Monday, 27 October 2014

Reds Held In Hull Stalemate.

After suffering a midweek humbling at the hands of  Real Madrid, Liverpool returned to domestic duty in what was to be their second of three home games in the space of a week and with such a packed schedule, fitness is paramount so when Emre Can went down after six minutes, there was a major worry.

Luckily for the hosts, the young midfielder shook off the injury as Liverpool mounted the first real attack of the game which resulted in a corner that saw Steven Gerrard find Dejan Lovren who headed at goal only to be denied by a goal line stop from Ahmed Elmohamady

Liverpool had another good chance in the 13th minute as Mario Balotelli hit towards goal and was prevented from an opener by a superb save from stand-in Hull 'keeper Eldin Jakupovic. The atmosphere spiked minutes later when a Kop chant towards Hull manager Steve Bruce was met with a positively comical response.

After recent criticism about his effort, Mario Balotelli seemed adamant to quash the critics and when a back pass to Jakupovic looked to be too short, the Italian raced into the box to intercept only coming inches away from doing so but receiving a good backing from the home crowd.

Hull responded with Jake Livermore drawing a save from Simon Mignolet before Mo Diame shot wide but the travelling Tigers fans were close to celebrating just before half-time when a powerful shot from Tom Huddlestone deflected wildly off Martin Skrtel before creeping past the post.

A fairly quiet start to the second half saw the first real chance come in the 59th minute as Abel Hernandez drew a save from Simon Mignolet before a combination between Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard saw the Liverpool captain forced a superb save from Jakupovic who tipped the shot past the post.

Liverpool seemed to have the momentum and should have taken the lead in the 64th minute when a clever cross from Emre Can arrowed towards Mario Balotelli but a mistimed move from the Italian saw him fail to connect as the move broke down.

Hull looked to break the deadlock themselves and just minutes after coming on as a substitute, Sone Aluko forced a clever save from Simon Mignolet and Liverpool countered only to have the move break down on the edge of the Hull area as Jordan Henderson went down but the midfielder was booked for simulation.

Four minutes of added time meant there would be ample time for either side to strike a late winner and Liverpool came closest as Raheem Sterling drew a save from Eldin Jakupovic before the Hull 'keeper made a last-gasp save from Phillipe Coutinho as he tipped the Brazilian's 20-yard effort away to ensure a share of the points.