After The Match 


Hull-Liverpool 1-3 (0-1)             25.4.09                             PL
Goals: Alonso (45), Kuyt (62, 89)        Geovanni (73)
Team: Reina, Arbeloa, Insua, Skrtel, Carragher, Alonso, Mascherano, Lucas, Benayoun, Kuyt, Torres
Subs: El Zhar (Mascherano 83), Agger (Benayoun (88),
Dossena (Kuyt 89)
Not used: Cavalieri, Aurelio, Riera, N'Gog
Yellow: Arbeloa (65)
Marney(44), Barmby (45), Boateng (45), Fagan (60)
Red: Folan (58)
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Attendance: 24,942


Shots on target: 1-5
Shots off target: 5-14
Blocked shots: 3-7
Fouls conceded: 15-14
Corners: 3-8
Offsides: 3-3
Possession: 26.5-73.5
Yellow: 4-1

have to
keep on winning."
Rafael Benitez
2704: Carra backs Hull to cause a title upset
2704: Kuyt: Spirit can still win us the crown
2604: Insua: Hard work the key to victory
2504: Rafa 'satisfied' with key win
2504: Reds tame Tigers as chase goes on 

Carra backs Hull
to cause a title upset

By Tony Barrett - Liverpool Echo

Jamie Carragher believes Hull City could yet provide a sting in the tail in this year’s title race after Phil Brown’s relegation threatened side pushed Liverpool all the way on Saturday.

Although nowhere near their best, the Reds emerged from a tense encounter with a vital 3-1 win which ensured they kept up the pressure on Manchester United at the top of the Premier League

Carragher readily admits Liverpool did not hit the heights of recent weeks but believes a lot of the credit for that must go to Hull who face United at the KC Stadium on the last day of the season.

“We have been on a great run of form recently and that was probably the worst we’ve played in a long time to be honest,” said Liverpool’s stand-in skipper.

“Credit to them though, they competed really well and caused us quite a few problems and we were just delighted to get the result in the end.

“Good luck to them, we just hope they do the same when they play Man United at the end of the season.

“They weren’t really the kind of conditions you want to be playing in when it’s warm because the pitch was really sticky and the grass was long so we couldn’t really get our passing going.

“But obviously they did that because it gives them more chance of making a game of it and, like I said, good luck to them.

“If they keep going like that I’m sure they will do well and hopefully we can take the title race to the last game because it won’t be easy for United to go there just as it wasn’t for us on Saturday.”

Carragher was delighted with the way his side stuck to their task and believes the character of the team was vital yet again.

“That’s what we’re about to be honest,” he said.

“We’ve shown all season that we are prepared to fight and I think that’s one of the main reasons why we’ve only lost two games up to now.

“Obviously people will point to the fact that we’ve had a few more draws than some of the other teams around us but to only have two defeats at this stage of the season is testament to the team and its character.”

Kuyt: Spirit can still
win us the crown

By Ian Doyle - Liverpool Daily Post

Dirk Kuyt celebrated his 100th Premier League appearance with two goals – then hailed the character that he believes could yet win Liverpool the championship.

Kuyt’s brace helped Rafael Benitez’s side secure an unconvincing 3-1 win at struggling Hull City on Saturday and keep up the pressure on leaders Manchester United.

Liverpool remain three points behind United having played a game more than their bitter North West rivals.

With only four weeks left in the top-flight season, time is running out for the Anfield outfit to overhaul the champions.

But Kuyt said: “We don’t give up. On Tuesday, we played really well but made too many mistakes and sometimes that happens in football. But we had to move on to what was in front of us.

“We didn’t play very well against Hull but the positive thing was that we showed character and we kept going till we got the three points. We will just keep fighting for the Premier League – all we can do is keep winning our games.

“The important thing is what is in our hands now – the next game, which is Newcastle – and winning all our games. We have to just keep on winning our games and hopefully the miracle will happen. I believe in miracles in football – I have certainly seen stranger things happen in football.

“United need to slip up to make things interesting and as soon as they have dropped some points the pressure will be on them again. We will just have to wait and see and focus on ourselves.”

Liverpool’s job on Saturday was made easier when Hull striker Caleb Folan was red-carded shortly before the hour by referee Martin Atkinson for kicking out at Martin Skrtel as the pair tussled for possession.

