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Sunday, 18 August 2013

News Media Watch from Liverpool FC: Mail: Few as loud as this

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Mail: Few as loud as this
Aug 18th 2013, 09:53

This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

Even during the glory days, there cannot have been many reactions as loud as this.

Yet Liverpool had not scored another goal. Thanks to Simon Mignolet's minor miracle, they did not need to.

Daniel Sturridge, energetic and threatening all match, had found his reward in the 37th minute, when he drilled a low finish through Huth's legs past Asmir Begovic.

It turned out to be decisive, though by the end most in attendance only thought there was one match-winner, Mignolet the Magnificent.

He had finished his indifferent first half with a stretching save to deny Jon Walters the success his drive deserved.

If Walters was frustrated then, he was tearing his hair out in those dying minutes. Liverpool had failed to put the match to bed.

Begovic made a series of stunning saves and Kolo Toure struck Stoke's crossbar. But the crowd was nervous, and when Stoke won a free-kick, ex-Reds midfielder Charlie Adam swung his 87th-minute delivery goalwards.

Instinctively, Daniel Agger threw out an arm when he could not reach the ball with his head and referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the spot.

As Walters stepped up, Mignolet stood defiantly tall.There was a hush as the Irishman advanced and struck his penalty crisply. Then came the assault on the eardrums, as Mignolet leapt low to his right and palmed his remarkable save back out into no-man's-land. But the danger was not over.

Stoke substitute Kenwyne Jones threatened to convert the rebound, but the athletic Belgian threw himself at the ball and did enough to deny Stoke, prompting a second earsplitting roar.

Why was that roar so deafening? Because Liverpool fans are so desperate for success, so determined not to be left behind by the big boys.

When the final whistle blew, we could forget that Jordan Henderson had hit a post when brilliantly set up by new striker Iago Aspas. Or all the chances Sturridge missed to add to his total. Forget everything but that defining moment, when miraculous Mignolet made it a dream debut.

'You always pick the corner to go to and today I picked the right one,' he said. 'I kept a clean sheet, which is the important thing. Today it worked, I'm really pleased with it.'

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers tried to summon up some more dramatic sentences, praising his team despite 'everything they'd had thrown at them' pre-season.

But if Mignolet can produce saves like these every week, the Reds should be in the mix for those Champions League places.

As for Stoke, you fear for them. If left-back Erik Pieters is their best new signing they will lack depth, whatever passing ethic manager Mark Hughes tries to introduce.

'Can't do the press conference,' said Hughes. 'Plane to catch.' And a striker to watch ... hopefully one who scores penalties with ease. 

Poor Walters has missed three of his last five penalties and was the only player to have missed more than one spot-kick last season. 

'It wasn't a bad penalty, just a good save,' insisted assistant manager Mark Bowen. More than good. Our eardrums, still ringing with the glorious reaction to it, serve as a happy reminder to all who were present.

Source: Mail Online

This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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