Rafa's Reds held by toothless Tigers

Liverpool's dismal season ended as it began, with a whimper, as they were second best in a goalless draw at relegated Hull on Sunday.

Last Updated: 09/05/10 at 18:46 Post Comment

Dawson: Gets stuck in

Dawson: Gets stuck in

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

If this was to be Rafael Benitez's last match in charge - and his future remains very much in doubt - it would be a sad end to his Anfield reign.

Hull had the better chances with Mark Cullen missing two close-range chances in the first half, while the closest Liverpool came was when Alberto Aquilani hit the crossbar just before the interval and Steven Gerrard a post moments before the final whistle.

It was the Reds' worst finish to a season since they came seventh in 1999.

The writing was on the wall from the moment they lost their opening match at Tottenham - the team who have replaced them in the Champions League places - and their efforts at the KC Stadium showed they had actually got worse since then.

Jack Robinson, 16, was sent on as a late substitute and became the Merseysiders' youngest first-team player in the process, though the Liverpool fans had little else to cheer.

With both sides having little to play for - at best Liverpool could finish sixth, their worst league performance since 1999 - the opening exchanges lacked any real urgency.

However, young Tigers midfielder Tom Cairney was relieved when his interception of Ryan Babel's pass to Nabil El Zhar, starting for the first time this season, flew wide of Matt Duke's left post.

That was a lot closer than Sotirios Kyrgiakos came with his header from Gerrard's corner, with the ball rolling out for a throw-in feet from where the Liverpool captain had delivered it.

El Zhar was at least trying to make the most of his opportunity and a right-foot 20-yard shot was tipped over by Duke in the 18th minute.

From Gerrard's corner the Moroccan's mis-hit shot bounced up to Dirk Kuyt whose back-header was nodded over the crossbar by George Boateng on the goalline.

Aquilani, who had been quiet all half, side-footed just wide from a weak Hull clearance in the 28th minute while Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink headed straight into Jose Reina's hands as both teams continued to create nothing more than half-chances.

Cullen should have twice put Hull ahead in the space of a minute but wasted two glorious openings from close range.

First Cairney's deflected shot found the striker on the edge of the six-yard area but he allowed the ball to get trapped under his feet and Daniel Agger recovered to dispossess him.

Then Cullen rose unchallenged to head Will Atkinson's cross wide from an even shorter distance.

Aquilani should have done better than hit the crossbar in added time from 12 yards out while Agger blazed the rebound high into the crowd.

Six minutes after the interval Vennegoor of Hesselink diverted Bernard Mendy's right-wing cross past Reina but wide of the far post from a narrow angle.

All that needed to be said about the quality on show was evident when Hull fans began a conga early in the second half.

But in truth the home fans had more to cheer about and they were almost celebrating when Mendy tested Reina from 35 yards and the Spain goalkeeper had to tip the ball wide.

In the closing stages most of the pressure was exerted by Hull, with Andy Dawson going close with a low shot from a quickly-taken free-kick.

Robinson made his record-making appearance with three minutes to go, replacing Babel, but it was probably the only bright spot on yet another desperately disappointing day for Liverpool.

Gerrard, whose body language told its own tale, fired just wide and also hit the post before the end but Benitez's side never really threatened throughout.

Whether Gerrard and Benitez are around to repair the damage next season remains to be seen but even if they are they will need plenty of reinforcements and, given the state of the club's finances, that seems a remote possibility.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Monday, 18 August 2014
20:00
Burnley 1-3 Chelsea Report
Sunday, 17 August 2014
16:00
Newcastle 0-2 Man City Report
13:30
Liverpool 2-1 Southampton Report
Saturday, 16 August 2014
17:30
Arsenal 2-1 C Palace Report
15:00
Leicester 2-2 Everton Report
QPR 0-1 Hull City Report
Stoke 0-1 A Villa Report
West Brom 2-2 S'land Report
West Ham 0-1 Tottenham Report
12:45
Man Utd 1-2 Swansea Report

Barclays Premier League

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 1 2 3
2 Man City 1 2 3
3 Arsenal 1 1 3
4 Liverpool 1 1 3
5 Swansea 1 1 3
6 A Villa 1 1 3
7 Hull City 1 1 3
8 Tottenham 1 1 3
9 Everton 1 0 1
10 Leicester 1 0 1
11 S'land 1 0 1
12 West Brom 1 0 1
13 C Palace 1 -1 0
14 Man Utd 1 -1 0
15 Southampton 1 -1 0
16 QPR 1 -1 0
17 Stoke 1 -1 0
18 West Ham 1 -1 0
19 Burnley 1 -2 0
20 Newcastle 1 -2 0

Updated Tue, 19 Aug 2014

Footer 365

Transfer news: Marco Reus said to have turned down move to Manchester United

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has told Onda Cero that Marco Reus rejected a move to Man Utd this summer.

Transfer News: Swansea complete deal for Napoli defender Federico Fernandez

Swansea City have signed defender Federico Fernandez from Napoli for an undisclosed fee.

FIFA committee rejects Barcelona's appeal against transfer ban

Barcelona will be unable to sign new players in the next two windows after a FIFA committee upheld their transfer ban.

Mail Box

Mailbox: Feeling Sorry For Poor TC23

If there's one loser in all the machinations at Man United, it's poor TC23. We have mercifully few mails on United, but lots on Arsenal and in particular Olivier Giroud...

Dear Brendan, Please Sign Di Maria

That's the request to Brendan Rodgers in the mailbox, and not just because it would annoy Man United fans. Plus, more thoughts on why Arsenal didn't want Cescy back...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property