Gerrard 24, 32.
McShane 12, Carragher 22 og.
Another home draw and another two points dropped. What can be said that wasn’t already said after the Stoke, Fulham and West Ham games? You don’t really need me, or anyone, else to state the bleeding obvious. Different reasons and different circumstances are behind each score but the feeling is the same, disappointment at another opportunity lost.
Thanks to The Mancs failing to capitalise it’s not a disaster. If Chelsea win today we will only be one point behind, (lets’ try not to think about what it could have been!) but however much one might want to defend the side, you cannot deny that it’s getting worrying. We cannot continue to rely on our rivals to keep slipping up and we now, after a relatively easy time of it, on paper anyway, with the fixture list enter a more difficult phase. The omens are not that good although on the positive side we now have no European distractions for a while and, after the Hull goals, we showed great tenancy and fortitude to drag ourselves back into it. There is also Steven Gerrard.
Rafa sprung a minor surprise by keeping Keane on the bench which must have been a crushing for him blow after his performance in Holland earlier in the weekend. It was even more surprising, that given the way the game unravelled, he was not used?
Hull played with a confidence which their form this season has suggested. They certainly didn’t sit back and defend. Their goal was from a set piece, our nemesis last season, the ball being pumped over from the right, we all went to chase it, Hull knocked it back, and McShane nodded home giving Reina no chance. Basic!
Hull continued to press forward. Mendy was giving us a difficult time down the right hand side with his pace. Once more he found a way past the increasingly ineffectual Dossena and his low hard cross went in off Carragher. A really difficult ball to defend but Dossena should have done better and everyone should have been more alert to the quickly taken free kick that started the move? Time for a comeback? Again!
Benayoun found Kuyt on the right whose cross evaded Riera and Turner and fell to Gerrard who gratefully stabbed home. Hull complained that Riera had fouled Turner during the move and they had a point. Space began to open up and the same three Liverpool players were involved in the equaliser. Kuyt, with suspicion of a push on Turner again, nodded Carragher’s cross square to Benayoun who hooked into the path of a slackly marked Gerrard who fired home into the roof of the net.
Riera and Alonso all tested Hull from long range and agonisingly Kuyt’s control let him down right in front of the goal when all he needed to do was to connect to nose us in front. Red poured forward and corner after corner came in what was a frantic half which for neutrals must have been great to watch. Hull clung on manfully and gratefully accepted the half time whistle and the opportunity to regroup.
The second half was more of the same as we tried to get a third. Hyypia hit the post from a corner. Riera belted one that Myhill fisted away, a foot either side and it would have been home. Alonso also curled one onto the roof the net and El Zhar was also denied. However, Hull saw it out, never gave up, and kept trying to go forward. Hats off to them for that and they must have mixed feelings at the result after letting a two goal lead slip and the manner of our goals where, arguably, their players were fouled.
Rafa summed the game up.
“We started really well and we conceded two goals, two mistakes, but afterwards we showed character. We were too open. We know we’ve lost two points but you have to keep going. You cannot change things now.”
And that’s it. This was not a repeat of the West Ham game. We did not play badly and on any other day we would a have probably have won? However, once again it is that killer instinct in front of goal that was lacking. All one can do is try to be positive. We are still in good position and as we go into Christmas there is all to play for. Think how you were feeling last year.
All one can do is hope we rise to the challenge. We have to believe in the team and they have to believe in themselves!
Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Hyypia, Carragher, Dossena, Mascherano (Leiva Lucas 87), Alonso, Benayoun (El Zhar 74), Gerrard, Riera (Babel 82), Kuyt.
Subs Not Used: Cavalieri, Agger, Keane, Ngog.
Hull: Myhill, McShane (Marney 27), Zayatte, Turner, Ricketts, Mendy, Ashbee, Boateng (Halmosi 66), Geovanni, Barmby (Windass 77), King.
Subs Not Used: Warner, Garcia, Cousin, Giannakopoulos.