Premier League
Liverpool2Hull0

Liverpool 2-0 Hull City

Liverpool moved back into the top four following successive Christmas defeats with a comfortable victory over Hull.

Daniel Agger nodded in a Philippe Coutinho corner to set the hosts up for a seventh straight home win.

It was all Liverpool as Jordan Henderson and Coutinho went close before Luis Suarez doubled the advantage with an exquisite free-kick early in the second half.

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Rodgers hails Liverpool's 'best win'

Hull created little, but did well to prevent the hosts from scoring a third.

The victory goes some way to repairing the damage caused by the losses to Manchester City and Chelsea over Christmas, and prevented Hull from completing the double over Brendan Rodgers's men.

Not only was this payback for the 3-1 defeat Hull inflicted at the KC Stadium last month, but the three points also keep Liverpool in touch with league leaders Arsenal.

The Reds, top on Christmas Day but fifth at the start of play, leapfrog Everton into fourth after their Merseyside rivals drew at Stoke.

A further boost to Anfield boss Rodgers was Steven Gerrard's second-half introduction after the captain's four-match absence with a hamstring injury.

However, the sight of Glenn Johnson hobbling off early in the second half will be a worry to Rodgers who already has a lengthy injury list to contend with.

The manager has described the second half of the season as "massive" for the club as they seek a first top-four finish since 2008-09.

Not every opponent in 2014 will be dealt with as easily as Hull were, although it did take the hosts a while to break down Steve Bruce's well-organised side.

When they eventually hit their stride midway through the first half, it was Suarez's imagination and energy that was at the heart of it.

The Uruguayan thought he had scored his 20th goal of the season early on, only for his header from a Coutinho free-kick to be correctly disallowed for offside.

Undeterred, he went on to create an opening for Raheem Sterling but Allan McGregor advanced quickly off his line to get down and smother the teenager's effort.

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Difficult afternoon for Hull - Bruce

The opener came from an unlikely source as Agger scored his first league goal since April, his downward header evading not just the goalkeeper but two Hull defenders on the line.

The hosts should have extended their advantage before the break but the influential Henderson missed with the goal at his mercy, while Coutinho squandered an equally glorious chance.

Those misses were forgotten in the 50th minute, however, when Suarez stepped up to produce a moment of brilliance, curling an unstoppable free-kick into the top corner.

And there were more cheers from the home fans when Gerrard replaced Iago Aspas shortly afterwards.

The veteran midfielder enjoyed an easy reintroduction as Liverpool continued to dominate, Coutinho twice more going close in the latter stages, though Hull held their discipline to prevent further scoring.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers: "It was arguably our best win of the season, on the back of what was a tough schedule for us with a light squad.

"The energy, as you'd expect, was not what it has been but we showed great resilience. Luis Suarez's quality is unquestionable. It's probably unfair that our team doesn't get the credit.

"Everyone talks about Luis, and we all know he's a world class player, but even when he was out of the team we only lost one game. Today was a great team performance and what we're building here is based around that."

Hull boss Steve Bruce: "It's a disappointing result. It was a difficult afternoon for us. It isn't the easies of places to come and, towards the end, we had a lot of tired bodies out there.

"We stuck at it and conceded from two set pieces. Our season is never defined in places like this. It was very comfortable for Liverpool because we didn't have the energy. They were better than us on the day."

For a gallery of images from Wednesday's Premier League games please go to the BBC Sport Facebook page.

Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 22Mignolet
  • 20Cissokho
  • 2JohnsonSubstituted forK Touréat 55'minutes
  • 5Agger
  • 37Skrtel
  • 14Henderson
  • 10Coutinho
  • 31SterlingSubstituted forMosesat 76'minutes
  • 9Iago AspasSubstituted forGerrardat 62'minutes
  • 21Lucas
  • 7SuárezBooked at 39mins

Substitutes

  • 1Jones
  • 4K Touré
  • 6Luis Alberto
  • 8Gerrard
  • 12Moses
  • 34Kelly
  • 46Rossiter

Hull

  • 1McGregor
  • 6DaviesBooked at 86mins
  • 5Chester
  • 4BruceBooked at 21mins
  • 7MeylerSubstituted forBoydat 59'minutes
  • 8Huddlestone
  • 27Elmohamady
  • 14Livermore
  • 3Figueroa
  • 10KorenSubstituted forGrahamat 59'minutes
  • 20SagboSubstituted forFryattat 58'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Rosenior
  • 9Graham
  • 12Fryatt
  • 17Boyd
  • 22Harper
  • 23Faye
  • 29Quinn
Referee:
Craig Pawson
Attendance:
44,627

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamHull
Possession
Home58%
Away42%
Shots
Home17
Away10
Shots on Target
Home6
Away0
Corners
Home3
Away4
Fouls
Home15
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Liverpool 2, Hull City 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, Hull City 0.
Attempt saved. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.
Attempt blocked. George Boyd (Hull City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matty Fryatt.
Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).
Danny Graham (Hull City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt missed. Luis Suárez (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Booking

Curtis Davies (Hull City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Luis Suárez (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Curtis Davies (Hull City).
Foul by Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).
Jake Livermore (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Maynor Figueroa (Hull City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by George Boyd.
Foul by Victor Moses (Liverpool).
Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Aly Cissokho.
Attempt missed. Luis Suárez (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Philippe Coutinho with a headed pass.
Martin Skrtel (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Curtis Davies (Hull City).
Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).
Matty Fryatt (Hull City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left.
Attempt blocked. Matty Fryatt (Hull City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jake Livermore.
Attempt blocked. Tom Huddlestone (Hull City) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is blocked. Assisted by Jake Livermore.
Victor Moses (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Matty Fryatt (Hull City).
Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Jordan Henderson.
Attempt blocked. Jake Livermore (Hull City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Victor Moses replaces Raheem Sterling.
Foul by Raheem Sterling (Liverpool).
Curtis Davies (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Attempt saved. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lucas Leiva.
Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Steven Gerrard.
Dangerous play by Steven Gerrard (Liverpool).
James Chester (Hull City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Raheem Sterling (Liverpool).
Maynor Figueroa (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Curtis Davies (Hull City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Matty Fryatt following a corner.
Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Lucas Leiva.
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Arsenal2014332145
2Man City2014243444
3Chelsea2013431943
4Liverpool2012352339
5Everton2010821338
6Tottenham201145-137
7Man Utd201046934
8Newcastle201037433
9Southampton20767327
10Hull20659-323
11Aston Villa20659-623
12Stoke20578-1122
13Swansea20569-221
14West Brom20497-421
15Norwich205510-1620
16Fulham206113-2119
17Cardiff204610-1718
18Crystal Palace205213-1617
19West Ham203611-1115
20Sunderland203512-1814
View full Premier League table

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