Liverpool Show Their Resilience to Recover with Victory over Hull

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Liverpool Show Their Resilience to Recover with Victory over Hull
Getty Images/Clive Brunskill

Liverpool recorded their first 2-0 victory since December 2011, a first under Brendan Rodgers and a rare clean sheet.

It was the perfect result to get back on track after the back-to-back defeats at Manchester City and Chelsea.

Missing some key players and after the exertions of facing two of the toughest away games both within the last week, it was vital to get three points regardless of the performance.

Furthermore, Liverpool faced a side buoyed by a 6-0 win in their last match and who recorded their first ever victory over Liverpool a month ago—this was a potential banana skin for Rodgers' side.

Daniel Agger's headed goal finally gave Liverpool the breakthrough, and Luis Suarez made it two with what is becoming a trademark free-kick.

 

Referee

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Suarez had been frustrated in the first half, annoyed by the treatment he was receiving from the Hull defence and lack of protection from the inexperienced and extremely indecisive referee, Craig Pawson, on only his seventh Premier League appearance.

After being hard-done-by in the last two big matches by poor officiating, it was the last thing Liverpool needed, and it could have proved more decisive if the breakthrough hadn't arrived.

Regardless of the poor refereeing, it could and perhaps should have been more comfortable had Jordan Henderson or Philippe Coutinho placed their respective shots inside the post rather than narrowly wide in the first half.

 

Aspas

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The most disappointing aspect of the match was the performance of Iago Aspas—handed a rare start, his first since the home defeat to Southampton back in September.

The Spaniard was extremely poor; physically lacking, short of sharpness, failing to maintain possession or provide any type of positive threat. He featured for 62 minutes until Rodgers subbed him for Steven Gerrard, and it was actually surprising that he'd lasted that long.

 

Experience

Rodgers used his squad to the maximum, bringing on Kolo Toure and Gerrard to close out the game. No risks were being taken once two ahead, it was all about closing the game out and taking the crucial three points.

This is the type of victory Liverpool need if they are to indeed achieve their goal of a top-four finish and thus Champions League qualification.

 

Recovery

The result takes Liverpool back to fourth place, above Merseyside rivals Everton—and to 39 points after 20 games, something they've only ever achieved twice before, according to the excellent LFC statistician Andrew Beasley.

 

 

With fixtures against Stoke, Aston Villa, Everton and West Brom next up, this type of victory is one that Rodgers will be hoping to see more often. Sometimes style has to be secondary to substance.

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