Another weekend and another crucial game, today the Redmen were heading to the KC Stadium to face a team who had European prospects towards the start of the season but are now fighting for survival, Hull City.
Going into any game without our skipper Steven Gerrard is always going to be tricky, the eight goal thriller’s against both Chelsea in the European Cup and Arsenal in the league proved that. However, Hull are a whole other beast, a team fighting for survival and, in my opinion, the strongest team facing the looming possibility of relegation. Just to add to that they’re on their home turf, the KC Stadium where their fans, as our fans do at Anfield, will try and make it hard for any team paying them a visit.
The Reds started well, dominating the play with some magnificent runs from Yossi Benayoun and a few great chances for Fernando Torres to make an impact on proceedings. The combination of the two players was simply brilliant, Yossi Benayoun looks more and more like a modern-day Peter Beardsley and with Fernando Torres up-front that could be a lethal combination in the future.
Hull got back into the game toward the middle of the first half, with a few good chances and lots of possession. Whilst they never made it too uncomfortable for the visiting title contenders they did offer something that was worth noting down on Rafa’s little pad of paper we seem him scribbling on game after game.
Half time was on the horizon with the score still level, either team had made a good few chances but no one had really dominated the game. In the 42nd minute Javier Mascherano went down under pressure just outside the box and was awarded a controversial free-kick. Xabi Alonso stepped up, only for the ball to be deflected back to him from his shot towards the bottom corner. From there he took a few step before hitting a wonderful shot into the corner just before half-time, 1-0 Liverpool.
The second half started off pretty scrappy, with possession switching frequently between either team. Hull made a break on goal, with Caleb Folan pressing Martin Skrtel who went down under pressure. Folan then went onto kick Skrtel while he was down, leading to a straight red-card for the Hull Player.
Midway into the second-half Martin Skrtel chipped the ball up and into the box straight onto the head of Dirk Kuyt who placed it perfectly into the back of the Hull net. Two-nil up against a ten man Hull, many would consider this game over and a Liverpool win. However, you can’t write Hull off, after all they are fighting for survival. Geovanni placed the ball into an open Liverpool net as Pepe Reina struggled to get across, questions could be asked about where young left-back Insua was.
Hull continued to push to try and get a desperately needed one point. The pressure on the Liverpool defense forced normally calm players to make some silly mistakes, including some bad goalkeeping decisions from Pepe Reina when the Reds were faced with a set piece .
As the pressure mounted ten minutes before the end of the game Liverpool made a break. A ball from the right latched onto the head of Dirk Kuyt who got his second goal of the game, now the game was really over, with only five minutes plus stoppage time left before the final whistle blew at the KC Stadium.
Final score: Hull City 1-3 Liverpool, over to you Manchester United.