Torres 12, 28, 47, Gerrard 61, Babel 88, 90
Hull City 1
I suppose the only answer to critics who gripe about our defending is to score so many goals that it becomes irrelevant. Not something we can do every week but it certainly helps when we do if only to point out that strengths often compensate for weakness’ all be they temporary ones?
Sadly however, they will find another way to slate. Torres got three but Robbie Keane got four so that’s Rafa’s judgment called into question! And, slap hands, another goal conceded where the defence was all at sea! Perhaps if we’d converted all our chances instead of just six we might have read something different. Am I kidding? Still another satisfying win, count them six in a row now, top scorers in the league and the best goal difference so well on the way to becoming the hundred per cent prefect, seamless, well oiled, footballing machine that everyone thinks we should be. It’s a pity no such thing exists!
Only Carragher and Riera survived after the Leeds game. Gerrard dropped back into the holding role which meant Mascherano was on the bench. Interesting? Has Rafa, in the wake of the Argentine’s indifferent form, Alonso’s departure, and Aquilani’s injury, settled for this as his first choice line up, for a while anyway? However, perhaps he was just saving Mascherano for Italy on Tuesday where he could be a key figure?
However, I digress, this was about Fernando Torres. Before Hull even broke sweat he was carrying on from where he left off at Upton Park. There is something bewitching about Torres when he gets into the penalty area. It’s almost as if he glides on air and can’t be touched rendering defenders static like helpless rabbits peering into a car headlights. The way he easily manoeuvred himself between two Hull defenders and slammed a shot across Myhill into the far corner for our first certainly suggests so.
Hull pulled it back three minutes later after Jan Vennegoor Long Name on the Back the Shirt beat Johnson to the ball (a suggestion of a foul?). Skrtel had the opportunity to clear but fluffed it and Geovanni who volleyed home.
Rather than beat ourselves up we went into denial, carried on as if the goal hadn’t happened, and continued to press forward. It was the right policy. Benayoun threaded a straight ball into the box and found Torres on the right. He rode one pathetic tackle evaded Myhills challenge and punted into not the net with outside of this foot. Early on Hull had gone close enough on a number of occasions to suggest our defence is still a bit fragile. However any hopes they might have had about regrouping and coming out in the second half and having a go were soon extinguished as Benayoun again fed Torres who, with a well timed run, broke free and homed in on Myhill again. This time I thought he’d taken it too far allowing a Sonko to get back however, he simply beat him and drilled into the far corner through the legs of McShane. Game over?
There was some dessert to follow Torres’ sumptuous main course. Gerrard, far out on the left, crossed or was it a shot? Whatever the case the ball sailed over every one and into the net via the underside of the bar. Anyone remember Barnesy’s goal in the 4-4 against Everton? Was that a cross or a shot? Who cares both looked good!
After that Rafa had the luxury of hooking Torres, Gerrard and Benayoun for Tuesday. Babel made the most of it with a fifth in which he set up himself with a good lay off to Kuyt before spiriting into the area to convert the cross. His second, and our sixth, came in added time and was a tad fortunate with Riera’s shot deflecting of the Dutchmen, who was facing away from goal, into the net. For Hull it was a fitting end to a day they will want to forget.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Insua, Carragher, Skrtel, Gerrard (Mascherano 74), Riera, Benayoun (Voronin 77), Lucas, Torres (Babel 67), Kuyt
Subs – Cavalieri, Aurelio, Kyrgiakos, Mascherano, Voronin, Babel, Ngog
Hull: Myhill, Dawson, McShane, Sonko, Cooper, Geovanni (Altidore 83), Hunt, Kilbane, (Marney 64), Boateng, Ghilas, Vennegoor of Hesselink (Cousin 63)
Subs -Warner, Zayatte, Barmby, Marney, Olofinjana, Altidore, Cou
League position: 3rd