Goals: N’Diaye [’44], Niasse [’84]
Liverpool endured a miserable afternoon in Humberside, as their league slump resurfaced with a vengeance.
A late change saw in defence saw Lucas replace DejanLovren at centre back. Sadio Mané was restored to the starting line up and Adam Lallana dropped back to his usual midfield slot with Emre Can keeping his place beside him.
Liverpool dominated the first half in terms of possession and territory but it was Hull who went in at the break with the one goal lead.
They did what Liverpool were unable to do with their possession. They got one half chance and made it count albeit with considerable help again from our flapping goal keeper who failed to come out in time to claim a bouncing ball in the box from a corner which allowed N’Diaye to get to it first and score.
Mignolet will again get a lot of stick for this latest failing and rightly so.
In fairness the first half was a poor watch in terms of chances created and thrills. Liverpool had their best chance when the Hull goalkeeper flapped at a cross from Roberto Firmino and the ball dropped to Phil Coutinho only for his shot to be blocked from 6 yards out.
Liverpool pressed Hull back for most of the half and seemed to be chasing down the ball a lot better than in recent weeks.
Both Mané and Firmino were in hot pursuit of the centre backs on regular occasions but Hull managed their defence well enough to cope and forced Liverpool out wide at every chance.
The final crosses from the wide areas for us were not nearly good enough to trouble anyone.
Jordan Henderson for his part was trying to get the ball forward a lot quicker today both, out wide to James Milner and over the top for Mané to run in behind and use his pace.
But again at half time Jürgen Klopp was facing a team talk of how to help his players break down a compact slow defence and no doubt imploring more from his attacking players indivually.
Jürgen Klopp made no changes at half time although Emre Can was again visibly lost in midfield making no telling contribution in the first half.
This second half went exactly the same as the first. All Liverpool possession, pressure and territory yet Hull again managed to score the only goal of the half leading to a 2-0 win for the home team and humiliating Liverpool in the process.
James Milner was awful all day long. He couldn’t even seem to make a fist of any of the numerous corners he took.
Our set pieces as as whole were terrible. Couthino included.
And, it was again while we were pressing looking to just gain again point from another horrible display that we left the back door wide open again.
On 63 minutes Mignolet had to come out fast and was able to smother the ball at the feet of Able Hernandez as he was about to shoot.
This turned out to be a pretty cursor to what happened on 83 minutes when after we lost the ball (again) on the edge of their box, a simple long ball straight down our middle found both Lucas and more worryingly Matip floundering behind the substitute Niasse to run straight through on goal and slide the ball under the feet of Mignolet who could have done better this time.
2-0 and nothing more than Hull deserved to be fair. Yet again.
After starting the half brightly again the chances just didn’t come and when the half chances did come Mane and Coutinho were unable to take them.
Coutinho was the biggest culprit blasting high and wide from only a few yards out after the ball dropped to him following a scramble in the box.
James Milner and Adam Lallana were both pulled out of the game to be replaced by Georginio Wijnaldum and Alberto Moreno.
Daniel Sturridge had already replaced the poor Emre Can at that stage and it was Sturridge who got the best shot for Liverpool on target on 89 mins. It was beaten away by the goalkeeper.
Jordan Henderson also had a late effort well saved but all too little too late.
After the hour mark our objective in this game was to try to save a point from it never mind try to win it so bad was the performance. In the end we were unable to do either.
Manager Jürgen Klopp will again come under fire for his team selection notably sticking with Emre Can and also the fact that he seems to have no plan B right now.
He did earlier in the season point out that he didn’t like to see managers buy their way out of trouble with new players, that he would prefer to coach players to become better.
This philosophy was admirable and still is but now it’s beginning to look a little naive also where certain players are concerned.
At this rate we won’t even qualify for the champions league spot that only 6 weeks ago looked a certainty.
All the players are back now. Rested and fit. Yet we still look like we are a mid table team right now playing for nothing.
Mané looked sharp today at times while Adam Lallana was poor and looked like the player he did 18 months ago. Unable to beat his man, dwelling on the ball too long, no vision and too many turns.
This team looks like it has turned the clock back to when Klopp arrived first and have lost their mojo for want of a better word.
Written by @StephenKing75
POST-MATCH REACTION (BBC Sport):
Hull manager Marco Silva: “It is a fantastic afternoon for us. Our supporters were fantastic, we need them and they support our team always.
“I am sure in the future we will play better, but at these moments we need to keep our focus and our organisation, because every game it is possible to get valuable points.
“In the Premier League it is fantastic to get clean sheets, to do that against Manchester United and Liverpool is fantastic.”
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp: “I don’t want to find excuses, it is hard to think of intelligent things to say after a match like this.
“It is not the time to talk about these things [qualifying for the Champions League], we have to show our best and then people can judge us.
“We all know how good we can be, and it’s still there, but not if we play like we did in the first half today.”
- Shots: 7-22
- Pass accuracy 64%-82%
- Chances created: 6-14
- Possession: 40%-60%
- Clearances: 72-8