Alfred N'Diaye celebrates with his team-mates after scoring during the win over Hull
Like Burnley, like Bournemouth, like Swansea, Hull beat Liverpool. They have suffered four league defeats, all to teams in the bottom half of the table. No wonder they won’t win the title.
Not when they have a solitary victory this year, and even that came against League Two Plymouth. After a sorry January, Liverpool have begun February badly. They must wish 2017 had never started.
Not since 1954 have they failed to win any of their first five league games of a calendar year.
At a time when they needed a revival, they produced their worst display of the season. The only brightness came from Klopp’s luminous orange trainers. His team were dismal.
For the first time since November, they had Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana on the pitch at the same time. It made no difference.
Oumar Niasse celebrates with his team-mates after scoring in the 2-0 win over Liverpool
Klopp admitted: “We had a lack of rhythm. We gave easy goals away.
“The Champions League is an outstanding, big, big target. So many teams want to go there.
“We have to show now that we are really ready to go. I can say it but we have to show it.
“We have to take all the criticism. We expect more from ourselves and we have to show more than we did today. Even if we won 2-1, I am still angry about the first half.”
Hull manager Marco Silva said: “We showed fantastic spirit and attitude and very good organisation.”
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Jurgen Klopp reacts during the shock 2-0 defeat to Hull
Liverpool player ratings against Hull
Sat, February 4, 2017
Express Sport brings you Liverpool's player ratings from their defeat to Hull
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Simon Mignolet – 5
He deserves much of the credit. In the space of four days, he took four points from games with Manchester United and Liverpool.
“When I came, the atmosphere was not the best,” Silva admitted. But it was electric yesterday. Hull are a team transformed, given belief by his appointment and an upgrade in the transfer market. Two January signings, Alfred N’Diaye and Oumar Niasse, scored yesterday. Three more, Andrea Ranocchia, Omar Elabdellaoui and Kamil Grosicki, all impressed. A side of strangers looked a real team.
To make matters worse for Liverpool, Hull’s win was clinched by an Everton player.
Niasse never scored a goal at Goodison Park. But, loaned out, he raced on to Ranocchia’s long pass to make it two.
The odds had seemed stacked against Hull when captain Michael Dawson was injured in the warm-up. He was replaced by Ranocchia. He excelled from the start.
Liverpool have won just once in their last 10 games in all competitions
Liverpool did not. They could have led when Harry Maguire made a vital block to Coutinho’s shot after Eldin Jakupovic spilled a Firmino cross, but they were soon behind.
For the second time in five days, Liverpool went a goal down because of a Simon Mignolet error. The Belgian was at fault for David Luiz’s opener for Chelsea. He was to blame for N’Diaye’s debut goal for Hull.
When debutant Grosicki slung in a corner, Maguire met it with a header. Mignolet should have held that but, under pressure from Abel Hernandez, he spilled it. N’Diaye did not miss.
Liverpool only really threatened at the start of the second half. Jakupovic saved a header from the diving Emre Can. He clawed away a header from the leaping Mane. Coutinho skewed a shot way wide.
That was their only dangerous spell and Hull hit back.
Hernandez twice missed chances to double Hull’s lead. But then he came off, Niasse came on and the substitute sealed victory.
Hull was hell for Liverpool.