Liverpool 5-1 Hull City Analysis: Slick Reds sweep aside the Tigers in exemplary fashion

Liverpool 5-1 Hull City Analysis: Slick Reds sweep aside the Tigers in exemplary fashion

Jürgen Klopp's men produced a delightful performance at Anfield and showed how effective the German's tactics can be against even the most rigid of defences.

Ninad Barbadikar

This was perhaps one of the most impressive and entertaining games of the season so far. We may only be a few weeks into the season, but Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool look like they could take on anybody in this moment.

A hugely-impressive 5-1 win was a treat to watch for the 54,000-strong home crowd inside Anfield as Klopp's men tore apart Hull City and made them pay for allowing the Reds to have almost all of the ball throughout the 90 minutes.

But how exactly did Klopp's tactics ensure Liverpool overcame what was expected to be a tough test against a dogged defence?

Midfield battle won well

Hull City are known to play matches with five at the back, but on Saturday Mike Phelan tweaked his plans a bit and decided to go with a five-man midfield, hoping to win the battle in the middle of the park.

Yet, we hardly ever saw any dominance of the ball and possession from the Tigers as the trio of Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum constantly put pressure on Hull and ensured almost total control on the hosts' part.

The front three of Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino played their part as well and gave Jake Livermore and Hull captain Curtis Davies very little space to work the ball from the back and as a result of all this, Abel Hernandez was stranded up front in an impossible battle against the wall of Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan.

Jordan Henderson played a vital role in both attack and defense as he was non stop in both areas of the pitch.
(Source: Getty Images/Julian Finney)

Hull's fear, or perhaps their inability, to move forward and press Liverpool also allowed the full-backs to go deep into the final third as James Milner showed time and again.

Getting forward allowed Milner to show his qualities while crossing the ball on the left, while Nathaniel Clyne displayed great energy on the right as well. With Milner (and Mane) time and again getting the better of Ahmed Elmohamady.

Slick passing leading to goals

Liverpool played with a chemistry that most teams would desperately love to have and were excellent in keeping possession of the ball, wasting very few passes and making some great build-up before scoring the goals.

Lallana's opener was a superb example of how Klopp wants his players to work the opposition and use the creative talents of his midfielders to create chances.

Coutinho found Lallana in the box and the Englishman struck the ball at the first chance he got and though he scuffed his shot, the ball found its way inside the right post of David Marshall's goal. But this was just the start from Liverpool as they dazzled the crowd and left the Hull defence in a daze with some brilliant passing moves and their relentless attacks.

Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino were very influential as well with Coutinho scoring a stunning long-range goal. (Source: Getty/Robbie Jay Barratt)

What made the goals even more impressive was the amount of patience Liverpool displayed in keeping the ball and working their way beyond the Hull defence.

Matip and Klavan joined in whenever they could, which happened because Liverpool played a very high defensive line with very little threat from Hernandez throughout the game, as the Reds racked up nearly 700 passes in a dominant display.

Milner and Henderson standing out

The performances of Milner and Henderson from left-back and central midfield were nothing short of excellent.

Milner is giving his boss more and more reasons to play him in every game and keep shaky Spaniard Alberto Moreno away from the starting eleven. While the Englishman is chosen more for his solidity, he had a fantastic game at both ends of the field, as he was a constant menace for Hull down the left-hand side with Coutinho drifting more inward to link up with Mane and Firmino.

There were doubts at the start of the season if Henderson was able play the defensive role that Emre Can has been so good at, but the Liverpool captain continued to erase any of those doubts with a superb performance in the game. 

The skipper was full of energy and acted a true leader on the pitch for the Reds. One can only hope that this form goes on for the England international as he rediscovers his best form and plays a key role for Klopp's side.

This win was a clear indicator that Liverpool are more than prepared to dissect defences, just as much as they are able to beat the strongest teams in the league.

Indeed, they aren't ready to sit back and let others go past them, but rather take control themselves. This Liverpool side has fully braced 'Klopp football' and if teams sit behind the ball like Hull did on L4, we now know exactly what the Reds can, and will, do.