London: Liverpool lost ground on table-topping Arsenal as strikes from Jake Livermore and David Meyler, as well as a Martin Skrtel own goal, handed Hull City a surprise 3-1 victory, at the KC Stadium, on Sunday.
Liverpool were without the prolific Daniel Sturridge as he began what could be a stint of up to eight weeks on the sidelines after suffering ankle ligament damage in training on Friday. Rodgers had recalled Victor Moses and Raheem Sterling, the latter making his first start since October 5. But they proved inadequate replacements for Sturridge as Liverpool’s consolation — a first-half equaliser — came from the more reliable source of a Steven Gerrard free-kick.
Hull City had gone ahead through Livermore’s first of the season, via another Skrtel deflection, and took a deserved lead when Meyler buried a low shot in the 72nd minute. Rodgers’ side lost all sense of shape as they attempted to retrieve the game and conceded a third when Tom Huddlestone’s off-target effort was nodded home by Skrtel.
For Hull, it was a memorable afternoon and the season’s best performance — just the boost required after last week’s defeat to lowly Crystal Palace.
On the other hand, Chelsea bounced back from conceding a Jay Rodriguez goal, after 13 seconds to the start, to beat Southampton 3-1 and move within four points of league leaders Arsenal.
Goals from Gary Cahill, John Terry and substitute Demba Ba earned Chelsea’s sixth home win from seven games this season to extend Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten Premier League record at Stamford Bridge to 67 games.