Liverpool 5-1 Hull City: James Milner hits penalty brace in rout
By Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 25/09/16 7:03pm
James Milner scored two penalties as Liverpool cruised up into the top four in the Premier League with a 5-1 victory over Hull at Anfield.
Adam Lallana's third top-flight goal of the season kicked things off for Jurgen Klopp's side, who dominated from first minute to last.
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For the second week running, Hull were reduced to 10 men when Ahmed Elmohamady was shown a straight red card by referee Andre Marriner for handball.
That allowed Milner to make it two from the spot, before Sadio Mane secured a three-goal lead for the hosts at the interval.
Substitute David Meyler's second-half strike threatened to spark an unlikely Hull comeback but Philippe Coutinho's immediate response reaffirmed Liverpool's dominance before Milner's second penalty capped an impressive afternoon for the Merseysiders.
It means Liverpool sit behind only Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal in the league table on 13 points, while Hull drop a place to 12th with seven points.
Simon Mignolet was dropped to the bench as Klopp handed Loris Karius his Premier League debut ahead of kick-off, while Ragnar Klavan and Roberto Firmino were drafted into the Liverpool starting XI.
Ryan Mason made his first league start for Hull but, having scored in the Tigers' EFL Cup win at Stoke, it was clear from the outset he was in for a torrid afternoon as Liverpool flew out of the traps.
After Joel Matip had blazed a header over on six minutes, the first clear opening fell for Coutinho four minutes later, but the Brazilian saw his sliced effort cleared off the line by Elmohamady.
The Reds didn't have to wait long for their opener though, as Lallana trickled the ball past David Marshall after fine build-up play from Coutinho.
Hull spent the majority of the first half camped in their areas as they struggled to deal with Liverpool's free-flowing attack, and their cause suffered a huge blow when Elmohamady blocked Coutinho's goal-bound effort with his arm.
Referee Marriner pointed to the spot as the right-back followed in the footsteps of Jake Livermore, who saw red for the same offence against Arsenal last time out.
No sooner had Milner found the back of the net from 12 yards, it was three as Mane rounded off a fine move to cap a perfect half for Klopp's rampant side.
Liverpool started the second period just as they had finished the first but, on one of their only ventures into opposition territory, Hull reduced the deficit on 51 minutes as Meyler rifled home after the hosts failed to clear a corner.
But their hopes of a revival were extinguished as Coutinho restored the hosts' lead before Hull could even touch the ball again, thundering home a sensational fourth in front of The Kop.
Four became five with 19 minutes remaining as Milner stroked home his second penalty after substitute Harry Maguire was penalised for a clumsy challenge on Daniel Sturridge.
It proved to be a sour afternoon for Hull boss Mike Phelan, who marked his 54th birthday with the Tigers' heaviest league defeat since March 2010.
Liverpool: Karius (6), Clyne (6), Matip (6), Klavan (7), Milner (8), Henderson (7), Wijnaldum (6), Lallana (8), Coutinho (9), Mane (8), Firmino (7).
Used subs: Can (5), Grujic (4), Sturridge (5).
Hull City: Marshall (4), Elmohamady (2), Livermore (5), Davies (5), Robertson (5), Diomande (3), Clucas (5), Huddlestone (5), Mason (4), Snodgrass (6), Hernandez (5).
Used subs: Maguire (4), Meyler (5), Henriksen (4).
Man of the Match: Philippe Coutinho.