Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hull 0 - 0 Liverpool

This is Liverpools' last match of a DISSAPOINTING season. Hull and Liverpool closed out hugely disappointing campaigns with a forgettable draw at the KC Stadium.
Alberto Aquilani hit the bar from close range for the visitors in the first half and Steven Gerrard slammed a shot against the upright late on.
The lively Mark Cullen wasted Hull's best chance with a header just wide.
The result meant Liverpool finished seventh, their worst since 1999, while Hull end their two-year spell in the Premier League down in 19th place.
It was miserable fare for both sets of fans, but they will be far more concerned with the future of their respective managers - and key players - after such poor campaigns.
Benitez - My future is still not decided
Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton has insisted neither Fernando Torres nor captain Gerrard need to be sold to ease the club's mounting debts but question marks still remain over the future of boss Rafael Benitez, with Juventus persistently touted as a possible new club for the Spaniard. A season without Champions League football next season may feel like the end of the world to some Liverpool supporters but Hull's situation offers a touch of reality.
With debts of £35m and the threat of administration hanging over the club, Hull must now prepare for Championship football once again.
Whether or not Iain Dowie is still in charge of the team next season remains to be seen, but Hull can certainly take the positives out of a battling final-day display and particularly the performances of youngsters Tom Cairney, Mark Cullen and Will Atkinson.
Liverpool enjoyed a promising start with Nabil El Zhar, making his first start of the season for the Reds, forcing Matt Duke into a fine one-handed before George Boateng headed a Dirk Kuyt shot off the line.
Aquilani placed a shot just wide after an overhead ball from Ryan Babel was only half-cleared but Hull did create a chance of their own when Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink bulldozed through the Liverpool defence before heading straight at Pepe Reina.
Cullen, who scored his first Hull goal against Wigan on Monday, looked sharp again up front but wasted two golden opportunities to give his side the lead.
Firstly the youngster got the ball tangled up in his feet when through on goal and he then planted a header wide after a teasing cross from Atkinson.
A promising start from Liverpool had quickly faded and Benitez's glum mood was not helped on the stroke of half-time when Aquiliani hammered against the bar before Daniel Agger sliced his follow-up effort towards the corner flag.
City also went close to going ahead moments after the break when a curling cross from the excellent Bernard Mendy only just eluded Vennegoor of Hesselink and an onrushing Cullen at the back post.
Cairney continued to work tirelessly in central midfield following the restart, often showing up Gerrard and Javier Mascherano, but Hull were unable to turn their industry into chances.
Liverpool brought on youth team star Jack Robinson, aged just 16 and eight months, who became the club's youngster-ever first-team player but they failed to find a way through.
A powerful drive from Gerrard which cannoned against the post late on was by far their best chance in the second half, while Cullen had Hull's final effort, powering a shot just over the bar.
Tigers chairman Adam Pearson and owner Russell Bartlett will now sit down to decide Dowie's fate while Benitez is also set for further talks with chairman Broughton on Wednesday.
The season may be over but the drama is likely to continue at both clubs for many weeks to come.

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