Insua: Hard work
the key to victory

By Steve Hunter - LFC Official Website

Emiliano Insua reflected on the 3-1 win at Hull City and admitted the Reds had to dig deep to get the three points.

Dirk Kuyt's double strike plus a superb effort from Xabi Alonso ensured the Reds remained in the title hunt, but they had to work hard to get the three points.

The Argentine starlet was making his 11th appearance of the season at the KC Stadium and put in another accomplished display at left back.

"It was a very difficult game and the pitch wasn't the best but we got the three points which is the most important thing at this stage of the season," Insua told

"The first half was very tough but fortunately Xabi scored with a great strike and with it coming just before half-time it was very important for us.

"We had to work hard in the second half and credit to Hull who kept working hard despite them having a man sent-off.

"Fortunately Dirk scored two goals in the second half for us and it was good to get the three points despite us not being at our best."

The Reds have four games remaining and Manchester United must slip-up in their final five games to give Rafael Benitez's side a fighting chance.

"We know what we have to do and that is win our last four games," said Insua.

"We know anything can happen in football and we have to hope Manchester United will drop some points."

Rafa 'satisfied' with key win

By Chris Burton - Sky Sports

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was delighted to have emerged from a tricky trip to Hull City with three points on Saturday.

The Reds kept their Premier League title dreams alive with a comfortable 3-1 win at the KC Stadium.

Goals from Xabi Alonso and a brace from Dirk Kuyt saw the Merseysiders home, while Geovanni notched a consolation for the Tigers.

Benitez hailed Hull afterwards for the part they played in a competitive contest, while the Spaniard was also pleased to have prevailed on what proved to be a difficult surface.

"I think we were working very hard and I think we created a lot of chances. I think we have to be satisfied," said Benitez.

"I think we were a little bit rusty early on because the pitch was terrible. It was dry, it was long and it was very difficult to pass the ball.

"You can make mistakes when the other team is used to the grass. But it is part of the situation and the second half was better."

The Reds boss was also delighted to see two-goal hero Kuyt reap the rewards of his recent hard work.

"Everybody is really pleased at the club because Kuyt is the perfect professional. He always works so hard, so it was very good for him to score today," he said

Benitez is also refusing to throw in the towel in the title race, insisting his side are still in with a fighting chance of overhauling champions Manchester United.

"In football, you never know," he said.

"We needed to win before today and we have. Now we have to keep on winning.

"We are playing with more confidence. We were in control, we scored two goals, but then we made a mistake, but I don't remember too many more clear chances for them. But we can still improve."

Referee Martin Atkinson came under scrutiny for his performance on Saturday, with a number of contentious decisions infuriating the Hull support.

Much has been made of the awarding of a free-kick moments before the interval, from which Alonso scored, but Benitez believes the officials got the big decisions right.

"It was very clear if you see the replay. The referee was right," he said on the incident preceding the opening goal.

Reds tame Tigers
as chase goes on

By JP Lonergan - Setanta Sports

Liverpool kept their Premier League title chase on course with a 3-1 win over ten-man Hull City at The KC Stadium on Saturday afternoon, deepening the Tigers’ relegation plight in the process.

This was a must-win game for Rafael Benitez’s side with the Merseysiders running out of games and Manchester United firmly ensconced in the driving seat to retain their league crown. The Spaniard’s charges - again without talisman Steven Gerrard - did the necessary however, with Xabi Alonso and Dirk Kuyt (two) getting the goals, the second and third of which were sandwiched by one from Hull’s Geovanni.

The win saw The Reds climb back to the top of the league table for a couple of hours ahead of United's win over Tottenham Hotspur. For relegation-haunted Hull, it is now just two wins in 25 league efforts and Phil Brown’s men never really looked like getting anything out of this game, their cause not helped by a straight red card for striker Caleb Folan, just before the hour mark.

The first scare of the game was one for the title-hunters, but Fernando Torres was quick to run off a slight knock after his heels were clipped by Hull skipper George Boateng. The brilliant Spaniard nearly punished Boateng and his pals for that, but Boaz Myhill turned his 12-yard effort over after Yossi Benayoun’s initial effort had been blocked.

The Israeli attacker had the visitors’ second chance after more weaving and winding from himself on the left, but he sent his chipped shot off target.

