LIVERPOOL 5-1 Hull
Liverpool get victory in Anfield with the sun shining bright, Liverpool get the win that we knew we could get against this side, under the right conditions and playing to our peak performances.
Klopp’s squad was changed from the way we lined up against Derby, but this wasn’t a cup match against a Championship side. For full on Premier League action we had Milner at left back, Matip replaced Lucas (who hasn’t been on the best form recently anyway) and it looks like Karius has kept his position, but hasn’t continued keeping clean sheets for his second consecutive games as starting Liverpool goalkeeper. There still should be some healthy competition between Karius and Mignolet over who will deserve to be Liverpool’s first choice goalkeeper. Form and clean sheets will matter as they both prove themselves to keep on being selected as that Number 1.
The first half and indeed most of the game was dominated by Liverpool. We didn’t let Hull get near enough to our penalty area for shots on goal mostly, our defence worked hard to keep us as the team in control. Liverpool were aware of the threats and dealt with them accordingly.
It took only 17 minutes to convert our pressing strategy (also known as “Gegen-Pressing”, partial German translation meaning to counter-press or counter-attack) into a goal. Lallana recieved the ball he would place into the low far right hand corner of the net from Coutinho, as the Brazilian had been pressing further and futher towards the penalty area but eventually got closed down and needed to assist rather than score this goal. Good build up, teamwork was necessary and paid off to give Liverpool a lead. Liverpool 1-0 Hull
Liverpool knew Hull could possibly score against them and so seemed to be focused on seeking a second goal that would stop Hull equalising as easily. Less than quarter of an hour later, there would be a game changing decision from the match officials though. A shot from Liverpool that was on target and on it’s way into the net, was stopped by the arm of Hull’s Elmohamady, who was sent off for his deliberate handball and the penalty kick awarded to Liverpool. Milner would step up to take it, as he has done for many other set pieces. His experience proved to be valuable and he was cool and calm as he put the ball to the goalkeeper’s right, powering home his shot from 12 yards to make it Liverpool 2-0 Hull.
Liverpool weren’t done scoring in this half as just six minutes later, Sadio Mané had decided he wasn’t going to let Lallana and Milner claim all the glory as he got his own goal for Liverpool too. By just half time, Liverpool looked like they’d never be caught even for an equaliser and a possible draw.
Hull had a better start to the second half than they did to the first, scoring after only 6 minutes and did that with just ten men. Credit to Hull and no finger pointing at Karius for any mistakes here, it wasn’t our goalkeepers fault that David Meyler found himself in a dangerous position and managed to shoot home a powerful shot from close enough range to have been a penalty kick (12 yards). Liverpool 3-1 Hull. We still didn’t feel incredibly threatened by this goal, it was extremely unlikely for a “comeback” to happen when they did only have ten men and two more goals to go until they could even equalise. Less than two minutes later anyway, Coutinho had grabbed Liverpool’s 4th goal. That 4th goal felt like a message to Hull, which would have been “you can have that goal, but you’re not getting any points”.
Coutinho’s goal was beautiful. Well worked, Milner had been building much of the attacking play from down on the left wing and Adam Lallana had been busy in central midfield creating problems in the heart of the field as the ball gets pushed up towards our opponents goal. Coutinho gets the ball just before the 18 yard box (he must have been about 20 yards away from goal) and curls the ball over the defenders and goalkeeper and into the top right corner of the net. Rather like Jordan Henderson’s goal against Chelsea, this one. People will no doubt debate which one was better – Hendo’s and Coutinho’s curled shots were so similar and I think opinions will vary on which goal was more special. Me, I think I’m still sticking with Henderson for goal of the season so far. I love Coutinho, but his opposition wasn’t Chelsea and he didn’t hit the ball from 25 yards (it was about 20), while Hendo had to deal with those slightly more difficult things as he scored.
As if being 4-1 down just after you scored your only goal of the game wasn’t bad enough, Hull would still have further troubles as by the 71st minute, the referee woukd yet again point to the penalty spot, for the foul committed by Hull defender Andrew Robertson on substitute Daniel Sturridge, who had been pushing himself into dangerous positions but was unlucky not to have been able to put the ball in the net himself. James Milner would step up again as chosen set piece taker and found the net again, much like his first. He’s really great at choosing the place he will shoot at and making sure the ball hits the net from the penalty spot. I’ve seen him shoot penalties left of the goalkeeper and I’ve seen him shoot penalties right of the goalkeeper. He can score a penalty on either side of the net. He’s unpredictable and consistently successful. Sturridge probably would have deserved to have been given his chance to score the penalty and claim his goal, but Milner is simply more experienced and the designated set piece taker for Liverpool. So Milner gets his second and the score is Liverpool 5-1 Hull by the end of the game. Liverpool would take their three points and push up as far as 4th place in the Premier League table.
Man Of the Match?
There really could be several choices for players which seem justified in awarding them this. Some would say Coutinho, some would say Lallana. They were great too, yes. I am however, going to go with James Milner.
Milner has gone from being a temporary replacement left back for Alberto Moreno (who wasn’t doing very well in his performances, giving away a penalty against Arsenal and generally not defending at the expected high level) to being what can be a permanent position in the side for him now. He could have saved Liverpool millions of pounds in the transfer market because buying a new left back when you have Milner is just not necessary any more. He’s better than any left back that would have been bought to replace Moreno.
Milner’s so very versatile – he can stop attackers deep in our defence and he can push forward, making the left wing his own personal place to assist goals from. His set piece taking is impressive, Milner’s penalties are rarely missed and he provides much needed assistance with free kicks and corners. Two goals (both from the penalty spot) saw Milner claim more goals in this match than any other player on the pitch. He’s often involved in the build up to goals, even if you don’t see his name on the scoresheet you can be sure many a time that he was involved with the goal before the ball arrived at the goalscorers feet (or perhaps head) from his assist. His contributions are a serious part of our victories.
What’s next for Liverpool?
Liverpool travel to Swansea at the start of October for more Premier League football. I hope you’ve enjoyed this wonderful sweet victory.
Walk on with hope in your hearts, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.