Liverpool secured their first opening-day victory at Anfield since 2001 as goalkeeper Simon Mignolet marked his debut with a dramatic late penalty save to deny Stoke a point.

With Brendan Rodgers's side apparently cruising to their first three points of the season, Daniel Agger inexplicably handled a free-kick in the penalty area with two minutes of the match remaining. Mignolet then produced a brilliant low save to deny Stoke striker Jonathan Walters from the resultant spot-kick, as well as blocking Kenwyne Jones' follow-up.

Rodgers praises 'great performance'

Daniel Sturridge scored the only goal of the game eight minutes before half-time, drilling a low shot into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

Liverpool should have won far more comfortably as a host of chances went begging. Kolo Toure and Jordan Henderson hit the woodwork, with Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic in man-of-the-match form.

But the visitors will count themselves unfortunate not to snatch a point. Not only did they waste their late penalty chance, Robert Huth's volley thundered against the crossbar early on.

But ultimately, Liverpool were worth their victory.

Analysis

"An opening day win for Liverpool thanks to debut goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, but Stoke counterpart Asmir Begovic's man-of-the-match performance at the other end tells the real story. Liverpool should have added to Daniel Sturridge's first-half goal as chances came and went but they were deserved winners."

With the banned Luis Suarez watching with his family in the stands, either side could easily have gone into half-time with more than one goal to their name.

Liverpool dominated, even though Huth hit the crossbar after Mignolet flapped at Glenn Whelan's right-wing cross.

Debutant Iago Aspas and Philippe Coutinho were a pair of nuisances for Stoke, swapping places and eluding markers. Coutinho provided the vision and the craft, Aspas the tireless running, with Sturridge adding an incisiveness Liverpool have often lacked.

The Liverpool striker had a goal correctly ruled out early on, as he strayed marginally offside when heading Steven Gerrard's free-kick into the net. He was denied on three further occasions by the excellence of Begovic and a tremendous goal-line clearance from Stoke debutant Erik Pieters.

Kolo Toure, Simon Mignolet, Jordan Henderson

Kolo Toure and Jordan Henderson embrace Simon Mignolet

Liverpool finally found the breakthrough, with Jordan Henderson squaring the ball to Sturridge 20 yards from goal. The former Chelsea striker steadied himself and let fly with a skidding shot that went between Huth's legs and beat Begovic for pace as it crept into the bottom corner.

Stoke threatened in fits and starts, with Steven N'Zonzi an athletic and intimidating presence in midfield, and the runs of Walters stretching Liverpool on the break. The Ireland striker drew a diving save from Mignolet as half-time approached, while Lucas Leiva cleared another off the line.

Coutinho was the man pulling the strings, however. His quickness of feet and deftness of touch took him away from Stoke defenders time and again. Early in the second half, he curled a shot narrowly wide of the past with only Begovic to beat. Soon after, Henderson linked up with Aspas in the penalty area, only to see his shot tipped onto the post by the Stoke goalkeeper.

Liverpool a threat all season - Bowen

Gerrard's 35-yard free-kick was tipped over by Begovic, before the goalkeeper denied Glen Johnson from point-blank range from the resulting corner.

Substitute Charlie Adam almost hit back when he spotted Mignolet off his line from inside his own half and fired in a shot that sent the Liverpool goalkeeper racing backwards to tip the ball over the bar.

As the match ticked into the 88th minute, Agger handled a free-kick and referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the penalty spot to set up Mignolet's heroics.

Stoke assistant manager Mark Bowen:

"Jon Walters gives everything for this club, so nobody in the dressing room will do anything other than pick him up and get him ready for the next game.

"I thought it was going to be a battle and our keeper [Asmir Begovic] kept us in it at times.

"It was a case of staying in the game as long as you can because we are asking them to play a different kind of game and you hope they don't lose confidence, which I don't think they did."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (4)

Liverpool

  • 22 Mignolet
  • 02 Johnson
  • 03 Jose Enrique
  • 04 Toure Booked
  • 05 Agger
  • 08 Gerrard
  • 09 Aspas (Sterling - 72' )
  • 10 Coutinho
  • 14 Henderson
  • 21 Lucas
  • 15 Sturridge

Substitutes

  • 01 Jones
  • 47 Wisdom
  • 06 Alberto
  • 24 Allen
  • 31 Sterling
  • 33 Ibe
  • 29 Borini

Stoke City

  • 01 Begovic
  • 03 Pieters
  • 04 Huth
  • 17 Shawcross
  • 20 Cameron
  • 06 Whelan (Adam - 63' )
  • 12 Wilson
  • 15 Nzonzi Booked
  • 19 Walters
  • 25 Crouch (Jones - 81' )
  • 26 Etherington (Pennant - 63' )

Substitutes

  • 29 Sorensen
  • 05 Muniesa
  • 28 Wilkinson
  • 07 Pennant
  • 16 Adam
  • 09 Jones
  • 33 Jerome
Ref: Atkinson
Att: 44,822

Match Stats

Shots

26 10

On target

11 4

Corners

12 6

Fouls

11 11

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:15 Full time

Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows the whistle.

