Stoke hit Liverpool for six
24th May 2015 3pm
Stoke City annihilated Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium to end a record breaking season, with a record breaking day.
The Potters hit Brendan Rogers` men for six, as they recorded their biggest victory since 1966 to bring down the curtain on another impressive season under Mark Hughes.
Goals from Mame Biram Diouf (2), Jonathan Walters, Charlie Adam, Steven N`Zonzi and Peter Crouch sent the Britannia Stadium faithful into dreamland.
A consolation from Steven Gerrard on his final appearance in a Liverpool shirt was the only respite for the travelling fans on an otherwise disastrous day.
From the minute go, Brendan Rogers seem to get everything wrong, firstly deploying a starting eleven at the Britannia Stadium without a recognised striker. Lallana lead the line for Liverpool, and was duly redundant in the game as the likes of Shawcross and Muniesa nipped any threat from him in the bud.
There were early signs of encouragement for Liverpool if truth were to be told, with Coutinho managing to wriggle free in the Potters box, only for him to fire wide. It would be Liverpool`s only real sight of goal in the first half.
On the 22nd minute, Mark Hughes` men began their onslaught on Liverpool. Marko Arnautovic added Emre Can to the list of full backs he`s made to look like Sunday league footballers as he skipped past the German before finding Charlie Adam on the edge of the box, who hit a strong shot straight at Mignolet, who could only parry to Mame Biram Diouf, who fired high into the roof of the net to give Stoke the lead.
Diouf would soon double the Potters lead and bring his tally of goals to 12 in his debut season. Once again it was Arnautovic who beat Can on the left wing and found Diouf on the edge of the area who smashed through Mignolet.
Another five minutes passed and Stoke had made it three, Jonathan Walters this time, who has a real knack of scoring past Liverpool. Charlie Adam found space on the right hand side and crossed deep to the far post, seemingly past everyone, but Can, who was having a nightmare inexplicably headed the ball back across the goal, where Walters managed to control and fire at the keeper Mignolet, with the rebound falling back to the Everton fan who header home from 6-yards out.
Liverpool`s players were completely flabbergasted with Stoke`s rampant first half display, and there was time for it to get worse for the dejected Anfield outfit.
Former Liverpool player Adam snatched the ball off a lumbering Lucas before getting his head and driving towards goal and unleashing a fierce accurate strike into the bottom corner of the net from 20-yards out to make it four.
Liverpool had never conceded four first half goals in the Premier League, but they would concede five, as anything the Potters touched seemed to end up in the back of Simon Mignolet`s goal.
It was Steven N`Zonzi`s turn to get on the score sheet. Stoke`s Player of the season picked the ball up in the midfield and started on one of his characteristic surging runs, unopposed the Frenchman was able to stroke the ball into the top corner of the net and leave the Potters faithful ecstatic yet stunned at a superb first half performance.
Brendan Rogers` tried to get his team back into the team by removing the awful Can and his fellow full back Alberto Moreno and bring on Jordan Ibe and Kolo Toure.
The changes did seem to help the Reds to nullify some of the Stoke threat as they began to dominate possession, but in areas which the Potters were happy to allow.
Liverpool were to get on the score sheet, and in a fitting way. Gerrard made a late surging run that the Premier League has seen numerous times in his illustrious career and managed to get on the end of a flick on before flicking the ball past Begovic to end his Anfield career with a goal. A gentle around of applause from the whole stadium was a nice touch for the departing Liverpool captain.
The goal seemed to ignite some fight in the Liverpool side that had been lacking throughout the game, which saw a number of other chances created but to no avail.
There was still time for the Potters to a sixth goal, which saw even more records broken. The impressive Diouf ran onto an Adam pass on the left wing, who managed to cross well with his weaker foot, which saw the ever willing Peter Crouch attack superbly and power home with his head, to give Liverpool their worst ever Premier League defeat and give himself the record of the most headed Premier League goals from Alan Shearer.
A superb victory for the Potters, to end another brilliant season under Mark Hughes.