Premier League: Liverpool beat Hull City with goals by Daniel Agger and Luis Suarez
Last Updated: 01/01/14 7:00pm
Luis Suarez: Liverpool striker a menace all afternoon for the Hull defence
Liverpool reignited their Premier League campaign with a Luis Suarez masterclass inspiring a 2-0 win over Hull City.
Best of the match
- Man of the match: Luis Suarez. Despite being kicked and fouled throughout the game, he netted his 20th goal in 15 league appearances.
- Goal of the match: Suarez with yet another fantastic free kick from outside the area, curling it up and over the wall and into the top left-hand corner.
- Attempt of the match: Philippe Coutinho's weaving run into the box past several players, before having his close-range effort saved by Allan McGregor.
- Save of the match: McGregor did extremely well to parry Coutinho's screaming effort, his first on target, away from goal.
- Talking point: The offside call in the early stages after Suarez had headed home from a Coutinho free kick.
After a sleepy start, Daniel Agger settled the early jitters permeating Anfield with a smart header from Philippe Coutinho's corner to open the scoring on 36 minutes.
But it was Suarez, not for the first time this season, who orchestrated everything to help steer his team past tricky opponents and provide some festive relief after two defeats at title rivals Manchester City and Chelsea.
The Uruguay international had already got the ball in the net, nodding in Coutinho's free-kick, only to be denied by an offside flag and his creativity continued to spark, setting up Raheem Sterling with a cute nodded through-ball.
And while Jordan Henderson and Coutinho wasted chances to double the lead with dragged shots from close range, Suarez was becoming increasingly agitated with the treatment by David Meyler and Alex Bruce, who were marshalling the striker like two heavy-handed bouncers.
With just the single goal at the interval, there was still reason to be cautious for the hosts, especially playing a team who smashed in six second-half goals against Fulham at the weekend.
Any hope of a revival was extinguished in brutal yet beautiful fashion four minutes into the second period.
You may have excused Suarez for coming out after the interval in body armour, but he responded to Hull's enforcers by first winning a free-kick outside the box and then curling the dead ball over the wall into the top corner to make it 20 league goals this season.
Apart from tame shots by Robert Koren and Yannick Sagbo at the start of this contest, the visitors offered little threat and in the closing stages, they had their keeper Alan McGregor to thank for restricting the damage as he smothered a shot from the impressive Coutinho.
It was a thoroughly deserved victory for Brendan Rodgers and his team who climb back into the top four with Everton failing to beat Stoke and they will also be buoyed with a second-half appearance of fit-again Steven Gerrard.
Barclays Premier League
Wed 1st Jan
Swansea2 - 3Man City
Arsenal2 - 0Cardiff
C Palace1 - 1Norwich
Fulham2 - 1West Ham
Liverpool2 - 0Hull City
So'ton0 - 3Chelsea
Stoke1 - 1Everton
S'land0 - 1A Villa
W Brom1 - 0Newcastle
Man Utd1 - 2Tottenham
Barclays Premier League
|9||West Ham United||35||47|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||35||40|
|19||Queens Park Rangers||35||27|
Liverpool v Hull City
Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has expressed sympathy for under-fire team-mate Mario Balotelli.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers praised Mario Balotelli after the 0-0 draw with Hull and vowed to stick with the striker.
Steve Bruce was delighted for Eldin Jakupovic as the goalkeeper kept a clean sheet in a goalless draw at Liverpool.