90:00 +2:42

Clearance made by Erik Pieters.

90:00 +2:42

The ball is swung over by Steven Gerrard.

90:00 +2:28

Steven Gerrard decides to take the corner short.

90:00 +1:57

Short corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line.

90:00 +1:28

Phillippe Coutinho takes a shot. Blocked by Erik Pieters.

90:00 +1:06

Clearance made by Erik Pieters.

90:00 +1:04

Free kick taken by Daniel Agger.

89:58

Steven Nzonzi concedes a free kick for a foul on Phillippe Coutinho.

89:50

Simon Mignolet takes the free kick.

89:18

Robert Huth challenges Simon Mignolet unfairly and gives away a free kick.

89:15

Jermaine Pennant crosses the ball in from the free kick.

88:49

Foul by Jordan Henderson on Marc Wilson, free kick awarded.

88:39

Steven Gerrard manages to make a clearance.

88:39

Corner taken by Charlie Adam from the left by-line.

88:22

Kenwyne Jones takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Simon Mignolet parries the effort to safety.

88:18 Penalty

Penalty taken by Jonathan Walters saved by Simon Mignolet. Liverpool 1-0 Stoke.

87:29

Daniel Agger is penalised for handball and concedes a .

87:21

Free kick crossed by Charlie Adam.

86:49

Foul by Raheem Sterling on Geoff Cameron, free kick awarded.

86:20

Robert Huth makes a clearance.

86:17

Centre by Jordan Henderson.

85:55

Ryan Shawcross manages to make a clearance.

85:26

Marc Wilson manages to make a clearance.

85:04

Shot by Phillippe Coutinho. Ryan Shawcross gets a block in.

84:37

Marc Wilson delivers the ball.

84:36

Glen Johnson makes a clearance.

84:11

Corner from the left by-line taken by Phillippe Coutinho.

83:51

Ryan Shawcross manages to make a clearance.

83:47

Corner taken by Steven Gerrard.

83:14

Clearance by Erik Pieters.

82:51

Clearance by Sanchez Jose Enrique.

82:47

Marc Wilson sends in a cross.

82:14

The ball is delivered by Steven Nzonzi.

81:51

Sanchez Jose Enrique makes a clearance.

81:48

Steven Gerrard makes a clearance.

81:44

Corner from the left by-line taken by Jermaine Pennant.

81:07

Charlie Adam has an effort at goal. Simon Mignolet parries the ball away.

80:29 Substitution

Substitution Kenwyne Jones on for Peter Crouch.

79:58

Sanchez Jose Enrique sends in a cross.

79:38

Free kick taken by Sanchez Jose Enrique.

79:25

Clearance made by Steven Nzonzi.

79:22

Charlie Adam makes a clearance.

79:21

Corner from the left by-line taken by Steven Gerrard.

78:58

Erik Pieters makes a clearance.

78:58

Glen Johnson takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Asmir Begovic parries the effort to safety.

78:52

Corner from the right by-line taken by Phillippe Coutinho.

78:22

Shot comes in from Steven Gerrard from the free kick. Asmir Begovic parries the ball away.

77:35

Free kick awarded for a foul by Robert Huth on Daniel Sturridge.

77:17

Clearance made by Sanchez Jose Enrique.

77:14

A cross is delivered by Jonathan Walters.

76:33

Clearance made by Ryan Shawcross.

76:32

Daniel Sturridge sends in a cross.

75:44

Free kick taken by Robert Huth.

75:27

Kolo Toure is given a yellow card.

75:27 Booking

Booking

75:19

Kolo Toure challenges Erik Pieters unfairly and gives away a free kick.

73:19

Daniel Sturridge takes the chance to get an effort at goal and missed to the right of the goal.

71:20 Substitution

Substitution (Liverpool) makes a substitution, with Raheem Sterling coming on for Iago Aspas.

70:24

Marc Wilson takes a shot. Simon Mignolet parries the effort to safety.

70:16

Clearance by Steven Nzonzi.

