Hull City hold Liverpool to Anfield stalemate

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A resilient Hull City performance earned them a hard fought 0-0 draw at Anfield against Liverpool.

It took a mixture of excellent goalkeeping and a fine all-round defensive display to guide the Tigers to their fifth draw of the season in nine Premier League matches.

Even start

Both sides began the match equally creating chances, but the first clear cut opportunity of the game came after 11 minutes when Hull's third-choice goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic diverted the ball wide of his near post.

Liverpool began to show themselves as the superior side as the first half went on and Dejan Lovren nearly managed to score his first goal under Brendan Rodgers, but Ahmed Elmohamady was on the line to sweep those hopes clear for his side.

Hull then gave Liverpool a taste of their own medicine with some aesthetically pleasing football leading to opportunities. The first of those fell to Jake Livermore, but he could only direct his shot straight into the hands of Simon Mignolet. Then, Mo Diame, who seems to be on fine goalscoring form for the Tigers of late, dragged a shot wide.

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But the best of the visitors' first half chances came when Tom Huddlestone released one of his classic thunderbolts, destined for the bottom corner. However, a deflection off Martin Skrtel scrambled the ball narrowly wide.

The second period looked brighter for the Reds when Steven Gerrard saw his curling effort slam into the side netting, before Raheem Sterling had a 20-yard drive comfortably stopped by the keeper in-front of the Kop.

Attacking intent

Brendan Rodgers decided to go for a more attacking option, bringing on Coutinho and Rickie Lambert to replace Joe Allen and Adam Lallana, surprisingly leaving out of form forward Mario Balotelli on the field.

And, it was substitute Coutinho who nearly stole the show when he rifled an effort towards goal, but some goalkeeping heroics from Jakupovic denied the Brazilian a potential winner. 

Despite only picking up a home point against Hull, Brendan Rodgers said that he was pleased with Liverpool's 'excellent' performance, whereas opposing manager Steve Bruce was delighted with back-to-back draws against Arsenal and the Reds.

Balotelli's performance

Bruce also spoke about Balotelli's performance post-match, describing the Italian striker as the 'whipping boy' despite an improved performance

It is a shame for him. He is the whipping boy

"He is going through one of those sticky periods but the kid is a talent. It is a shame for him. He is the whipping boy," the Hull boss told reporters.

Balotelli had missed a chance to win the game for Liverpool with the last kick of the game, but Bosnian stopper Jakupovic denied the forward.

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