Despite dominating possession and attempting 18 shots, Liverpool were unable to score against Hull, and had to settle for their first scoreless draw in 48 Premier League matches.
The Reds almost got out to an early lead, but Ahmed Elmohady was able to clear a header from Dejan Lovren off the goal line in the 8th minute. Other than that chance, the first half seemed like more of the same of what we've seen so far this year. Liverpool showed flashes of good play, and got some decent chances, but were largely ineffective. Balotelli was again started as the lone striker, and with the exception of a well taken shot from a tough angle that forced a save from Eldin Jakupovic in the 11th minute, he struggled once again.
Despite their struggles, Liverpool did look the better team in first half, and the defense did well to prevent Hull from getting too many chances, with their best attempt being a long shot from Tom Huddlestone that Skrtel was able to deflect wide of the net.
The second half picked up right where the fist half left off. Liverpool were in control, but there was still clearly something missing. This changed with a pair of Liverpool substitutions in the 61st minute. Philippe Coutinho came on for Joe Allen, and Rickie Lambert came on for Adam Lallana, and completely changed the game. From the moment these subs were made, Liverpool looked much more dangerous. They completely took control, and it was in large part due to Philippe Coutinho, who looked much more like the Coutinho we've all been begging for. It really felt like it was only a matter of time before Liverpool found a winner, as they created several good chances. The best of these come through Ballotelli, who had a free header from inside the six yard box, but he was unable to connect with the ball. It was eventually cleared to Sterling, but his long range effort was saved by Jakupovic.
Ultimately, despite all of the possession and shot attempts, Liverpool couldn't put one in the net, and were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw.
Liverpool were much better when Lambert was brought on to pair up with Balotelli. Hopefully Rodgers will take that as a sign that 2 strikers is a necessity with Balotelli in the lineup.
Coutinho looked good for the second appearance in a row. Hopefully this means the Coutinho that we saw when he first arrived at Liverpool is starting to re-emerge.
The defense put in a strong showing. There were a few mistakes, but they were able to limit Hull's chances, and kept the clean sheet. Hopefully they can build off of this performance and start to do it more consistently.