Soccer

Suarez scores as Liverpool beats Hull 2-0

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LIVERPOOL, England (AP)

Luis Suarez scored his 20th Premier League goal of the season as Liverpool got back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Hull on Wednesday.

Suarez, the league's top scorer despite having missed five games with a suspension, doubled the Reds' lead in the 50th minute by curling a perfect free kick into the top left corner. Daniel Agger had headed in Philippe Coutinho's corner to put the home side 1-0 up in the 36th.

Liverpool rose to fourth in the standings after consecutive losses against Manchester City and Chelsea.

''It was arguably our best win of the season, on the back of what was a tough schedule for us with a light squad,'' Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said. ''The energy, as you'd expect, was not what it has been but we showed great resilience today.''

Rodgers, who is without injured striker Daniel Sturridge, welcomed the return of captain Steven Gerrard. The England midfielder came off the bench midway through the second half to feature in his first game since picking up a hamstring injury in early December.

While the defeats by title rivals City and Chelsea were a setback for the club, Suarez's brilliant free kick was a reminder of the striker's contribution to Liverpool's season.

However, Rodgers sought to downplay the importance of the Uruguay striker.

''Luis Suarez's quality is unquestionable,'' Rodgers said. But he added: ''It's probably unfair that our team doesn't get the credit. Everyone talks about Luis, and we all know he's a world class player, but even when he was out of the team we only lost one game. Today was a great team performance and what we're building here is based around that. We had to dig in and we got a very good result.''

No other player than has managed to score 20 goals in fewer Premier League games than Suarez. Andy Cole reached 20 for the season at Newcastle on New Year's Day in 1994, but had played more matches.

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