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Page last updated at 14:47 GMT, Saturday, 16 January 2010

Stoke   1 - 1   Liverpool

Stoke players celebrate Huth's last-gasp equaliser
Stoke players celebrate Huth's last-gasp equaliser

By Nabil Hassan

Stoke's Robert Huth denied boss Rafael Benitez a vital victory with a dramatic last-minute leveller against Liverpool.

Sotirios Kyrgiakos had given the Reds the lead, bundling home from close-range, after Thomas Sorensen's fumble.

Earlier, Liverpool had been denied a penalty after defender Danny Higginbotham brought down Lucas.

A late Potters corner was headed across goal by Higginbotham for Huth to poke home, then Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt headed against the post in a frantic finale.

The result did little to ease the intense pressure on beleaguered boss Benitez who had faced a barrage of criticism and calls for him to be sacked following his side's FA Cup exit at the hands of Reading on Wednesday.

Understandably, after their midweek defeat against the Championship strugglers, Liverpool started nervously.

606: DEBATE

That showed when Fabio Aurelio had the chance to send Javier Mascherano away on his own but tried a ridiculous 40-yard attempt to expose an out-of-position Sorensen that sailed miles wide

And with an unfamiliar line-up, that had £20m Alberto Aquilani and new signing Maxi Rodriguez start the game on the substitutes' bench, the visitors struggled to get into the game with Stoke starting brightly.

Twice keeper Pepe Reina was called into action by Rory Delap's long throws and having just about dealt with the first the Spaniard fumbled the second with the ball stabbed wide from close range.

But Liverpool started to warm into the game and Lucas saw his goalbound shot bravely blocked by Abdoulaye Faye.

The Reds were further boosted with Delap and Faye going off injured and the substitutions seemed to disrupt the hosts.

Under-fire Benitez defends players

But while Sorensen was not called into action once in the opening 45 minutes by an unimaginative Liverpool attack that was missing injured trio Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Yossi Benayoun, the visitors were denied a penalty midway through the half.

Lucas played a neat one two with Philipp Degen but as he latched on to the return pass he was brought down by Higginbotham.

The Brazilian was booked for diving by referee Lee Mason, with replays suggested Higginbotham made no contact with the ball, much to the annoyance of manager Benitez.

But just before the hour mark Liverpool eased the pressure on Benitez with a goal they barely deserved.

Higginbotham was wrongly adjudged to have fouled Degen on the right, and from the resulting free-kick Sorensen fumbled Aurelio's inswinging cross onto Kyrgiakos and over the line.

Pulis relieved after 'scrappy' draw

Moments later Tuncay headed wide at the back post for Stoke while substitute Ricardo Fuller's flicked header from Matthew Etherington's inswinging corner was straight at Reina.

With 12 minutes left Liverpool introduced new signing Rodriguez but it was Stoke who finished strongly.

Late pressure from Stoke resulted in a last-minute corner which Higginbotham headed back across goal for the unmarked Huth to tap home at full stretch.

And deep into injury time Liverpool could have snatched a dramatic winner but forward Kuyt diving header from Aurelio's cross crashed against the post from close range.


Stoke manager Tony Pulis:
"I think it was a fair result.

"It was a scrappy game but fair play to Liverpool they were very dogged and they got about us.

"We are disappointed with the goal we conceded and are very pleased to get the point.

"It looks like Thomas could have done better but he has been superb for us all season."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Stoke 1-1 Liverpool FT
(HT 0-0)
  • Huth 90
  • Kyrgiakos 57

