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West Ham United
December 26, 2013
• Kingston Communications Stadium, Hull
Referee: M. Oliver
• Attendance: 24826
J. Chester 4'
D. Meyler 13'
C. Smalling 19'
W. Rooney 26'
J. Chester 66' (own goal)
Right, that's it from me. Manchester United go sixth, and Hull - despite a top performance - stay twelfth in the table. I've been Tom J Doyle, and thanks for joining us. Bye for now.
After a breathless 90 minutes, it's David Moyes' men who pick up the points - and huge thanks must go to Wayne Rooney yet again. The United striker set up Smalling, scored a stunner to level the game, and his run caused James Chester to score the decisive own goal.
THAT'S IT!!! What a game. Manchester United escape with a 3-2 win, though Steve Bruce will be wondering how Hull manahed to lose that.
90' + 3'
LAST CHANCE FOR HULL!!! The ball bounces in the area and Danny Graham - the striker - leaves the volley for Alex Bruce - the defender - who lashes wide. That's surely it...
90' + 2'
WHAT A SAVE FROM DE GEA!!! Chester is through on the left, but the keeper stands tall to block the one-on-one effort wide for a corner.
90' + 1'
Three minutes of injury time and Hull waste a corner now - that's silly as they had United on the ropes.
RED FOR VALENCIA!!! The winger fouls Huddlestone and then boots the ball away in frustration, and Moyes will hope this won't cost United.
Pandemonium in the United box! De Gea comes for a ball he can never get and is around 15 yards out. The ball falls to Graham but he can't get a shot away, and then the keeper toes the ball to a team mate who clears. A ridiculous finish here at the KC.
Close for Graham! So disappointing for Hull as Sagbo wins a 50/50 with Evra before crossing for Graham, but the striker can only steer his free header straight at De Gea from eight yards out.
Rooney has been everywhere today - he now wins a free kick off of a furious Huddlestone to slow the pace down.
Chester tries to head the ball back across goal, but De Gea comes and collects the ball. He'll be distraught if his moment of madness costs Hull today.
Ten minutes to go here and United are trying to close this one out while looking dangerous on the counter. Hull have shown their attacking prowess today, and will need one last push to get something from the game.
Michael Carrick makes his return for the visitors, replacing the impressive Young.
Blood is pouring down Alex Bruce's face now - he can see the funny side of it, but his dad won't if Hull concede another.
United look the likelier to score now as Young whips in another fine ball from the right which Hull clear, while Bruce meets the post with his face. Painful.
Yellow CardWayne Rooney
Rooney can only bend the free kick wide of Harper's left-hand post, and gets an immediate booking for shouting at the referee. He obviously wanted a corner, but it's a needless caution.
Yellow CardAlex Bruce
Now then - Welbeck wins a free kick 25 yards out, and this is the perfrct range for Rooney...
James Chester is making history - this is the first time in PL history that 3 players have scored a goal & an own goal in the same game within a single month, according to Opta Sports. He won't want that record if the score stays the same.
Own GoalJames Chester
UNITED LEAD 3-2!!! It's a catastrophe for the Hull back line as James Chester now scores at the wrong end, heading in Young's teasing cross from the right under pressure from Rooney. Figueroa let Young in far too easily down the wing there, and Moyes is ecstatic.
This should be a chance for United as substitute Hernandez carries the ball on the edge of the box, but instead of releasing Welbeck he dallies and is tackled. What a waste.
OFF THE BAR!!! So close to a third for Hull now as Bruce crashes an effort off the bar from a corner, and United clear. He holds his head in his hands - he knows how big a chance that was for the Tigers.
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
Huddlestone unleashes a wonderful half-volley from 25 yards which Evra does well to block out for a corner...
Yellow CardAntonio Valencia
Valencia gets a deserved caution here as he lets Sagbo in behind, slips trying to kick the ball, and drags down the Hull forward. The home crowd want a red card, but covering defenders mean it's just yellow.
We'll have a stoppage here as Evra looks in pain after clashing with El Mohamady in an aerial challenge. Fabio is warming up, but the United captain should be fine.
