Brendan Rodgers Post Match Interview – Liverpool 0-0 Hull [25.10.2014]

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Steve Bruce Post Match Interview – Liverpool 0-0 Hull [25.10.2014]

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Liverpool 0 Hull 0 – Reds must rewind to peaks of last season

Oct 25, 2014 17:06

  • By Ian Doyle

LFC improve from Wednesday, but lack cutting edge to see off hard-working visitors

Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli collapses in a heap

Never mind the clocks going back an hour. Brendan Rodgers must wish Liverpool could rewind to the start of the year.

Last season’s heroics continue to seem a lifetime away as the Reds lurch unconvincingly from one damaging result to the next.

While it wasn’t quite the damp squib of Wednesday night, Anfield was left disappointed once again as Liverpool’s shortcomings were made painfully apparent.

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Liverpool FC 0-0 Hull City: What we learned from the stalemate at Anfield

Oct 25, 2014 18:49

A clean sheet is the real victory for the Reds but Mario needs a goal

Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel against Hull City’s Eldin Jakupovic at Anfield

A clean sheet is the real victory today

Most fans leaving Anfield can be forgiven for feeling a little subdued after the Reds failed to make the breakthrough at Anfield today – but they needn’t be so down, because today Liverpool at least got one monkey off their collective backs when they kept only their second clean sheet in 19 matches.

Perhaps Hull didn’t exactly threaten the Reds, and it is true that the Tigers never looked like putting anything together up front today. But that’s also testament to how solid Liverpool were. Not once were they threatened, they repelled every cross and every shot with authority.

Don’t forget, this was a team that came to Anfield having scored at least twice in every one of their last six games – and having only failed to score in one Premier League game previously. No mugs then.

This was a much needed shot in the arm for a defence which was looking less confident as the season wore on, and one that had just been tore to threads by Real Madrid and, most worryingly, Queens Park Rangers.

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Liverpool FC boss Brendan Rodgers praises Mario Balotelli despite Hull City frustration

Oct 25, 2014 18:11

Hull boss Steve Bruce also praises the Italian for a hard-working display

Mario Balotelli

Brendan Rodgers praised the response of Mario Balotelli after a difficult week ended in further frustration for Liverpool FC and their Italian striker.

Having been humbled at home by Real Madrid in the Champions League in midweek, the Reds were held to a goalless draw by Hull City at Anfield .

Balotelli, who received fierce criticism for his performance against Real, was much improved and came within inches of grabbing a dramatic last-gasp winner.

And Rodgers said: “Mario worked very hard today. Maybe he thought he wasn’t going to play but you have to stay with it.

“He is working hard and at the moment doing his best. Unfortunately that wee bit of confidence is lacking without a goal.

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Stan Collymore column: Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli is being bullied and it has to stop

Oct 25, 2014 23:00

The People columnist and former Anfield striker sticks up for the misfiring Anfield forward – and says former players are being ‘too nasty’ for his liking

Down but not out: Balotelli missed several chances against Hull City

The tidal wave of criticism towards Mario Balotelli is starting to turn spiteful, writes Stan Collymore in the Sunday People.

Anyone would think that the Italian is single-handedly to blame for the way Liverpool are ­performing this season and I do not think it is fair.

Should Liverpool have signed him? Possibly not.

And, yes, I am totally aware that he is not working hard enough. The shirt-swapping at half-time against Real Madrid was crass, too.

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Liverpool 0-0 Hull

While it took Luis Suarez just three minutes to notch a debut assist for Barcelona in El Clasico in his new life in Spain, back on Merseyside his old club Liverpool continue to experience the autumnal discontent of life in a post-Suarez world. Beaten resoundingly by Real Madrid (a bit like Suarez’s new team, then) in midweek, the Reds stuttered to a 0-0 draw with a resilient Hull. The Tigers came to Anfield with the aim of not losing and left satisfied, with Steve Bruce reserving particular praise for his third choice keeper Eldin Jakupovic, who was challenged regularly as Liverpool not only attempted 17 shots on goal (though only 4 on target) but also rained in 14 corners for the stopper to deal with.

Hull’s defensive exertions were the story of the game here, and while Liverpool found no way to break them down – despite Steven Gerrard patrolling the midfield with customary authority – their 39 attempted tackles (23 successful), 27 interceptions and 8 blocks showed evidence of an exemplary, collective defensive display.

People will try to make this one all about Mario Balotelli, but once again that would be reductive and cheap. Liverpool’s failings aren’t all down to the chicken hat-wearing, helium-inhaling Italian – though that’s not to say that his form isn’t desperately mediocre. You don’t buy a showman and then ask him to do shuttle runs.

Given the high-energy, high-intensity fare offered by Brendan Rodgers’ side last season, the forward signings of not only Balotelli but Rickie Lambert too should be as much open to question amid all the recent teeth-gnashing as Super Mario’s obvious discomfort with the demands of a pressing style.

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