After The Match 


Hull-Liverpool 0-0            9.5.10                                        PL
Team: Reina, Mascherano, Agger, Kyrgiakos, Carragher, Lucas, Gerrard, Kuyt, Babel, Aquilani, El Zhar
Subs: Ngog (El Zhar 63), Pacheco (Aquilani 73),
Robinson (Babel 88),
Not used: Cavalieri, Degen, Skrtel, Ayala
Yellow: Atkinson (60)
Red: None
Referee: Andre Marriner
Attendance: 25,030
Shots on target: 3-3
Shots off target: 4-13
Blocked shots: 4-5
Fouls conceded: 16-11
Corners: 2-6
Offsides: 3-0
Possession: 38.7-61.3
Yellow: 1-0

HEADLINES  "I have wanted to stay and I would like to stay."
Rafael Benitez
0905: 'I want to stay as manager'
0905: Who is Jack Robinson?
0905: Reds held by Tigers 


Rafa Benitez' future at Liverpool is still in doubt.
(Photo: Reuters)

'I want to stay as manager'

By Paul Hassall at the KC Stadium - LFC Official Website

Rafael Benitez has today spoken of his desire to remain as Liverpool manager and insisted that "no-one" at the club wants to sell Fernando Torres or Steven Gerrard.

The boss revealed he has held positive talks with Chairman Martin Broughton and will hold another meeting with the Reds chief next week.

"I had a meeting with the chairman and it was positive," Benitez told his post match press conference at Hull City. "We will have another one this week and we will talk about the future again.

"I have shown my commitment for years, and if I stay I am not thinking about selling Gerrard or Torres. I do not want to sell them.

"The stability of the club is important because we need to move forward, we will have another meeting and hopefully we can progress."

He added: "Nobody wants to sell them (Gerrard and Torres). I think the Chairman was very clear."

Asked if he wanted to remain as Liverpool manager, Benitez said: "Yes, it is always the same situation. I have wanted to stay and I would like to stay."

The Reds brought a disappointing season to a close with 0-0 draw at Hull City, a result that leaves them in seventh place.

Benitez admits it was a frustrating afternoon in Humberside and feels the draw was symptomatic of their season away from home.

"I think you could see we tried to win," he said. "We had chances, we could have scored at the end, but it has been a special season with a lot of things happening. We had three or four chances but couldn't take them.

"We were really good away last season, but this year there has been a big difference. We didn't win the games we won last season and haven't scored as many goals."

One positive from the draw with the Tigers was the debut of Academy starlet, Jack Robinson, who became the youngest Liverpool player in history when he replaced Ryan Babel late on.

Benitez said: "We have been lucky because the reserve team have been away and we had problems with injuries, with Fabio and Insua. He was training with us one day, so we felt he could be an option.

"We knew he was a young player. I am really pleased. He is now clutching his shirt and doesn't want to give to anyone."

Liverpool's seventh place finish means they will now face a Europa League qualifier in July, a fixture that Benitez admits will cause issues with the Reds' pre-season preparations.

"We were working hard and had the pre-season more or less sorted. But now we have to analyse the schedule and see if we can organise the fixtures properly.

"It was the same last year, we had too many players away with the Confederations Cup. The teams are suffering with these tournaments, but it's not easy, we will try to manage."

The boss was also quizzed about potential transfer targets.

He said: "We have been working and looking at targets. Every year is the same."

He added: "I don't think it will be a problem attracting players because Liverpool is massive club with a great history and we have big players with quality in the squad.

"You cannot win every year. This season has been bad, but when you are at a club for a long time you have good times and bad times."

Who is Jack Robinson?

By Jimmy Rice - LFC Official Website

Jack Robinson became Liverpool's youngest ever player when he came on against Hull City on Sunday aged 16 years and 250 days.

The Warrington-born defender broke a record set by Max Thompson, who made his debut at the age of 17 years and 129 days in 1974.

Though Robinson replaced Ryan Babel on the left of midfield at Hull, his natural position is at full-back.