The Tigers looked lacklustre in the first ten minutes but hit back with a couple of goal attempts of their own soon after to ensure it was not all one-way traffic. Dean Marney collected the ball and let fly from 20 yards but the effort was rotten and wide to the left before a more innovative effort from Geovanni from the same distance flew just past Jose Reina’s right post.

The Reds – having seen eight goals conceded in their last two outings – began to look a little nervous at the back, making a few poor clearances and conceding a couple of unnecessary corners. Hull, however, were lacking the ideas to punish them and were nearly caught on the hop when a Liverpool break led to the ball coming to Lucas Leiva in the right channel, but the Brazilian’s effort was soft, across goal and ultimately well wide.

Liverpool’s edginess was further emphasised when Reina hacked a pass back from Alvaro Arbeloa straight up in the air, but their danger always outweighed their doubt and more good work from Benayoun led to a shot from the previously quiet Kuyt, the Dutchman’s well-hit 20-yard effort deflecting behind off former Red Nick Barmby. Full back Emiliano Insua then drilled the ball over from the corner that followed.

As half-time approached, Folan rose but failed to get a decent connection to a cross from Sam Ricketts. Liverpool hit back and as Javier Mascherano tried to take them forward, Boateng was harshly penalised for a catching the Argentine’s foot, handing Benitez’s men a free-kick 25 yards from Myhill’s goal.

Alonso stepped up and powered the free-kick goalward, but found only the Hull wall. However, the way The Tigers' luck has been since the Christmas decorations came down, it was only to be expected that the ball would bounce perfectly for the classy Spaniard once more and he was spot on with an unstoppable 25-yard half volley.

Barmby was booked for dissent after the awarding of the free-kick, but his complaints did not help the Hull cause as they made the familiar trip to the dressing room in arrears.

Torres had been pretty quiet in the first half, but the ex-Atletico Madrid ace normally does not need much to hurt opponents and Brown had cause to roar at his defenders when the hit-man was left all alone 20 yards from goal early in the second half. Luckily for those defenders, Liverpool’s number nine pulled his shot high and wide.

Mascherano followed suit soon after with another long-ranger as Hull started the half on the back foot. Torres then went closer with a first-time effort from just outside the area after Arbeloa’s battling created the opportunity. He was just over this time.

Hull’s day got worse minutes later when Folan was shown a straight red. The burly attacker had been a nuisance for The Reds' defence all day, but could not get past Martin Skrtel as The Tigers broke and lashed out with a stupid kick at the Slovakian. Referee Martin Atkinson showed the Republic of Ireland man a straight red card and as he left the field, Hull’s chances of getting anything out of the game pretty much accompanied him.

Four minutes after Hull’s player count went down one, Liverpool’s goal tally went up one. Benayoun and Alonso interchanged passes from a corner, before the Israeli sent in a cross that was headed down and out by Michael Turner. It fell to Skrtel at the edge of the area and although the defender made a mess of his shot, it bounced up perfectly for the onside Kuyt to head beyond Myhill and double the visitors’ lead.

With Hull seeming beaten, a Geovanni free-kick could only find the Reds wall, but with 17 minutes to play, the Brazilian had a much less difficult opportunity. Brown had brought on Bernard Mendy and Daniel Cousin for Barmby and Craig Fagan just after Folan had been sent off and the duo combined to create a goal that reignited the hosts’ hope. A superb long ball from Mendy on the right found Cousin, who held it up and battled past Skrtel before crossing past Reina and into the path of Geovanni, who tapped into an empty net.

The goal was something of a soft one for The Reds to concede and their nervousness returned somewhat for the remainder of the game, though Torres could – and maybe should – have finished it when picked out by Kuyt after great battling by the Dutchman on the right. Torres’ header boomed back off the bar, however.

Brown threw on on-loan Manchester United man Manucho with a few minutes to go and though his side won a couple of corners, the man from Old Trafford could not help the Hull cause. Indeed, it was Torres who had a more clear-cut effort as he shot into the side-netting from the right of the area.

Then with just a minute on the clock, Liverpool sealed it. Arbeloa made his way into the area on the right and took his time before shooting. Myhill parried the defender’s effort, but the ball fell to Kuyt who could do nothing but score and the Dutchman’s second made sure that The Reds would be taking all the points home.

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