Match Report: LIVERPOOL 5 VS 1 HULL CITY Reds maintain deadly form
Going into this match, Liverpool had several concerns playing “lesser” sides and winning – we’d defeated Barcelona but lost to Mainz; we’d defeated Arsenal but lost to Burnley now on the back of a very famous league win at Stamford Bridge, Kop faithful could only hope this trend wouldn’t persist as we squared up against a determined Hull City side.
Our 4-3-3 formation seemed set in stone with virtually no changes to our starting XI save a surprise feature by Loris Karius stepping in for Simon Mignolet. The triple threat of Mane, Firmino, and Coutinho looked to cause the Tigers all sorts of problems from the balls supplied by our gallant midfield trio of WIjnaldum, Lallana, and Henderson. The back four of Clyne, Matip, Klavan, and Milner looked to keep Loris Karius comfortable between the sticks; Emre Can would get called in later in the match as well as Marko Grujic and Daniel Sturridge coming off our bench in the second half.
The stage was set and fingers crossed for what was a must-win encounter if this fifth wind we’re on was to continue, we had to stomp convincingly on lower sides (hard in the EPL) but tasks are tasks and Klopp’s today was to lay waste to Hull if he could.
And lay waste he did with an absolute stunning display of speed, skill, composure, and pure craft as the Reds held on to the ball miserly for all 90 minutes giving just 26% of ball time to the Tigers. It was a power-packed meet with Klopp’s men wasting no time, as they did in the Chelsea match, to let their intentions known with great possession football, fantastic build-up play, and attacks that seemed to come up from anywhere and at any time, no team would have withstood this kind of pressure, definitely not like this with the goal coming almost at the same time our first at Stamford Bridge – a left footed strike from Lallana doing the damage after a nice assist from Coutinho who made a mockery of Hull’s defenses before feeding the ball to Lallana who made no mistake finding the bottom right corner.
Not long after, the second came calling when Ahmed Elmohamady got the boot after deliberately handling the ball and stopping a Coutinho strike; it was to be easy pickings for James Milner as he stepped on to the spot as he’d done before to dispatch the penalty and effectively putting the game to bed before the final whistle. Yeah – 11 battle-tested, goal-hungry Liverpool side against a 10-man just demoralized Hull City – no math to be done here, the game was over but just in case any doubts lingered a goal went in just 5 minutes later to quell it when Lallana showed how timid Hull’s defenses were on the edge of the area before passing the ball to Sadio Mane who, with a superb turn and shoot, sent a low finish to the corner for our third of the day before the half time whistle (could have been four if we were more efficient but 3 was good).
It wouldn’t be a Liverpool match without at least one very soft goal after just three glorious attempts just minutes after the second half whistle from Henderson, Clyne, and Mane the goal was to go to the Tigers after Milner let the ball control him instead of the other way round to gift a corner to the visitors who made no mistake with the set piece with a nice headed pass by Harry Maguire finding David Meyler in the center of the box, and the Hull City man sent a right footed strike to the bottom corner. 3-1.
With the Kop still reeling and wondering if two more defensive blunders from Liverpool would pave the way for a Hull comeback, Coutinho just two minutes after Meyler’s goal silenced the visitors with a stunning curler from 25 yards, beating the keeper and finding the bottom right corner to restore Kop confidence. Liverpool would then make the man deficit count with some fine possession football, luring the Tigers out wide, stretching them to their limits while starving them of any kind of momentum while creating chances at will.
Our fifth and final goal was to come in the form of a penalty after substitute Sturridge drew a foul from Andrew Robertson in the box; Milner stepped up and sent a composed finish to the bottom right corner to put the cherry on a very fine Liverpool display in front of the home fans.
That was to be the final nail in the coffin for the Tigers as Liverpool walked away with all three points into the top four equal on points with Arsenal and Everton, four points away from the top (Manchester City) after six matches.
Man Of the Match: Very close call with lots of choices but for me it came down to three men – PhillipeCoutinho, Adam Lallana, and Sadio Mane but Lallana takes it with a superb display that kept the Tigers on their backs and guessing while getting in a goal and two assists.