Liverpool held by Hull

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:38

Liverpool held by Hull

The Reds bossed possession in the match but were unable to convert that into many meaningful scoring opportunities as their struggles following the departure of Luis Suarez and absence of Daniel Sturridge continued.

After Liverpool’s comprehensive 3-0 defeat by Real Madrid on Wednesday, this result will do little to improve the mood of Brendan Rodgers, who watched under-fire striker Mario Balotelli struggle once again.

The game’s first chance came in the tenth minute when Dejan Lovren rose highest to head Steven Gerrard’s corner goalwards but Ahmed Elmohamady cleared off the line with Tigers goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic well beaten.

Liverpool threatened again soon after when Raheem Sterling’s clever through ball put Mario Balotelli in behind but the Italian’s shot was turned aside by Jakupovic.

The home side had a penalty appeal waved away when James Chester appeared to hack Adam Lallana down after the England midfielder had crossed the ball but referee Neil Swarbrick was unmoved.

Jake Livermore had the chance to put the visitors ahead on 42 minutes after Hatem Ben Arfa cut the ball back from the by-line but the former Tottenham man’s shot from 12 yards was straight at Simon Mignolet.

The Tigers threatened again just before the break when Tom Huddlestone’s fizzing left-footed half-volley from outside the box was deflected just past Mignolet’s post by Martin Skrtel.

Steven Gerrard came close to breaking the deadlock on the hour mark when he hit Sterling’s clever lay-off first time but his curling half-volley flashed just wide.

Balotelli almost scored soon after when he hurled himself at Lovren’s flick-on from a Gerrard corner but Hull scrambled the ball clear and Sterling’s follow-up shot was off target.

Lovren missed a good chance for the home side on 73 minutes when Balotelli squared the ball to him but he swung and missed the ball with his left foot from six yards out.

Substitute Phillipe Coutinho had a chance to snatch three points for Liverpool but he was unable to keep his header from Gerrard’s free kick down after Jakupovic got the faintest of touches.

The Anfield faithful had a loud appeal for a penalty shortly afterwards after Balotelli appeared to be bundled over by Alex Bruce in the box but Swarbrick waved it off.

Gerrard was denied by a last-ditch tackle from Chester and Jakupovic did well to tip a rasping Coutinho effort over in injury-time but Hull held on to claim a point despite a frantic final push from Liverpool, which included Balotelli missing from three yards with just about the final kick.
Matt Le Tissier’s verdict
Mario Balotelli isn’t going to do himself any favours. It wasn’t a performance that says ‘keep me in the team next week’. He had a real good chance in the last couple of seconds and the goalkeeper made a good save, but on first viewing it looked as though it was going to be a goal all day long and perhaps should have been. He also went down for a penalty when his first touch let him down and there was minimal contact. It wasn’t a penalty for me. For the whole afternoon, he didn’t really look like somebody who was trying to prove a point after what happened in the week. He looked a little bit casual about things.
Liverpool did not create loads. There were probably only three or four attempts on target in the whole game. Hull defended pretty well. Last week they hung in for a long time against Arsenal and they did the exact same thing. It was a very solid defensive display by them.

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