Torres gets hat-trick as Liverpool demolish Hull

Liverpool 6 Hull 1

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres scored a brilliant hat-trick to blow away struggling Hull at Anfield.

The Spain striker scored twice in the first half either side of Geovanni's equaliser and added a third soon after the interval.

Captain Steven Gerrard scored a fourth just before the hour and substitute Ryan Babel added two late goals as Liverpool made it four league wins - including 16 goals - in succession.

But the day belonged to Torres, who took his tally for the season to eight in seven matches and an incredible 33 in 34 matches at Anfield.

This was also his fourth Liverpool hat-trick and the third he has scored in the Premier League.

The writing was on the wall for Hull, who have not won in their last nine away matches, from the 11th minute when Liverpool took the lead with a neat passing move and a clinical finish from Torres.

Dirk Kuyt and left-back Emiliano Insua combined to allow Albert Riera to cross to the near post where Torres shimmied past Ibrahima Sonko to coolly fire past Boaz Myhill.

This season Liverpool have leaked goals through defensive mistakes and another one cost them just four minutes later when Martin Skrtel's weak header dropped to Geovanni eight yards out and he volleyed home the equaliser.

The goal unsettled home side but Lucas should have done better in the 23rd minute when he tamely side-footed Insua's cross straight at Myhill from 15 yards.

But if there is one Liverpool player you can rely on to hit the target it is Torres and his individual brilliance put his side ahead again in the 28th minute.

Yossi Benayoun's incisive through-ball picked out the Spaniard's run into the penalty area but there was still plenty of work to do.

Torres cut back inside, beating Sonko, Myhill and then 18-year-old debutant Liam Cooper to poke home from close range.

Frailties were still apparent at the back, however, and twice Riera gave the ball away 10 yards outside his own penalty area only to be saved by Jamie Carragher and poor shooting from Kamil Ghilas.

Two minutes into the second half Torres scored his third, again with an assist from Benayoun.

He raced into the inside-right channel and, with everyone in the ground expecting him to shoot right-footed, he turned inside Sonko and fired through Paul McShane's legs and into the far corner.

Torres continued to terrorise the Hull defence and was only inches over the crossbar with a looping 58th-minute header from Skrtel's cross

On the hour Gerrard, who had been quiet by his standards, added a fourth when he curled a shot into the far corner from wide on the left wing after his original corner had only been half-cleared to Insua.

Hull then seemed to self-destruct with McShane, who had been having a running disagreement with Riera all afternoon, lucky not to be sent off after being booked for a clash with Carragher and then appearing to show dissent to referee Peter Walton.

With a Champions League clash away to Fiorentina on Tuesday, Torres departed to a standing ovation in the 68th minute as he was replaced by Babel with Gerrard following soon after.

By then the hard work had been done, although Babel had a point to prove and added a fifth by turning in Kuyt's right-wing cross late on.

The Dutchman scored a fortunate second in injury time when he deflected Riera's shot over Myhill.

But even the former Ajax forward would admit he is not in the class of Torres, who once again showed how intrinsically linked he is to Liverpool's ambitions.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory