Forward Raheem Sterling scored his first Liverpool goal to give manager Brendan Rodgers his maiden home win in the Barclays Premier League against his former club Reading. The England Under-21 winger, at 17 years and 317 days old, became the club’s second-youngest Premier League goalscorer behind Michael Owen.
The first half was almost all Liverpool but the hosts lacked a cutting edge in front of goal. Sterling found himself in the best attacking positions on several occasions but only managed to get a shot on target once. Left-back Glen Johnson was also enjoying a lot of possession in the final third but he looked more threatening when cutting inside on his right foot.
During an injury break for Reading’s Jem Karacan, who was eventually forced off by the effect of Steven Gerrard’s block tackle, Rodgers took the opportunity to pass on some advice to Sterling.
Whatever he said appeared to have the desired effect as in the 29th minute Sterling made the breakthrough.
Luis Suarez’s delicate flick-on was seized on by Sterling, who raced through the inside-right channel and fired a shot across Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy and into the far corner of the net.
The second half was less than a minute old when Sterling should have made it 2-0, having turned smartly in the penalty area but he fired straight at the goalkeeper.
Suarez could have doubled the lead not long after, but only found McCarthy with his shot when he could have squared to the unmarked Nuri Sahin.
Liverpool were almost caught by a swift counter-attack with substitute Gareth McCleary forcing a save from Brad Jones, making his first league start for the club in the absence of the injured Jose Reina.
The home side redoubled their efforts as Martin Skrtel flashed a header wide and Gerrard saw a narrow-angle shot squeeze through McCarthy’s fingers but wide of a post.
Further chances fell to Johnson, Suarez, who missed from 10 yards, and Gerrard but none was converted. Reading couldn’t find a way through the Liverpool defence and Brendan Rodgers’ men go into next week’s Merseyside derby with another win under their belt.
|13 Jan 2013||v Man Utd (A)|
|21 Apr 2013||v Chelsea (H)|
|05 May 2013||v Everton (H)|
|25 Nov 2012||v Swansea (A)|
|28 Nov 2012||v Spurs (A)|
|11 Feb 2013||v West Brom (H)|