69:09

Peter Crouch takes the free kick.

69:04

Unfair challenge on Jonathan Walters by Steven Gerrard results in a free kick.

68:49

Simon Mignolet takes the free kick.

67:38

Free kick awarded for a foul by Robert Huth on Steven Gerrard.

67:30

Steven Gerrard manages to make a clearance.

67:26

Jermaine Pennant crosses the ball in from the free kick.

66:49

Sanchez Jose Enrique challenges Jermaine Pennant unfairly and gives away a free kick.

65:54

Marc Wilson manages to make a clearance.

65:51

Kolo Toure takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Blocked by Ryan Shawcross.

65:48

Ryan Shawcross manages to make a clearance.

65:45

Corner from the left by-line taken by Phillippe Coutinho.

65:09

Steven Gerrard takes the free kick.

64:56

Free kick awarded for a foul by Peter Crouch on Leiva Lucas.

64:18

Sanchez Jose Enrique takes a shot and missed to the right of the goal.

64:12

Jonathan Walters makes a clearance.

63:53

Ryan Shawcross makes a clearance.

63:51

Corner taken by Steven Gerrard.

63:23

Ryan Shawcross manages to make a clearance.

63:22

The ball is delivered by Glen Johnson.

63:12

Shot by Jordan Henderson. Asmir Begovic turns it away with a finger tip save.

62:45 Substitution

Substitution Glenn Whelan goes off and Charlie Adam comes on.

62:33 Substitution

Substitution Jermaine Pennant is brought on as a substitute for Matthew Etherington.

62:07

Glenn Whelan takes the chance to get an effort at goal and missed to the right of the net.

60:49

Header at goal by Iago Aspas misses to the right.

60:46

Corner from the left by-line taken by Steven Gerrard.

60:18

Daniel Sturridge has an effort at goal. A parry by Asmir Begovic prevents the goal.

59:53

Clearance made by Jordan Henderson.

59:14

Ryan Shawcross makes a clearance.

57:20

Ryan Shawcross makes a clearance.

57:12

Clearance made by Ryan Shawcross.

55:55

Jordan Henderson manages to make a clearance.

55:20

Clearance by Kolo Toure.

55:18

The ball is crossed by Erik Pieters.

54:16

The ball is swung over by Erik Pieters.

53:47

Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.

53:23

Jordan Henderson takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Asmir Begovic parries the ball away.

53:20

Daniel Sturridge takes a weak shot and missed to the right of the goal.

52:17

Erik Pieters takes the free kick.

52:04

Foul by Steven Gerrard on Peter Crouch, free kick awarded.

49:16

Clearance made by Kolo Toure.

48:59

Free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.

48:42

The referee gives a free kick against Robert Huth for handball.

47:35

Robert Huth manages to make a clearance.

46:48

Phillippe Coutinho takes a shot and went wide right of the goal.

46:43

Ryan Shawcross makes a clearance.

45:01

The second half kicks off.

45:00 +1:08 Half time

Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.

45:00 +0:59

Header by Geoff Cameron misses to the right of the target.

45:00 +0:56

Corner from the left by-line taken by Matthew Etherington.

45:00 +0:50

Clearance by Glen Johnson.

45:00 +0:46

Simon Mignolet makes a clearance.

45:00 +0:45

Matthew Etherington crosses the ball.

45:00 +0:40

The ball is swung over by Geoff Cameron.

45:00 +0:07

Clearance made by Jordan Henderson.

45:00 +0:04

Ryan Shawcross takes a shot. Leiva Lucas gets a block in.

45:00 +0:01

Corner taken by Matthew Etherington.

44:43

Clearance made by Sanchez Jose Enrique.

44:39

Robert Huth gets a header at goal. Daniel Agger gets a block in.

44:36

Glenn Whelan crosses the ball in from the free kick.

43:56 Booking

Booking

43:56

The referee books Steven Nzonzi for unsporting behaviour.

43:53

Unfair challenge on Jonathan Walters by Leiva Lucas results in a free kick.

43:25

Phillippe Coutinho takes a shot. Asmir Begovic catches the ball.

43:13

The ball is crossed by Iago Aspas.

43:02

Corner taken by Steven Gerrard.

42:03

Header by Robert Huth misses left.

42:00

Corner from the right by-line taken by Matthew Etherington.

41:32

Jonathan Walters takes a shot. A parry by Simon Mignolet prevents the goal.

40:28

Sanchez Jose Enrique takes the free kick.

40:18

Geoff Cameron gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Phillippe Coutinho.