He first trained with Rafael Benitez's first team ahead of our Europa League clash with Benfica in March.

"Jack was okay," the boss told us after that session. "He was a little bit shy at first, a little bit quiet.

"But the senior players were helping and supporting him. The first training session is never easy but little by little he was better."

Remarkably, Robinson hasn't even figured for the Reserves yet - though he has been one of the stars of Rodolfo Borrell's U18 team this term.

His main attributes are his determination and an ability to get forward and produce the goods in the final third.

Reds held by Tigers

Sky Sports

Hull City have bowed out of the Premier League with a credible goalless draw with Liverpool at the KC Stadium.

Despite Aston Villa's shock home defeat by Blackburn, Liverpool have missed out on sixth place after being held in East Yorkshire.

City have dropped a place to 19th in the final standings after Burnley came from two down to claim a surprise 4-2 win over Spurs.

Liverpool started the game in the ascendancy and Tom Cairney was fortunate not to see his poor defensive clearance from Ryan Babel's through ball fly into his own net.

The game had an end of season feel to it, although how it remained goalless at the break remains a mystery.

Promising youngster Mark Cullen headed a near-post effort wide of the target while Alberto Aquilani's shot cannoned off the crossbar just before half-time.

The Tigers continued to press after the interval and both Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink and Cullen were close to latching onto Bernard Mendy's teasing cross.

Liverpool tried in vain to snatch a last-gasp winner with Steven Gerrard's shot off the post the closest Rafa Benitez's side came to securing the win.

Lacked urgency
With both sides having little to play for - at best Liverpool could finish sixth, their worst league performance since 1999 - the opening exchanges lacked any real urgency.

However, young Tigers midfielder Cairney was relieved when his interception of Babel's pass to Nabil El Zhar, starting for the first time this season, flew wide of Matt Duke's left post.

That was a lot closer than Sotirios Kyrgiakos came with his header from Gerrard's corner, with the ball rolling out for a throw-in feet from where the Liverpool captain had delivered it.

El Zhar was at least trying to make the most of his opportunity and a right-foot 20-yard shot was tipped over by Duke in the 18th minute.

From Gerrard's corner the Moroccan's mis-hit shot bounced up to Dirk Kuyt whose back-header was nodded over the crossbar by George Boateng on the goalline.

Aquilani, who had been quiet all half, side-footed just wide from a weak Hull clearance in the 28th minute while Vennegoor of Hesselink headed straight into Jose Reina's hands as both teams continued to create nothing more than half-chances.

Cullen should have twice put Hull ahead in the space of a minute but wasted two glorious openings from close range.

First Cairney's deflected shot found the striker on the edge of the six-yard area but he allowed the ball to get trapped under his feet and Daniel Agger recovered to dispossess him.

Then Cullen rose unchallenged to head Will Atkinson's cross wide from an even shorter distance.

Blazed over
Aquilani should have done better than hit the crossbar in added time from 12 yards out while Agger blazed the rebound high into the crowd.

Six minutes after the interval Vennegoor of Hesselink diverted Bernard Mendy's right-wing cross past Reina but wide of the far post from a narrow angle.

All that needed to be said about the quality on show was evident when Hull fans began a conga early in the second half.

But in truth the home fans had more to cheer about and they were almost celebrating when Mendy tested Reina from 35 yards and the Spain goalkeeper had to tip the ball wide.

In the closing stages most of the pressure was exerted by Hull, with Andy Dawson going close with a low shot from a quickly-taken free-kick.

16-year-old Jack Robinson made his record-making appearance with three minutes to go, replacing Babel, but it was probably the only bright spot on yet another desperately disappointing day for Liverpool.

Gerrard, whose body language told its own tale, fired just wide and also hit the post before the end but Benitez's side never really threatened throughout.

Whether Gerrard and Benitez are around to repair the damage next season remains to be seen but even if they are they will need plenty of reinforcements and, given the state of the club's finances, that seems a remote possibility.

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Thor Zakariassen