, who controllled the ball, spun and shot on target. Diouf would have scored if Sterling wasn’t posistioned on the post.

78th minute, 0-0: Liverpool continues to press for the opening goal, but the final ball still is missing. The Reds have improved in the second half, increasing the tempo of their passing and the intensity of their defensive pressure.

75th minute, 0-0: Gerrard enters the fray, as Liverpool makes its first substitution. Gerrard takes the captain’s armband. Lucas departs.

74th minute, 0-0: Mignolet bats Adam’s cross (or shot) out of danger.

71st minute, 0-0: Liverpool wants a penalty kick after Coutinho ran into Shawcross and went down in the Stoke City penalty area, but the referee denies the Reds’ appeals.

68th minute, 0-0: Sterling and Coutinho combine at the top of Stoke City’s penalty area to craft another great chance for Liverpool.

After a one-two between the two Liverpool attackers, Sterling cut a pass back to Allen, who skimmed his close-range shot off the top of the crossbar.

67th minute, 0-0: Johnson marauds forward and lays it off to Lambert, but the Liverrpool striker’s shot is too tame to beat Begovic.

64th minute, 0-0: Lucas shoots on goal, but the well-positioned Begovic bats it away.

Sterling created the scoring chance on the counter-attack with a penetrating dribble and a well-weighted pass to Lucas.

It was Liverpool’s best chance so far, and Lucas should have done better with his shot.

61st minute, 0-0: Sterling narrowly misses the target with a left-footed shot from 15 yards out.

60th minute, 0-0: Bojan hits the post after skipping past Lucas into the Liverpool penalty area.

58th minute, 0-0: Shawcross is cautioned for a tactical foul on Sterling.

55th minute, 0-0: Diouf runs onto Bojan’s through-ball and shoots from close range, but Mignolet turns it away, having left his line and cut down the angle.

53rd minute, 0-0: Cameron is cautioned for a foul on Sterling.

51st minute, 0-0: The ball pings off of Shawcross at the top of the area, and Henderson arrives and shoots on the half-volley. Henderson’s effort misses the target.

50th minute, 0-0: The teams have showed more intensity in the opening minutes of the second period, but the game still needs a more quality and cohesion in order to come to life.

46th minute, 0-0: The second half is underway at Anfield.

Adam, the former Liverpool midfielder, replaced Whelan during the interval in Stoke City’s second substitution.

Halftime, 0-0: That’s the end of the first half.

This sums up the first 45 minutes of action.

Neither team managed to put a shot on target, and Liverpool’s woes show no sign of easing.

45th minute, 0-0: There will be a minimum of two minutes of added time in the first half.

44th minute, 0-0: Diouf heads Bojan’s corner kick well wide of Mignolet’s goal.

38th minute, 0-0: Wilson is cautioned for a foul on Lambert.

37th minute, 0-0: Diouf cuts a pass back to Walters, who tries to shoot first-time. Lucas intervenes, and the shot misses the target.

35th minute, 0-0: Skrtel half-volleys a shot high and wide of the Stoke City goal.

34th minute, 0-0: Enrique hits a hard cross into Stoke City’s goal-mouth, but none of his Liverpool teammates are in the area to turn it toward Begovic’s goal.

It was Liverpool’s most dangerous moment so far.

27th minute, 0-0: Lambert shoots a free kick from 40 yards out, but it sails harmlessly into the stands.

The teams have played nearly a half-hour without creating a single clear-cut scoring chance. Stoke City will be happy with how the game has unfolded so far, but Liverpool needs to show more impetus and quality.

22nd minute, 0-0: Whelan replaces Sidwell, as Stoke City makes an early substitution.

20th minute, 0-0: Sidwell is down on the field with an apparent calf or knee injury, following a collision with Lambert.

Whelan and Adam are warming up on the sidelines.

17th minute, 0-0: Caution and unease reigns supreme early on. Liverpool seems unwilling to commit numbers to the attack, preferring to test Stoke City’s defense with long balls to Sterling on the left side. The visitors have had few problems dealing with the Reds’ attacking tactics so far.

Ninth minute, 0-0: The cagey, understated start continues. The teams have worked the ball into the opposition third with little problem, but their final ball fails to threaten the respective defenses.

Fifth minute, 0-0: The teams have shared possession evenly in the first few minutes, but neither side’s opening forays have produced clear scoring chances.

Kickoff: The Liverpool-Stoke City game is underway at Anfield.

Toure and Lucas retain their spots in Liverpool’s starting lineup, following their fine performances Wednesday against Ludogorets.

Enrique has recovered from a knee injury. He starts at left back.

Coutinho also returns to the starting 11. The Brazilian will play in the attacking midfield or further forward. Gerrard starts on the bench.

Pregame: Here are the lineups:

Liverpool

Simon Mignolet (22), goalkeeper
Jose Enrique (3), left back
Martin Skrtel (37), center back
Kolo Toure (4), center back
Glen Johnson (2), right back
Lucas Leiva (21), midfielder
Joe Allen (24), midfielder
Jordan Henderson (14), midfielder
Philippe Coutinho (10), forward
Raheem Sterling (31), forward
Rickie Lambert (9), striker

Substitutes

Brad Jones (1), goalkeeper
Dejan Lovren (6), defender
Alberto Moreno (18), defender
Emre Can (23), midfielder
Steven Gerrard (8), midfielder
Adam Lallana (20), midfielder
Lazar Markovic (50), forward

Stoke City

Asmir Begovic (1), goalkeeper
Erik Pieters (3), left back
Ryan Shawcross (17), center back
Marc Wilson (12), center back
Geoff Cameron (20), right back
Steven N’Zonzi (15), midfielder
Steve Sidwell (21), midfielder
Marko Arnautovic (10), forward
Bokan Krkic (27), forward
Jonathan Walters (19), forward
Mame Diouf (18), striker

Substitutes

Jack Butland (22), goalkeeper
Glen Whelan (6), defender
Mark Muniesa (5), defender
Charlie Adam (16), midfielder
Stephen Ireland (7), midfielder
Oliver Shenton (34), forward
Peter Crouch (25), striker

9:30 a.m.: Liverpool hopes home comforts can cure what ails it.

The Reds face Stoke City at Anfield on Saturday in a Premier League game that can help turn around their fortunes. Liverpool has lost three consecutive league games, but its pursuit of a top-four finish continues. Liverpool sits 12th in the Premier League standings, but only five points separate it from fourth-placed Manchester United.

Stoke City only has won once in seven games (in all competitions) since the beginning of October. The Potters currently occupy 11th place in the standings, and they will visit a stadium in which they have failed to win a league game since 1959. The numbers suggest Liverpool is favorite, but manager Mark Hughes has led Stoke City to road wins at Manchester City and Tottenham this season.

Steven Gerrard likely will lead Reds onto the field. The Liverpool captain made his debut 16 years ago Saturday and he can make his 687th appearance for his boyhood club when the Stoke City game kicks off.

Liverpool-Stoke City kicks off at 10 a.m. Join us right here for all the action from Anfield.

Photo by Twitter/@br_uk

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