Premier League - Suarez strikes again as Liverpool edge past Hull

Premier League, Anfield - Liverpool 2 (Agger 36, Suarez 50) Hull City 0

Luis Suarez scored a sublime free kick as Liverpool edged past a resilient Hull City 2-0 in the Premier League.

The Uruguayan smashed in a second half-set piece after Daniel Agger had earlier given the Reds the lead.

It was hardly a vintage Liverpool performance, but the win sees them keep pace with leaders Arsenal.

The first real chance came after 25 minutes when Raheem Sterling raced through on goal following Suarez’s clever header. In truth the youngster should have done better with his effort as he could only find the midriff of Allan McGregor from six yards.

Hull were unable to trouble Simon Mignolet in the Liverpool net but kept the hosts at bay for the majority of the opening half, until Agger’s goal.

Philippe Coutinho’s devilish corner from the right found the towering Agger, who headed past the diving McGregor from 10 yards.

The game was put to bed after just five second-half minutes as Suarez scored another astonishing free kick.

After being felled deep in the Hull half, the Uruguayan stepped up to lift the ball over the Tigers wall and it the top left-hand corner, leaving the visiting keeper no chance.

Steve Bruce was forced into a triple substitution shortly after, introducing Matty Fryatt, George Boyd and Danny Graham, and although the trio made an impact, Hull were simply not up to the challenge of competing with Brendan Rodgers’ men.

KEY MOMENTS

14’ – SHOT: Sagbo has a pop at goal from 25 yards. He hits the ball well but doesn’t quite get over it, sending his volleyed effort a few yards over Mignolet’s bar.

26’ – SHOT: Sterling is sent through on goal from Suarez’s brilliant flicked header. The youngster bears down on goal and only has McGregor to beat, though he shoots straight at the keeper from a tight angle.

36’ – GOAL: Liverpool score. Coutinho’s whipped corner from the right is met by the towering Agger from 10 yards. The defender rises highest and crashes the ball into the floor and beyond the diving McGregor. Lovely header.

42’ – CHANCE: Wonderful, wonderful move from the hosts. Coutinho finds Aspas with a delightful pass and the winger lays it off to the advancing Henderson. With only the keeper to beat, Henderson somehow skews the ball wide from just inside the penalty area. That should be 2-0.

45+1’ – CHANCE: Henderson’s smart clipped ball over the top finds Coutinho on the edge of the 18-yard box. Davies slips at a vital moment, allowing the Liverpool man space to shoot. He does so but drags his shot wide of the post.

50’ – GOAL: OH MY, WHAT A FREE KICK! Suarez steps up to the ball, lifts it up and over the wall and into the near corner, leaving McGregor no chance. That is brilliant. Brilliant!!

73’ – CHANCE: Hull look to attack but are caught on the counter. Coutinho advances forward and has options either side, but with space opening up in front of him opts to shoot. McGregor is equal to it and beats it away.

90+2’ – CHANCE: Coutinho dances his way past a number of challenges, slaloming his way into the penalty area. He gets into the penalty area after running from inside his own half but can't beat McGregor.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

KEY STATS

The win sees Liverpool secure their seventh consecutive home victory

Suarez joins Fernando Torres as the only Liverpool players to score in eight consecutive home appearances in the Premier League

TALKING POINT - Can Liverpool still mount a serious title challenge? The Reds were top on Christmas Day but started the fixture against Hull fifth in the Premier League. A fairly routine victory over the Tigers takes them back up to fourth, but they are still are six points adrift of league leaders Arsenal.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Luis Suarez, Liverpool - In a game that lacked real quality, Suarez shone. The Uruguayan was given the treatment from the Hull players - Alex Bruce in particular - but time and time again he just got up and got on with it. The icing on the cake: a sublime free-kick worthy of winning any match.

PLAYER RATINGS

Liverpool: Mignolet 6, Johnson 6, Cissokho 6, Skrtel 6, Agger 7, Lucas 6, Henderson 6, Coutinho 7, Aspas 5, Sterling 6, Suarez 8

Subs: Toure 6, Moses 6, Gerrard 6

Hull City: McGregor 6, Figueroa 6, Bruce 6, Chester 5, Davies 6, Meyler 6, Huddlestone 6, Koren 6, Livermore 5, Sagbo 5, Elmohamady 6

Subs: Graham 5, Fryatt 6, Boyd 6

THE MATCH IN A TWEET