#Liverpool 0 Hull City 0
It was another afternoon of frustration for Mario Balotelli and his Liverpool team mates, as they failed to find a way through a resilient and well organised Hull City side in their #Premier League match yesterday at Anfield. It capped a disappointing week for the Merseysiders ater their humbling at the hands of the Galacticos of Real Madrid in midweek. Despite monopolising the possession they were unable to create many chances of note and the Tigers were well worth their point.
The draw ensured that the Reds lost further ground in the race for Champions League places, as they slipped to seventh after both Arsenal and Swansea won.
With their future in the Champions League group stages this season already in the balance after Madrid's 3-0 drubbing, it makes for far from pleasant reading for manager Brendan Rogers and he may be forced to strengthen his strikeforce yet again in the January window. Publically he continues to support his struggling striker and the effort he is putting into the matches. However, the rumours will continue unless the Italian breaks his league duck and Rodgers may already be casting envious eyes at such as the youthful talent of Saido Berahino at West Brom, who has enjoyed a productive start to his season, in stark contrast to Balotelli who has failed to score in the league so far for the Reds. Mario's badly advised half-time shirt swap with Pepe on Wednesday was not a move that endured him to the fans neither.
Liverpool have struggled for any real momentum going forward this season after the departure of their talisman of recent seasons, Luis Suarez, to Barcelona and the prolonged period on the injury table for Daniel Sturridge.
Yet again against Hull they looked mainly toothless as Steve Bruce set out his side to deny them space to operate in and without any real width, 'pool seemed to continuously drift into a sea of Hull shirts in the middle of the pitch.
Balotelli did have a couple of good chances against Hull, one in each half. After Raheem Sterling had found him in space midway through the first period, his stinging shot was palmed clear by third-choice keeper Eldin Jakupovic but the angle had been against him in the first place. A far more presentable chance came right at the death, as Philippe Coutinho darted down the left and his inch perfect cross deserved a better finish, but Mario could not find a connection to push the ball home.
Aside from Mario's shot, Liverpool's only other opportunity in a tepid first half was a Dejan Lovren header that was cleared off the line by the well positioned Ahmed Elmohamady. In reply, Hull had two efforts of their own which briefly threatened the Reds' goal, as Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone both tried their luck from distance without much fortune.
After the break Balotelli continued to persevere but gain little reward, as he failed to connect with an Emre Can header that flashed across the area and then went down in the penalty area after a tussle with Alex Bruce that the referee waved away.
The referee had been even more adamant moments earlier when he booked Jordan Henderson for simulation as he hit the deck. Philippe Coutinho livened things up when he came on as sub late on, heading just wide from a Steven Gerrard free-kick and showing determination to go through a couple of challenges and fire off a powerful shot that Jakupovic pushed over the bar.
Then came the moment the crowd and Mario had been waiting for as Coutinho curved a delightful cross into his path with the goal gaping, only for the chance to be squandered and with it the draw was sealed. #Football