40:04

Ryan Shawcross takes the free kick.

39:57

Steven Nzonzi fouled by Iago Aspas, the ref awards a free kick.

38:48

Clearance by Erik Pieters.

37:57

Foul by Sanchez Jose Enrique on Jonathan Walters, free kick awarded.

36:48

Assist by Iago Aspas.

36:48 Goal scored

Goal! - Daniel Sturridge - Liverpool 1 - 0 Stoke Daniel Sturridge slots the ball left footed into the goal. Liverpool 1-0 Stoke.

36:23

Glenn Whelan makes a clearance.

36:22

A cross is delivered by Steven Gerrard.

36:09

Robert Huth makes a clearance.

36:08

Iago Aspas crosses the ball.

36:04

Daniel Sturridge takes a shot. Asmir Begovic fumbles the ball.

34:56

Sanchez Jose Enrique makes a clearance.

34:47

Ryan Shawcross restarts play with the free kick.

34:14

Foul by Daniel Agger on Peter Crouch, free kick awarded.

34:01

Jordan Henderson takes a shot. Asmir Begovic parries the ball away.

33:42

Sanchez Jose Enrique takes a shot. Geoff Cameron gets a block in.

33:31

Clearance by Erik Pieters.

31:59

Kolo Toure makes a clearance.

29:39

Clearance by Phillippe Coutinho.

29:21

Steven Gerrard makes a clearance.

28:18

Steven Gerrard takes a fantastic shot and goes harmlessly over the bar.

28:17

Sanchez Jose Enrique takes a shot. Asmir Begovic parries the effort to safety.

28:07

Clearance by Marc Wilson.

25:41

Clearance by Jordan Henderson.

24:49

Sanchez Jose Enrique takes the free kick.

24:35

Geoff Cameron concedes a free kick for a foul on Phillippe Coutinho.

22:49

Phillippe Coutinho takes a shot and goes harmlessly over the bar.

19:31

Iago Aspas has an effort at goal. Asmir Begovic parries the effort to safety.

19:00

Matthew Etherington makes a clearance.

18:56

Clearance by Steven Nzonzi.

17:55

The ball is delivered by Geoff Cameron.

17:10

Clearance made by Steven Gerrard.

16:44

Daniel Agger restarts play with the free kick.

16:28

Peter Crouch gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Daniel Agger.

16:14

Marc Wilson manages to make a clearance.

15:59

Erik Pieters makes a clearance.

15:57

The ball is sent over by Glen Johnson.

13:51

Clearance by Geoff Cameron.

13:50

The ball is delivered by Glen Johnson.

13:36

Clearance made by Erik Pieters.

13:35

The ball is sent over by Daniel Sturridge.

12:32

Daniel Sturridge takes the chance to get an effort at goal and missed to the right of the goal.

12:30

Header at goal by Kolo Toure hits the bar.

12:26

Corner from the right by-line taken by Steven Gerrard.

12:04

Clearance by Erik Pieters.

11:32

Clearance made by Leiva Lucas.

11:20

Free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.

10:52

The offside flag is raised against Daniel Sturridge.

10:12

Glen Johnson fouled by Matthew Etherington, the ref awards a free kick.

10:07

Geoff Cameron manages to make a clearance.

10:06

Centre by Glen Johnson.

9:50

Glenn Whelan makes a clearance.

7:53

Robert Huth takes the chance to get an effort at goal and hits the bar.

7:46

Glenn Whelan crosses the ball.

7:37

Corner taken by Matthew Etherington.

7:10

Clearance by Sanchez Jose Enrique.

6:58

Marc Wilson makes a clearance.

6:55

Corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the left by-line.

6:27

Jonathan Walters manages to make a clearance.

6:18

Marc Wilson manages to make a clearance.

6:14

Free kick crossed by Steven Gerrard.

5:52

Leiva Lucas fouled by Steven Nzonzi, the ref awards a free kick.

5:24

Erik Pieters makes a clearance.

5:15

Glen Johnson takes a shot. Blocked by Robert Huth.

2:48

Marc Wilson manages to make a clearance.

2:22

Clearance made by Glenn Whelan.

1:53

Clearance made by Ryan Shawcross.

1:52

Steven Gerrard restarts play with the free kick.

1:26

Geoff Cameron gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Phillippe Coutinho.

1:03

Erik Pieters manages to make a clearance.

0:38

Free kick taken by Marc Wilson.

0:29

Leiva Lucas challenges Glenn Whelan unfairly and gives away a free kick.

0:00

The referee gets the match started.

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