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    Liverpool 5-1 Hull City Match Report

    Liverpool sent out another statement of intent to their title rivals as two goals from James Milner helped Jurgen Klopp's side record their biggest win of the season against 10-man Hull City.

    Trailing 1-0 to Adam Lallana's early strike, the away side's task was made all the more difficult when Ahmed Elmohamady was sent-off for deliberate handball before James Milner converted the resulting penalty.

    Further goals from Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and a second Milner penalty rounded off an emphatic performance by the home team, whose third consecutive league victory enables them to climb into the top four.

    Although Hull managed to reduce their arrears to 3-1 shortly after half-time, they struggled to live with their opponents in such imperious form and could easily have lost by an even more convincing scoreline.

    The Reds went into the contest as red hot favourites but remained aware that similarly unfancied opposition in Burnley had already beaten them this season, while Hull's impressive start to the campaign had included a victory over champions Leicester City.

    Both Klopp and his opposite number Mike Phelan handed league debuts to goalkeepers Loris Karius and David Marshall respectively, after they impressed on midweek EFL Cup duty, while record-signing Ryan Mason made his first league start for The Tigers.

    The 18-time League Champions began the match by setting a fast tempo, which their opponents found difficult to nullify, and their successful implementation of the gegenpressing approach forced the visitors into conceding possession all over the pitch.

    Philippe Coutinho should have given The Reds an early lead when Sadio Mane's deflected cross presented him witha guilt-edged chance from five yards, but his weak effort was easily cleared off the line by Elmohamady.

    It only took 17 minutes before the pressure finally told, however, as Adam Lallana scored his fourth goal of the season for club and country by finishing off a move that owed much to the brilliance of Coutinho.

    The Brazilian played a give-and-go with Milner on the left flank, which took three defenders out of the game, and his clever pass found Lallana, who slotted the ball into the bottom right-hand corner from 10 yards.

    James Milner impressed throughout the match, combining well with Coutinho on the left flank, and the former Manchester City man nearly gave his side a 2-0 lead when he headed Lallana's cross wide of goal, while under pressure from Robert Snodgrass.

    Liverpool then doubled their advantage on 30 minutes when Elmohamady once again cleared a Coutinho effort off the line but on this occasion, the Egyptian did so illegally and referee Andre Marriner awarded both a penalty and red card for deliberate handball.

    Milner slotted the penalty into the bottom right-hand corner of the net, past the dive of Marshall to put his team firmly in the driving seat against a Hull side who were facing the prospect of playing a second successive league match with only 10 men.

    The scoreline could have been more damaging to the away side two minutes later when Sadio Mane tried his luck from over 20 yards but his effort was deflected off Ryan Mason before hitting the top of the crossbar.

    The Senagalese international had another chance from the resulting corner when his side-footed strike from slightly closer-range comfortably cleared the crossbar of David Marshall after he had been picked out by Coutinho.

    Liverpool didn't have to wait much longer before taking a three-goal lead as Mane once again found space in a central position but this time, picked out by Lallana, his effort found the bottom left-hand corner before Marshall was even able to react.

    Hull offered little threat for most of the match but on a rare foray, deep into the Liverpool half, they forced a corner from which David Meyler rifled home a consolation strike from nine yards after Georginio Wijnaldum had failed to clear the danger.

    It proved a temporary blemish on an otherwise perfect day for the home side and the three-goal margin was restored a minute later when Coutinho's emphatic strike from 25 yards curled past the despairing dive of Marshall.

    Liverpool rounded of their five-star performance with 19 minutes remaining when referee Marriner once again pointed to the spot after substitute Daniel Sturridge was tripped by Andrew Robertson, albeit under minimal contact.

    Milner once again emphatically placed the penalty into the bottom right-hand corner, past the reach of Marshall, who dived the right way but was beaten by the power and accuracy.

    The scoreline could have been much more convincing had The Reds made better use of their 74 per cent possession and 32 efforts on goal, of which 12 were on target, but it was nevertheless a breathtaking performance by Klopp's team.

    Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane appear almost untouchable in their current vein of form and Hull had no answer to the way they were able to combine in the final third of the field to such devastating effect.

    The three points enabled The Reds to climb above both Chelsea and Merseyside neighbours Everton into fourth position, with Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal all winning to set the pace at the top of the table.

    Hull, meanwhile, never recovered from Liverpool's fast start to the match and their cause was made all the more difficult when they suffered a sending off for the second successive week against such unforgiving opposition.

    After a promising start to this season, such a bruising defeat will give Mike Phelan a reality check of how tough life is as a Premier League manager as he sees his Tigers side drop to 14th in the table.

    Hull return to action on Saturday afternoon when they entertain Chelsea at the KCOM Stadium before the Premier League takes a two-week international break.
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    Item Reviewed: Liverpool 5-1 Hull City Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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