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Hull City 0 Liverpool 0: match report

09 May 2010 18:21:31

Hull City 0 Liverpool 0: match report

For Hull, the misery is complete. For Liverpool, it may only be beginning. Rafael Benítez's side ended their season with a predictable whimper, limping to a draw against already relegated opposition with nothing to play for, or with, but pride. Summer will bring no respite to the anger, the recrimination and the fear. Hull City v Tottenham Hotspur: match previewFirst, there is the matter of Benítez's future to decide, whether this will be the Spaniard's final farewell to English football. Then will come a decision, made not by club or manager, on whether Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and the rest will persevere, for another season at least, at Anfield. And overshadowing it all, as it always does, the spectre of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, the absentee landlords ultimately responsible, whatever the failings of Benítez and his team, for the state Liverpool find themselves in, a team unable even to take advantage of Aston Villa's defeat to finish sixth. It was, at least, a suitable end. Where Hull bade farewell to a campaign of immense disappointment, financial strife and managerial uncertainty with a dash of pride, Liverpool called time on a very similar season by laying bare every single one of the flaws which have scuttled the good ship Anfield. After an initial flurry of chances, when Nabil El Zhar drew a fingertip save from Matt Duke from the egde of the area, Tom Cairney almost lobbed his own goalkeeper and George Boateng was forced to clear a Dirk Kuyt header from the line, Liverpool simply ran out of ideas. Passes were loose, tackles missed. No pace, no energy, no composure and, most damningly of all, no quality. Hull were scarcely better, though they possessed infinitely more spirit and desire. That both sides enjoyed plenty of chances should not be read as evidence of an open, flowing game. Both created opportunities to bow out with a victory not through their own ability, but their opposition's incompetence. Twice, Alberto Aquilani was gift-wrapped an opening goal, and twice he spurned his chances, firing wide from Kevin Kilbane's misplaced header and on to the bar on the cusp of half-time. It was entirely fitting that Daniel Agger, the goal at his mercy, fired the rebound over. Iain Dowie's side should have been ahead by that stage, the young striker Mark Cullen heading wide Will Atkinson's cross, before failing to connect with Bernard Mendy's cross just after the break. Steven Gerrard, who offered what seemed to be a goodbye wave to the travelling fans at the end of the game, might have won it for the visitors, but struck the post in injury time. There was to be no end to the misery today. It will not come soon.


Telegraph

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