Stoke

Substitutes

Liverpool

Substitutes

Ref: Lee MasonAtt: 27,247
STOKE
LIVERPOOL

Possession

  • Stoke 49%
  • Liverpool 51%

Attempts on target

  • Stoke 5
  • Liverpool 3

Attempts off target

  • Stoke 1
  • Liverpool 0

Corners

  • Stoke 10
  • Liverpool 0

Fouls

  • Stoke 14
  • Liverpool 10
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+5:46 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
  • 90:00+5:09 Dirk Kuyt takes a shot.
  • 90:00+4:33 Ryan Shawcross fouled by Rodriguez Maxi, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.
  • 90:00+3:05 Corner taken by Liam Lawrence played to the near post.
  • 90:00+3:05 Booking Booking for Jose Reina for time wasting.
  • 90:00+1:09 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Javier Mascherano by Dean Whitehead. Direct free kick taken by Jose Reina.
  • 90:00+0:07 Emiliano Insua challenges Ricardo Fuller unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Matthew Etherington.
  • 89:08 Assist on the goal came from Danny Higginbotham.
  • 89:08 GOAL - Robert HuthStoke 1 - 1 Liverpool Goal scored by Robert Huth from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Stoke 1-1 Liverpool.
  • 88:48 Inswinging corner taken by Matthew Etherington from the right by-line,
  • 87:45 Inswinging corner taken by Liam Lawrence from the left by-line played to the near post, save made by Jose Reina.
  • 86:39 Robert Huth takes the direct free kick.
  • 86:39 Substitution Alberto Aquilani is brought on as a substitute for David Ngog.
  • 86:39 Rodriguez Maxi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Salif Diao.
  • 84:02 Inswinging corner taken by Matthew Etherington from the right by-line, save by Jose Reina.
  • 81:47 Foul by Dean Whitehead on Rodriguez Maxi, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.
  • 80:44 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Matthew Etherington from the right by-line to the near post, Sotirios Kyrgiakos makes a clearance.
  • 78:13 Corner from right by-line taken by Matthew Etherington.
  • 77:19 Substitution Rodriguez Maxi joins the action as a substitute, replacing Philipp Degen.
  • 74:31 Corner taken left-footed by Matthew Etherington to the near post, Ricardo Fuller takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.
  • 73:25 Free kick taken by Fabio Aurelio.
  • 73:25 Booking Salif Diao goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
  • 73:11 Salif Diao concedes a free kick for a foul on Leiva Lucas.
  • 64:57 Free kick taken by Jose Reina.
  • 64:57 Substitution Ricardo Fuller joins the action as a substitute, replacing Mamady Sidibe.
  • 64:57 Foul by Andy Wilkinson on Leiva Lucas, free kick awarded.
  • 61:45 David Ngog fouled by Andy Wilkinson, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Leiva Lucas from left wing, Thomas Sorensen makes a comfortable save.
  • 60:28 Tuncay Sanli has a header from close range and clears the crossbar.
  • 56:50 Assist on the goal came from Fabio Aurelio.
  • 56:50 GOAL - Sotirios KyrgiakosStoke 0 - 1 Liverpool Goal scored by Sotirios Kyrgiakos from close range to the bottom right corner of the goal. Stoke 0-1 Liverpool.
  • 56:18 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Philipp Degen by Danny Higginbotham. Free kick crossed by Fabio Aurelio, save made by Thomas Sorensen.
  • 54:18 Tuncay Sanli produces a cross.
  • 52:13 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mamady Sidibe by Sotirios Kyrgiakos. Free kick crossed right-footed by Liam Lawrence from left channel, Leiva Lucas manages to make a clearance.
  • 49:58 Foul by Javier Mascherano on Dean Whitehead, free kick awarded. Liam Lawrence has a direct shot on goal from the free kick. Corner taken by Liam Lawrence from the left by-line played to the near post, Sotirios Kyrgiakos manages to make a clearance.
  • 46:32 Robert Huth concedes a free kick for a foul on Philipp Degen. Javier Mascherano takes the direct free kick.
  • 45:40 Free kick awarded for a foul by Matthew Etherington on Philipp Degen. Jose Reina restarts play with the free kick.
  • 45:01 The referee starts the second half.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+3:29 The referee blows for half time.
  • 45:00+2:52 Unfair challenge on Philipp Degen by Danny Higginbotham results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Fabio Aurelio, Andy Wilkinson makes a clearance.
  • 45:00+0:31 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jamie Carragher on Matthew Etherington. Thomas Sorensen takes the direct free kick.
  • 45:00 Unfair challenge on Javier Mascherano by Dean Whitehead results in a free kick. Jose Reina takes the free kick.
  • 43:00 David Ngog concedes a free kick for a foul on Robert Huth. Direct free kick taken by Thomas Sorensen.
  • 40:48 Liam Lawrence challenges Jamie Carragher unfairly and gives away a free kick. Javier Mascherano takes the free kick.
  • 39:26 Dirk Kuyt is adjudged to have handled the ball. Robert Huth takes the direct free kick.
  • 37:29 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Liam Lawrence by Javier Mascherano. Free kick crossed right-footed by Liam Lawrence, save by Jose Reina.
  • 34:54 Corner taken by Matthew Etherington from the right by-line, clearance by Dirk Kuyt.
  • 25:59 Thomas Sorensen restarts play with the free kick.
  • 25:24 Substitution Andy Wilkinson replaces Abdoulaye Faye.
  • 24:33 Booking Booking for Leiva Lucas for unsporting behaviour.
  • 23:23 Substitution Rory Delap leaves the field to be replaced by Liam Lawrence.
  • 18:15 Shot by Leiva Lucas. Blocked by Abdoulaye Faye.
  • 17:12 The offside flag is raised against David Ngog. Ryan Shawcross takes the indirect free kick.
  • 15:45 Leiva Lucas produces a drilled right-footed shot from 20 yards. Blocked by Abdoulaye Faye.
  • 13:47 Fabio Aurelio crosses the ball.
  • 12:48 Jamie Carragher challenges Matthew Etherington unfairly and gives away a free kick. Thomas Sorensen restarts play with the free kick.
  • 12:20 Free kick awarded for a foul by Mamady Sidibe on Martin Skrtel. Javier Mascherano takes the free kick.
  • 11:46 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sotirios Kyrgiakos by Tuncay Sanli. Jose Reina takes the free kick.
  • 9:22 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jose Reina by Ryan Shawcross. Jose Reina restarts play with the free kick.
  • 6:27 Unfair challenge on Tuncay Sanli by Leiva Lucas results in a free kick. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Robert Huth.
  • 2:31 Corner taken by Matthew Etherington from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Leiva Lucas.
  • 0:00 The referee gets the match started.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 16 Jan 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 21 34 48
2 Man Utd 22 30 47
3 Arsenal 20 30 42
4 Tottenham 21 20 38
5 Man City 21 12 38
6 Aston Villa 20 11 35
7 Liverpool 21 12 34
8 Birmingham 21 2 33
9 Fulham 20 4 27
10 Everton 21 -4 26
11 Stoke 21 -7 25
12 Sunderland 21 -8 23
13 Wigan 20 -21 22
14 Blackburn 21 -18 21
15 Burnley 21 -21 20
16 Wolves 21 -21 19
17 Hull 21 -22 19
18 West Ham 20 -9 18
19 Bolton 18 -10 18
20 Portsmouth 20 -14 14

see also
Benitez insists Reds are united
16 Jan 10 |  Liverpool
Saturday football as it happened
16 Jan 10 |  Football
Saturday's football photos
16 Jan 10 |  Football
Benitez feels sorry for Reds fans
15 Jan 10 |  Liverpool
Benitez sowed seeds of demise
15 Jan 10 |  Football



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