Match Analysis: Liverpool 0-0 Hull City

Mario Balotelli of Liverpool is challenged by James Chester of Hull City during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Hull City at Anfield on October 25, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole dissects the 90 minutes that unfolded in this afternoon's goalless draw between Liverpool and Hull City at Anfield.

Neither Liverpool nor Hull City could break the deadlock in this afternoon's goalless draw at Anfield.

Mario Balotelli had a number of chances to score his first Premier League goal in a Reds shirt, but Hulls organisation at the back was strong enough to frustrate the home attack.

Here, Sports Mole analyses the 90 minutes that unfolded on Merseyside and discusses whether one point apiece was a fair result.

Match statistics

Liverpool
Shots: 17
On target: 4
Possession: 66%
Corners: 14
Fouls: 12

Hull City
Shots: 6
On target: 3
Possession: 34%
Corners: 1
Fouls: 17

Was the result fair?

Hull deserved to take something out of the game following their performance, despite waves of Liverpool attack towards the end of the second half. The Merseyside outfit's defensive frailties have been highlighted in recent weeks, but goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was rarely troubled. The Tigers were sturdy in defence throughout the game and it would have been unfair for them to have left empty handed, but then again, Liverpool should have won the game due to the numerous chances that they had towards the end of the match.

Liverpool's performance

In previous games, the Reds have been missing the intensity and fast-paced passing, which helped them finish second in the Premier League last season. This afternoon, Brendan Rodgers's side showed spells of attacking intent in between periods of flatness. The game changed for the better for Liverpool when Philippe Coutinho and Rickie Lambert were brought on. From then on, they caused trouble to Hull, but once again failed to find that killer edge in the final third. Balotelli had a number of chances, two of which he should have scored, but the Italian's performance improved once Lambert was introduced as his strike partner.

Hull City's performance

The Tigers started brightly in the first half, but they ended up having to rely on their defensive duties a number of times as the game progressed. Despite not having many goalscoring opportunities themselves, Steve Bruce's side always seemed comfortable in defence, especially with James Chester, Curtis Davies and Alex Bruce doing their jobs well.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Mohamed Diame: The midfielder ran tirelessly on the left side of the pitch for the visitors and found himself in decent attacking positions throughout the match. The 27-year-old prevented Liverpool's Javier Manquillo from causing damage and carried out duties all over the pitch, as well as dropping back to defend at times.

Biggest gaffe

Balotelli is never far away from the headlines and while he showed signs of ability during the course of the game, the Italian should really have taken his chances given that he is currently Liverpool's main striker. The 24-year-old had two opportunities, one of which came in injury time, to tap the ball into the back of the net and give the Reds three points with his first league goal.

Referee performance

Neil Swarbrick had a few contentious decisions to deal with and at times took his time to decide on whether to give a free kick or not. Adam Lallana was the subject of a late tackle in the box during the first half, which could have resulted in a penalty, but the referee wrongly decided not to award it. Swarbrick also brandished a yellow card to Raheem Sterling for a follow-through clip on Robbie Brady, despite there being no intent, and a few Hull players were lucky not to go in the book when tackles were thrown in.

What next?

Liverpool: The Reds play Rodgers's former club Swansea City in the Capital One Cup at Anfield on Tuesday.

Hull City: The Tigers host in-form Southampton at the KC Stadium in the Premier League next Saturday.

Liverpool's Italian striker Mario Balotelli plays during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at White Hart Lane in London on August 31, 2014
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