Rodgers hails attacking show

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers hailed his side's attacking display as they got the better of Stoke City 5-3 at the Britannia Stadium - but admitted his side had benefited from a "soft" penalty.

Last Updated: 14/01/14 at 11:40 Post Comment

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The Reds moved back into the top four as they finally picked up their first Premier League success at the Britannia Stadium after an all-action encounter with Stoke.

Liverpool raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to an own goal from Ryan Shawcross and a Luis Suarez striker before former Reds stars Peter Crouch and Charlie Adam drew Stoke level before the break.

Steven Gerrard restored Liverpool's lead from the penalty spot and Suarez added a fourth before Jon Walters set up a dramatic finale.

However, the returning Daniel Sturridge scored his side's fifth goal as Liverpool withheld a Stoke fightback to take all three points and Rodgers was delighted with his side's character.

"Well I thought they were brilliant," Rodgers told Sky Sports. "We made mistakes defensively which wasn't so good and we will assess that. but to come here and get five goals and I think it is the first time Liverpool have won here in the Premier League so to do that score the goals we done and put in the work and effort that we did was fantastic so I am delighted for the players.

"I think you could see that I think the aggression in our game and we were really offensive in our play today, but we are disappointed we went to 2-0 in the first 38 minutes it was the perfect away performance we then lost our concentration and all of a sudden it's back to 2-2.

"But again we went out in the second half and we went again showed the character of the team and to finish up on the offensive and you need to defend of course moments that is what you do here it is notoriously difficult place to come.

"But to play how we played and get five and maybe score one or two more makes me very, very happy."

Rodgers conceded the penalty that got Liverpool back in front in the second half - awarded after Raheem Sterling went down under light contact from Marc Wilson - was a bit of a gift from the referee.

"I think it was soft if I am being honest," admitted Rodgers. "I think it's one where if you are the attacking team you are happy to get it.

"I would call that a 'Spanish' penalty, one when you watch European football where the attacker goes into the defender - the defender obviously doesn't get the ball but the contact puts him over.

"We took that and that gave us the momentum in the game again at 3-2 and from that we were able to kick on."

Rodgers also hailed the performance of captain Gerrard, who operated in deep-lying position alongside Lucas in the Liverpool midfield.

"Well he is a very influential player," noted Rodgers.

"I think you see in his range of pass he is someone I feel that has the profile to play that role how he co-ordinates the game, his range of passing, his leadership, his personality.

"You need a player with big personality to play in that controlling role because you are on the ball a lot you've got to make choices whether to play deep, whether to play short and I thought he was outstanding in that."

Rodgers also had words of praise for Sturridge after he marked his return from injury with a goal and an assist.

"I thought he was outstanding as well coming in having been out so long his pace, his movement for his goal was brilliant.

"Well you can see for Luis' goal in the second half just his pace takes him away a great bit of skill to come inside and work it around the corner and Luis does what he does which is finish.

"Both of them are really, really outstanding players and anyone will tell you the top players can play with each other."

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till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

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would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

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ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

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