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Match Report: Liverpool 2-0 Hull City
The win for the Merseyside club sees them climb back into the top four whilst also addressing back-to-back 2-1 defeats against title hopefuls Chelsea and Manchester City.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was able to have skipper Steven Gerrard at his disposal again albeit the England international had to settle for a place on the bench after a four-week injury. Elsewhere injuries to Joe Allen and Mamadou Sakho meant Iago Aspas and Aly Cissokho returned to the starting eleven.
For Steve Bruce, he welcomed back son Alex Bruce and David Meyler to the fold with Liam Rosenior and George Boyd losing their places, harshly someone people might deem, following the 6-0 win over Fulham.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Agger, Cissokho, Skrtel, Coutinho, Henderson, Leiva, Sterling, Suarez, Aspas
Subs: Jones, Toure, Kelly, Gerrard, Moses, Rossiter, Alberto
Hull City: McGregor, Figueroa, Bruce, Chester, Davies, Meyler, Huddlestone, Koren, Livermore, Elmohamady, Sagbo,
Subs: Harper, Rosenior, Faye, Quinn, Graham, Fryatt, Boyd
Liverpool 2-0 Hull City
Both teams seemed to be suffering with a New Year hangover in what was a cagey opening to the fixture with only half- chances from Yannick Sagbo and Luis Suarez falling to trouble each respective goalkeeper.
The home crowd thought the scintillating Suarez had further added to his tally for the season and given the Reds the lead in the 19th minute. Philippe Coutinho whipped a free-kick with the Uruguayan heading home the set-piece only for any celebrations to be cut short with the linesman’s offside flag being raised.
Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor was then called upon to deny Raheem Sterling when he was sent through by Suarez but the shot was straight at the Scot.
The 36th minute brought about the opener and Daniel Agger made no mistake from a Coutinho corner when he headed past McGregor, with Jordan Henderson trying in vain to get a goal for himself.
Henderson could and probably should have put Liverpool 2-0 up just before the half-time break but he somehow managed to guide his shot past the post with McGregor beaten. Coutinho was then the guilty party when he snatched his shot just past the same post as Henderson minutes prior.
Just after the interval it was 2-0 with James Chester fouling Suarez and the in-form striker punishing the Tigers with a sublime free-kick of the highest order. Picking himself up Suarez made it 20 goals for the season curling his shot round the City wall and into the top left corner beating a helpless McGregor.
Steven Gerrard entered the fray just after the hour mark much to the delight of the Anfield faithful and had a trademark long-range strike go wide before Coutinho had a brace of strikes failing to find the back of the net.
In injury-time Coutinho could have added more gloss to a convincing performance but his fierce shot was palmed away by McGregor in the Tigers goal who in truth pulled off some good saves to keep the score-line respectable.
Jamie Barwick is a 21-year-old Sports Journalism graduate and a fan of Hull City, covering the Tigers on KingFut.com.