Monday 20 November 2017

Reds run riot with Klopp philosophy in full flow

Liverpool 5 Hull City1

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (left) embraces Adam Lallana after the final whistle. Photo: Dave Howarth/PA
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (left) embraces Adam Lallana after the final whistle. Photo: Dave Howarth/PA
Hull City manager Mike Phelan looks on in disbelief during the Premier League match at Anfield. Photo: Dave Howarth/PA

Andy Hunter

The Kop was safe to sing Jurgen Klopp's name before the final whistle on this occasion. Admonished by the Liverpool manager for what he viewed as premature celebrations against Leicester, Anfield's orchestra waited until the 82nd minute to salute the conductor of its latest rout. He had no complaint about the atmosphere or the performance as Hull were torn apart by a rampant Liverpool.

It was a 54th birthday to forget for the Hull caretaker manager Mike Phelan. Still "waiting for answers" over the offer of a permanent appointment, his side were reduced to 10 men when Ahmed Elmohamady was dismissed after half an hour and suffered prolonged torture against the pace of the hosts. Two James Milner penalties and goals from the impressive Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho ensured Liverpool scored four or more for the fourth time in eight matches.

Klopp had called for anger from his players and patience from the crowd but there was no examination of the latter as Liverpool took control and an early lead. After 30 minutes, with Hull reduced to 10 men and two goals in arrears, the contest was over and a test only of Liverpool's finishing. The visitors' caretaker boss was resigned to one of those days when everything conspired against his team. There was also no escaping the truth that Hull were battered by a superior opponent.

Loris Karius was handed his Premier League debut as Klopp opted for his £4.7m (€5.4m) summer signing over Simon Mignolet and ended the Belgium international's time as Liverpool's first-choice goalkeeper in the process. Karius was required to deal with back passes and little else in a one-sided first half. Ragnar Klavan also retained his place in defence with Dejan Lovren absent through illness.

Hull set up to stifle Liverpool's runs from midfield plus the varying threats of Coutinho and Mane either side of Roberto Firmino. They were powerless on all counts. Liverpool swept in front with another example of how Lallana's influence has improved this season. Coutinho was the creator, exchanging passes with Milner on the left and ghosting away from Ryan Mason before feeding Lallana's run and he guided the ball inside David Marshall's left-hand post.

Another flowing, enterprising move ensured there was no way back for Hull with only a third of the game gone. Firmino released Mane into space and when Coutinho met the Senegal striker's pass with a powerful drive beyond Marshall, Elmohamady stuck out his right arm to deny a certain goal. Referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot and showed a straight red card. The Egyptian was heading down the tunnel when Milner tucked his penalty beyond Marshall's dive to his left.

Hull were in damage-limitation mode but Liverpool were revelling in the space. Georginio Wijnaldum even had time to nutmeg the referee. Mane hit the bar with a long-range shot that deflected off Mason. Wijnaldum forced Marshall into a decent save from 25 yards before Mane finally got his goal following more good work by Lallana.

Phelan had little option but to pack his defence but Hull grabbed a consolation through sub David Meyler's close-range volley. Liverpool restored their three-goal advantage within seconds. Once again Lallana was involved, cutting across the Hull defence and finding Coutinho lurking in the area where he causes most damage.

Lallana received a standing ovation when replaced by Daniel Sturridge and his replacement was quickly involved in the procession, going over Robertson's trailing leg inside the area and earning Liverpool a second spot-kick. The result was the same as the first, Milner firing low to Marshall's left.


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