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Liverpool routed in Hull friendly
Published : 23 Jul 2011 18:30:38
Liverpool's preparations for the new Premier League season suffered a setback as the Reds were routed 3-0 by Championship club Hull City in a friendly at the KC Stadium on Saturday.
Kenny Dalglish handed debuts to new signings Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson and Alexander Doni, but the Liverpool manager, who used 22 players over the course of the match, witnessed a lacklustre display from his revamped squad.
Hull took the lead in the 21st minute when left-back Joe Dudgeon picked out Robbie Brady, who gave former Roma goalkeeper Doni no chance with an emphatic finish.
Liverpool almost hit straight back immediately when Alberto Aquilani's pass put David Ngog through, but the French striker was denied by a brilliant save from goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi, on loan at Hull from Dalglish's team.
The hosts increased their lead soon after when Robert Koren scored with a superb effort from the edge of the penalty area.
Dalglish made 11 changes at half-time, sending on former Aston Villa winger Downing and former Sunderland midfielder Henderson for their first appearances and also introducing Andy Carroll and Charlie Adam.
But those four, who cost Liverpool a combined Â£83 million, couldn't halt Hull's momentum.
Downing was just inches away from opening his Reds account within two minutes of the restart as he forced a fine save from Adriano Basso.
But Jay Simpson got Hull's third goal when the striker chested down Kevin Kilbane's cross and fired home.
Dalglish blamed fatigue after a heavy training session on Friday for the result and told Liverpool's website: "Obviously we're disappointed at losing the game. It doesn't matter whether it was a pre-season friendly or not, but the fact it is pre-season gives us a bit of solace.
"We trained yesterday (Friday) as if it was a game. Everybody ran about nine or 10 thousand metres, which is equivalent to what you do in a game, so it's like playing a game and a half in two days.
"We also travelled over this morning and it's not ideal, but I would have expected a bit better than that.
"As I say, it is pre-season and it's to get players fit and get rid of their mistakes, but I certainly think we've got a few mistakes to get rid of after today."
Elsewhere in Saturday's friendly action, England defender Jonathan Woodgate came through 62 minutes of his Stoke debut as last season's FA Cup runners-up lost 1-0 to League Two club Aldershot.
Adam Mekki's goal won it for Aldershot as former Real Madrid centre-back Woodgate, repeatedly hit by injuries over the last few years, started his spell with Tony Pulis's men after a free transfer from Tottenham.
Wolves drew 1-1 at Notts County as Neal Bishop's 90th-minute equaliser cancelled out Matt Jarvis's opener for Mick McCarthy's Premier League outfit.