Three things we learned from Liverpool's defeat to Hull City

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Liverpool's chances of a top-four finish were all but buried as they suffered a 1-0 loss to Hull City at the KC Stadium on Tuesday.

Prior to kick-off, the Reds had won just one of their last five matches and faced a tough test against Steve Bruce's men who sat just one point above the relegation zone and were in a relegation fight.

Michael Dawson grabbed the only goal of the game in the 37th minute when Mario Balotelli played the former Tottenham Hotspur man onside following a corner that was failed to be cleared.

Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson both tested Steve Harper, however, the Merseyside club's lacklustre effort in-front of goal seen them fail to score for the second successive game.

Rodgers' men remain in fifth place on 58 points, seven behind fourth Manchester United with four games to play and it looks as if Rodgers' men will be doomed to Europa League football next season.

Striker Is A Must

Throughout last campaign, Liverpool failed to score in just three games. The strike partnership of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge was deadly and netted 52 goals between them.

However, the loss of Suarez and the long-term injuries of Sturridge has seen a toothless campaign in-front of goal this term and the Reds have scored just 47 goals all term.

Mario Balotelli made started his second successive game and highlighted why he has been neglected for most of the season. His effort throughout the game was relatively quiet, winning a few fouls and having one back-heeled effort stopped simply by Harper.

Sturridge cannot be relied on next campaign. At the top of his game, he is a top-class striker, however, he is injury prone and you cannot be guarantee 35 games per season from him.

Balotelli must leave the club - his attitude was summed up when not getting out following a corner that lead to Dawson's goal, despite Simon Mignolet screaming at the Italian.

Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini look set to be on their way this summer, also, and Rodgers has admitted that a striker is the priority.

Last season, Liverpool's attack was feared by every side in the league. Now, teams are not afraid of the toothless front-line and playing with a lot less caution.

Can Not A Right-Back

Emre Can is one of Liverpool's most successful summer signings. The German has bagfulls of potential and put in a number of eye-catching performances throughout the season in the centre of midfield and at centre-back.

He started at right-back at the KC and was not suited to the position in the slightest. Modern day full-backs are encouraged to attack, but, Can had a 'freestyle' role were he roamed wherever he wanted.

He was impressive at times when doing so, however, he left the right-hand side exposed.

And, even when he held his position, he highlighted he is not quick enough to play at wide defence and was beaten far too often, creating danger for his side throughout the game. It was unkind on the former Bayer Leverkusen man, who did not expect to be playing right-back when he put pen to paper with the Reds at the start of the season.

Javier Manquillo was sat on the Reds bench and must have been frustrated watching Can play in a position he can occupy much better. Albeit, the Spaniard hasn't played a lot of football in the second-half of the campaign but he's much more natural and would have been suited.

Who Will Liverpool Attract?

There's no denying that new recruits are needed at Anfield.

Last summers signings have been well below-par with the likes of Balotelli, Lazar Markovic and Dejan Lovren in particular not impressing for the combined £56 million paid for the trio.

Rodgers admits he must bring in a striker and Liverpool need a replacement for Steven Gerrard, who leaves for Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of the term.

The current side oozes averageness throughout with a mixture of players who are still waiting to fill potential and players who are simply not good enough to challenge for Champions League football.

Top starts are needed to improve the Merseyside club, however, the only way that can be achieved is if a team is in Europe's elite club competition.

Rumours have spread that Rodgers is not the most simple to work under which would already question a players decision to move to Anfield. Add that to playing in the Europa League and rejecting appearing at the Nou Camp and Allianz Arena for a cold evening in Eastern Europe - it's not something that any player wants.

The only way Liverpool could attract players if offering ridiculously high wages that players may not be able to turn down. Nonetheless, even that could still not tempt them.

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