Liverpool 6-1 Hull City: Fernando Torres Triple Thrashes Tigers
Liverpool grabbed three more Premier League points after embarrassing Hull City at Anfield this afternoon.
Fernando Torres was magnificent, scoring twice in the first half before completing his hat-trick early in the second half. Brazilian Geovanni had equalised for the Tigers soon after El Nino scored his first goal, but the Spaniard was on ominous form and Hull were never really in the game despite a spirited showing.
Steven Gerrard then scored with an overhit cross that fortunately found its way into the top corner of the Hull City goal before two late goals from Ryan Babel sealed the Tigers' fate.
Liverpool worked the ball down the left flank, with Emiliano Insua passing the ball to Albert Riera wide on the left. The Spaniard pulled the ball back across the box with a low cross, Torres controlled with his right foot, moving onto his left and slotted the ball into the left-hand side of the net. 1-0 to Liverpool with 12 minutes played.
Hull City equalised through Geovanni three minutes later. Paul McShane crossed from deep on the right and the ball was headed back across the penalty area by Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink.
Jamie Carragher connected with a poor header and the ball fell to Giovanni on the right-hand side of the box, the Brazilian smashed the ball back across the goal and into the right-hand side of Pepe Reina's goal, 1-1.
Liverpool responded as Insua brought the ball forward from the back. The Tigers defence backed off the Argentinean and the young left-back elected to shoot as he came inside. His shot was struck well but deflected wide of the left-hand post.
Insua was involved again as Liverpool grew in confidence, Riera threaded the ball to the Argentinean who was in an advanced position in the left channel. Insua got his head up and picked out Lucas Leiva on the edge of the box. The Brazilian midfielder hit a decent strike goalwards but Boaz Myhill made a comfortable save low to his left.
Torres scored his second of the game in the 27th minute, El Nino made an arching run off the last defender into the right-hand side of the penalty area that was spotted by Yossi Benayoun.
The Israeli sent a perfectly weighted pass to the Spaniard, who showed wonderful footwork to navigate Ibrahima Sonko and then round Myhill before finishing easily into the open net. 2-1 to Liverpool.
The second half began with Torres sealing his hat-trick two minutes after the restart. The Spaniard combined with Benayoun to engineer space in the penalty area and El Nino finished coolly to extend Liverpool's lead, 3-1 to the Reds.
Hull responded well to the goal, venturing forward and disrupting Liverpool's play. The Reds were struggling to string a series of passes together.
It was Liverpool that scored the next goal of the game and it was a complete fluke from Gerrard. The Liverpool skipper found himself on the left-hand side after a corner was cleared, the ball was fed back to Gerrard who curled the ball towards the back post with his right foot.
The English international's cross eluded everyone in the box, but nestled in the top left-hand corner of Myhill's goal. 4-1 to Liverpool with just over an hour played.
Torres was withdrawn from the field soon after, he was replaced by Holland international Ryan Babel.
Hull had a chance to grab a goal back, Reina came charging out of his penalty area to meet a long ball arriving on the left. The Spanish goalkeeper was forced to play the ball out for a throw-in and manager Phil Brown quickly played the ball back to Stephen Hunt.
The Irish midfielder threw the ball to Kamel Ghilas with Reina still retreating to his goal, the forward hit the ball first time with his right foot but his long-range attempt was way off target.
Liverpool became increasingly comfortable in possession as the end of the game approached and Gerrard and Benayoun were replaced by Javier Mascherano and Andriy Voronin.
Voronin was involved almost immediately, floating a teasing ball in from the right for Babel. The Dutchman connected with a glancing header towards the far post but didn't make enough contact with the ball and his attempt went wide.
The pony-tailed forward had another chance to make an impact in the 79th minute, combining with Babel who headed the ball back to Voronin. The forward unleashed a snapshot half-volley from the edge of the box, but his effort flashed just over the crossbar.
Liverpool continued to press forward in search of more goals and they found a fifth in the 87th minute. Babel played Dirk Kuyt into the channel on the right and then made a good run into the centre of the box. Kuyt drove towards the touchline and played the ball across the face of the goal where Babel met the ball and tapped it in.
The Reds grabbed a sixth goal in injury time and it was embarrassing for Hull City. Johnson slotted Lucas into space on the right, who cut the ball back across the penalty area. Riera arrived late and hit the ball first time with his left foot.
The shot wasn't going goalwards but hit an uninterested Babel on the heel and looped up over Myhill and into the Tigers' net. 6-1 to Liverpool.
The victory sends Liverpool into third position in the Premier League and will surely increase the pressure on Phil Brown in the Hull City dugout.
This article was first published on Goal.com
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