Darren Fletcher wants a fairytale return as he runs at goal and lines up a shot from 25 yards, but can only hit a bobbling shot straight at Harper.
Ooh, Curtis Davies really should put Hull 3-2 up here, but he can only glance a free header wide from six yards after rising to meet a fine corner. What a chance for the hosts.
Boom! Sagbo unleashes a fierce drive from 25 yards which De Gea can only stand and punch clear. Strong hands from the keeper there, but it shows this match is still wide open after an early spell of dominance by United in this second half.
United are camped in Hull's half at the moment - Moyes' team talk was obviously to hit the Tigers hard early on, and the hosts look under pressure now.
Welbeck breaks forward and feeds Young on the left, who works a promising crossing position...only to shank the ball about 20 yards wide and over. Young shouts in frustration - that was poor.
We're underway for the second half here - will we see another eraly flurry of goals?
Steve Harper is out for Hull, and he'll be replacing McGregor in goal. Meyler is also off, with Robert Koren in his place.
It's been a fine day for Rooney so far - he is only the second player to reach 150 goals for a single club in the Premier League (after Henry at Arsenal, according to Opta Sports. He's also got 19 league assists since the start of last season, four more than any other player. Moyes said he would be back-up to Van Persie in the summer, but he is now undoubtedly United's top player.
A curious statistic now - the first three shots on target all resulted in goals, according to Opta Sports. And of the 14 goals scored at the KC Stadium in the league this season, 29% of them have come in the opening 30 minutes today. My predictions of a low-scoring game are bust.
That's the break, and we're all square at the KC Stadium. Hull got off to a flying start with two early goals, but Manchester United - inspired by Wayne Rooney - quickly drew level. What a fantastic 45 minutes of football.
45' + 2'
Januzaj has been so bright since coming on - he sells a defender with a dummy and lashes a shot at goal, which is well blocked. He may be the difference in the second half.
We'll have three minutes of injury time after the stoppage for McGregor, who still looks to be struggling with that early injury. He may well be forced to come off at half-time.
Both sides are working hard without the ball and putting in good challenges to retrieve possession - it's a pulsating encounter, but it looks like the teams will be going in level at the break.
Alex Bruce puts in two fantastic challenges to set up a Hull counter-attack, and Danny Graham takes a shot which deflects wickedly up onto the roof of De Gea's net. That was close, and the home crowd are in full voice now.
The pace has slowed a little now as neither team wants to concede another so close the half-time. You can't blame either manager for wanting a little more composure really.
Yellow CardAdnan Januzaj
It's Januzaj who picks up a caution now, sliding in on El Mohamady and getting none of the ball. Tom Huddlestone's fizzed free kick is blocked away well though.
The home crowd show a little frustration here as Hull give the ball away cheaply. It's been entertaining for the crowd, but Steve Bruce will be so disappointed his resolute defence crumbled so easily after going 2-0 ahead.
Well, I said it'd be tight early on, didn't I(!) Four goals already, and United look hungry for more. Hull are still getting forward well and look just as capable of netting a third. What a game we have on our hands.
WHAT A GOAL BY ROONEY!!! United are level and it's a stunner by the England striker. Rooney links well with Welbeck 30 yards out with a few flicked passes, and tees himself up with control on his knee before lashing a volley past McGregor. A wonderful goal, and it's all square!
Januzaj seems to be on a personal mission to show Moyes why he should be starting every week. He's pulling Figueroa about on the wing, and the Hull defender looks very uncomfortable - already on a booking, he'll have to be careful.
Close for Cleverley! United are almost level as the midfielder shapes to bend an effort from 25 yards on the left, and McGregor is at full stretch to tip the ball wide. Rooney blazes a volley over from the resulting corner, but they're right back in this one.
Yellow CardMaynor Figueroa
SMALLING SCORES!!! United hit back immediately, and Januzaj makes an immediate impact. The youngster got down the wing and was fouled by Figueroa, who picked up a booking. Rooney curled in a lovely cross, with Smalling rising highest to nod home and halve the deficit. Game on!
It goes from bad to worse for Moyes as Rafael has to depart after injuring his groin/hamstring. The good news for United is that Adnan Januzaj is on - they need a Christmas miracle, quite frankly.
