Date: 19th August 2013 at 4:03pm
Written by:

LFC goalFOR the first time in four seasons (since 08/09) Liverpool won a game on the opening day, by beating Stoke City 1-0 in the first match of 2013/2014 season.

Simon Mignolet, Kolo Toure and Iago Aspas all made their debuts for the club.

Thanks to @eplindex for the following formation statistic graph which highlights how the starting 11 performed.

Key for Formations1 Liverpool 1 Stoke 0 | Stats in a formation Info graphic!

Liverpool Formation Stats Vs Stoke Liverpool 1 Stoke 0 | Stats in a formation Info graphic!

Daniel Sturridge – positive game play

Sturridge continued his good form from last season by getting the winning goal on 37 minutes after good work from Iago Aspas. He unleashed an unstoppable effort from 25 yards which whistled beyond Begovic and nestled into the bottom corner.

As you can see from the diagram below Daniel was involved in most of our attacking play. 1 goal 6 shots, 3 of which were on target.

Aspas – good solid debut

I was impressed with Aspas and his debut and @BassTunedToRed summed it up perfectly:

“Good debut for Aspas. An assist, 5 chances created (averaging 3 is v. good), 2 shots (1 on target), 2 tackles and an interception #lfc.”

The signs are very promising and hopefully it will continue.

Final Thoughts

While Liverpool were the more dominant team (Begovic made 10 saves throughout the match) as the match drew closer to the final whistle they looked nervous as Stoke went forward, which was evident when the penalty was awarded for handball.

Mignolet, the first ever keeper to save a penalty on his debut, looked on-edge at times, especially with crosses and when the ball is at his feet. But credit where it is due – 5 saves and a penalty save will do his confidence the world of good.

Kolo Toure (the Kop are already have a song for him- don’t worry I won’t sing it for you all) was unlucky not to score with his header which hit the crossbar, had a promising start to his Anfield career. Looking at the information graphic he won 44% of his aerial duels more than any other player and 75% of his ground duels.

His presence will be vital when the Reds visit Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa on Saturday. Hopefully he can handle Christian Benteke.

Again Coutinho tried to weave his magic by creating 6 opportunities 1 which was clear cut. The Stoke team did not know how to handle him and it showed with the free-kicks Stoke gave away. Even Nzonsi tried to grab Coutinho around the neck which went amiss by Martin Atkinson.

Coutinho, Henderson and Jose Enrique all missed clear cut chances which may have put the game to bed but they were positive signs considering the way Stoke play football.

Overall a promising start from Rodgers’ men and it was vital that three points are on the board, hopefully they can continue the flowing attacking play when the team play Aston Villa this Saturday.

Follow me on Twitter @MRSSG

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