Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said he is delighted with his team’s performance after beating Stoke 1-0 in the first game of the new Premier League season.
With the added pressure of being the first team to host a Premier League match in the 2013/14 season, as well as the first televised Premier League game on BT Sport, the Reds brushed aside Stoke thanks to a first half winner from Daniel Sturridge.
It was new signing Simon Mignolet who saved the day, though, keeping out a Jonathan Walters penalty and Kenwyne Jones rebound.
Sturridge actually managed to find the net twice, having an early goal chalked off for offside, with both sides striking the bar in the opening half hour – Robert Huth for Stoke and Kolo Toure on debut at the other end.
Speaking after the match, Rodgers was pleased that the team’s hard work during pre-season paid off with an opening day win.
"Top of the league, here we go,” said Rodgers.
“Delighted, delighted for the players, the work they put in over the course of the pre-season and the focus and concentration and everything that was thrown at them and at the club, to come out and play like that, create as many chances and to get the win was delighted.”
Rodgers praised goalkeeper Mignolet for a match-winning performance.
“He made three terrific saves in the game.
“He had done his homework, he knows where all the penalty takes were going and he made a good first save and then, obviously, second action to get up and make the double save was impressive.”
Liverpool now travel to Aston Villa next weekend hoping to start the season off in impressive style with back-to-back wins.