The United fans are singing David Moyes' name in reaction to those two early goals - the team needs to react, and quickly.
McGregor is down again, and he looks to be struggling after that collision with Young. That'd be a big loss if he has to go off.
TWO FOR HULL!!! Hull are in dreamland and it's a disaster for Jonny Evans in particular. The hosts attack and United can't clear the ball, with Evans passing a clearance across the box. The ball falls to David Meyler, whose low shot is rolling to David de Gea until Evans sticks out a foot and deflects it past his keeper. Dear or dear!
There's a break in play here as Ashley Young collides with Allan McGregor in a 50/50 challenge in the area. The goalkeeper collects the ball and a boot in the chest, but after a minute or so he's up and ready again.
That was a rude awakening for United - and they'll be angry when they see replays of how the corner came about. The officials thought Tom Cleverley blocked Ahmed El Mohamady's cross out, but in fact the Egyptian ballooned his cross straight out. A poor call, but Hull have the lead.
CHESTER SCORES!!! What a start for the hosts as two former Manchester United youth players combine to turn the screw. Alex Bruce wins the ball in the air from the corner and Chester finds himself all alone six yards out to volley into the roof of the net.
No chances yet but Ahmed El Mohamady does well down the right wing and wins a corner - the hosts have started brightly...
We're underway at the KC Stadium! The home crowd are in fine voice as Yannick Sagbo tries a few tricks, and Maynor Figueroa buys a free kick from Antonio Valencia.
The sides are coming out of the tunnel now to a great reaction. United are in an all-white kit, the Tigers with tracksuit tops over their traditional stripes. It looks pretty cold out there, to be fair.
"We've been difficult to beat and difficult to play against", says Steve Bruce to Sky ahead of the clash. David Moyes, meanwhile, is expecting a "tough" game against the Tigers, so expect a tight contest today with goals at a premium. Famous last words...
Moyes has just told the press that Phil Jones has picked up a knee injury that which rule him out for a fortnight - just as well that Carrick and Fletcher are back then, as the youbgster has been impressive in midfield for the Red Devils of late.
The Premier League have Tweeted David Moyes 'action to Darren Fletcher's return: "I'm delighted... He's come through a lot of difficult periods in his life." It's great to have the midfielder back in action, as most had written off his chances of returning to the game.
If you follow the stats, don't expect a match of peace and goodwill today. Hull (1) and United (3) are responsible for four of the nine bookings for simulation in the top flight this season, according to Opta Sports. All eyes will be on Mr Young on the left wing, presumably...
The big news for the visitors is that Darren Fletcher is lining up in midfield, a hige boost for Moyes. That's the Scot's first start since December 1st 2012, and Michael Carrick is back on the bench - a gift for United fans everywhere considering their problems in the middle of the park of late. Despite netting against West Ham last week, Adnan Januzaj has to settle for a place on the bench as Ashley Young gets the nod on the left, while Danny Welbeck starts up alongside Wayne Rooney.It's an unchanged Hull line-up fresh from their draw against West Brom last weekend, but the Tigers' top scorer Robert Brady will be disappointed to miss out against his old club with a groin strain.
Man Utd XI: De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Smalling, Evra; Valencia, Fletcher, Cleverley, Young; Welbeck, RooneySubs: Lindegaard, Vidic, Carrick, Fabio, Kagawa, Januzaj, Hernandez
Hull City XI: McGregor; Bruce, Chester, Davies, Elmohamady, Figueroa; Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore; Graham, SagboSubs: Harper, Rosenior, Faye, McShane, Koren, Boyd, Fryatt
A top Boxing Day to you ahead of the early kick-off at the KC Stadium as Hull City entertain Manchester United. A win would send David Moyes' men sixth until Newcastle and Tottenham finish their festive fixtures, but they'll have to work hard in front of goal today: the Tigers are twelfth in the Premier League but have only conceded three at home - the best record in the top flight. It's just as well that Wayne Rooney is playing for the Red Devils, as he scored all four goals in a 4-0 stuffing the last time these two sides met in 2010. Steve Bruce take note.
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