Liverpool’s performance was summed up by an incident in the 76th minute of this game when James Milner smashed a square pass into the head of teammate Jordan Henderson.
Just moments earlier, Milner’s decision to shoot from 25 yards, when many better options were available, led to a mini civil war on the pitch.
Milner, who made more touches of the ball than any other play on the field, was not the reason why Liverpool lost 2-0 to Hull, but he provided two fine examples of what was wrong with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.
Communication was awful, while composure was severely lacking. Liverpool were allowed to monopolise ball possession, but they weren’t cool enough to make it count.
Philippe Coutinho tried to play the role of chief creator, coming deep to start attacks, but the Brazilian suffered nosebleeds when he got to the business end of the pitch. His shooting was dreadful, firing all five of his attempts off target.
But, of course, this game was not all about Liverpool.
Hull were brilliant at the back. They maintained their defensive shape and demanded that Liverpool produced something special to break them down. They didn’t.
Tigers goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic had an impressive game, making four saves, most of which were pretty straightforward. The Hull stopper did make one spectacular intervention late in the game though, nailing a superb diving save to deny Henderson from long range.
Jakupovic’s opposite number, Simon Mignolet, was at fault for Hull’s first goal as a handling error allowed Alfred N’Diaye to bundle home from the third phase of a corner kick, which Liverpool’s defence had made a pig’s ear of dealing with.
Hull’s second was the result of a long ball over the top, which Oumar Niasse raced onto before holding off two defenders and sliding cooly under Mignolet.
Tom Huddlestone, who started in midfield and ended up playing at the heart of a back five, won the Hull fans’ vote for man of the match. He was indeed excellent, getting his huge frame in the way when necessary, as well as linking up the play under pressure from Liverpool’s high press when the hosts had the ball.
This result means that Hull have now taken seven points from their last four Premier League games, despite facing Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool during that period.
Hull player ratings
Eldin Jakupovic 7, Omar Elabdellaoui 7, Andrea Ranocchia 9, Harry Maguire 7, Andrew Robertson 7, Alfred N’Diaye 8, Tom Huddlestone 9, Kamil Grosicki 7, Evandro 6, Sam Clucas 6, Abel Hernandez 6.
Subs: Josh Tymon 6, Oumar Niasse 7, David Meyler 6.
Liverpool player ratings
Simon Mignolet 4, Nathaniel Clyne 5, Lucas Leiva 6, Joel Matip 6, James Milner 6, Emre Can 5, Jordan Henderson 6, Adam Lallana 5, Sadio Mane 6, Roberto Firmino 5, Philippe Coutinho 5.
Subs: Daniel Sturridge 5, Divock Origi 5, Alberto Moreno 5.