Hull fully expose Liverpool’s problems at the back
David Meyler among the goalscorers at the KC Stadium
Hull were not distracted from the task at hand, however, as Bruce’s switch to a three-man central defence injected much-needed insurance against Luis Suárez and his team scored with their first shot on target. Curtis Davies had glanced the game’s opening chance wide of Simon Mignolet’s goal from an Alex Bruce cross before Moses lost possession cheaply inside the Liverpool half. Jake Livermore took over, exchanged passes with David Meyler and tried his luck from 22 yards. Luck was on the midfielder’s side and the ball looped over Mignolet via Skrtel’s calf.
Bruce was submerged beneath his coaching staff in the celebrations but, having seen Hull cope comfortably with the Liverpool attack, he was rightly infuriated by one moment’s lapse in concentration.
Hull’s defenders hesitated a fraction too long over a loose ball outside their area, allowing Jordan Henderson to intercept prior to a clattering foul from Davies. Steven Gerrard swept an emphatic free-kick around a crumbling wall – constructing one appears a lost art in the Premier League at present – and into the bottom corner of Allan McGregor’s goal.
Parity did nothing to improve the Liverpool performance and it was Hull who showed more composure on the ball plus intent in the final third. Davies went close with another header, Tom Huddlestone almost capped a fine display with a goal from 20 yards and after McGregor had saved superbly at point-blank range from Moses, the home side regained a deserved lead.
Weak defending from Liverpool proved a valuable assist. Davies and Yannick Sagbo caused chaos under a long ball into the visitors’ area and Touré flicked a poor clearance straight to Republic of Ireland midfielder Meyler who, after one blocked attempt, drove his second bite low into the far corner.
Suárez almost levelled with his latest sweeping free-kick from distance but the clearer chances came to Hull against a ponderous Liverpool defence. Sagbo should have scored, or at least squared to Elmohamady, when sent clear after Liverpool substitute Luis Alberto lost possession but the striker made amends within seconds.
Collecting a hopeful clearance downfield, the striker attacked Skrtel and eventually found Huddlestone arriving into the area. The midfielder flicked a tame effort that was heading wide until Skrtel threw himself in the way and, for the second time, diverted a shot beyond his own goalkeeper.