Liverpool see off Stoke challenge

Updated: March 19, 2012

Liverpool progressed to the semi finals of the FA cup campaign with a hard fought win over Stoke.

Top class finishes from Luis Suarez and Stewart Downing in either half was enough to see Liverpool 2-1 with Stoke’s response coming from Peter Crouch.

Uruguayan Suarez opened the scoring for the Reds in the 23rd minute, with a cracking curling effort from outside the box.

However the lead only lasted three minutes when Crouch found plenty of space in the Liverpool box to head home a Matthew Etherington corner.

Former Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing has admitted that he has struggled at Anfield however the 27 year old has started to find his form of late and he made it 2-1 to Liverpool in the 57th minute when he finished well.

Downing played a fortunate one two with Steven Gerrard before evading three Stoke defenders to somehow fire past Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen.

Suarez almost made it 3-1 with a swerving shot however Sorensen was equal to his effort.

Stoke pushed for an equaliser as the game died out but despite seeing plenty of the ball, they rarely threatened in the final third and Liverpool comfortably held on.

Liverpool will play the winners off Everton and Sunderland in the semi-final at Wembley for a place in the final.

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