Hull sink City to boost survival hopes
Hull City produced one their best performances of the season to secure a precious three points against Manchester City. First half goals from Jozy Altidore and George Boateng was enough and despite an Adebyaor goal, Hull held on to give their survival hopes a huge boost in the relegation scrap.
Hull City started with the same team that drew with Chelsea in midweek. Wayne Bridge, caught up in the scandal surrounding John Terry, returned to action for Manchester City after two months out with a knee injury - replacing Javier Garrido at left-back. City make two other changes, with Dedryk Boyata replacing Vincent Kompany at centre-back and Craig Bellamy coming in for Martin Petrov, while new signings Adam Johnson and Patrick Vieira were on the bench.
Going into the match all eyes were on Wayne Bridge and he received a sympathetic applause from the travelling fans pre kick-off as his City team looked to continue their top four challenge. At the other end of the table Hull were hoping for a performance as good as the point gained mid-week against Chelsea, however were still waiting their first win in 10 games.
It was the home side who started the brighter and had the first opening. Stephen Hunt's cross evaded Wayne Bridge, who was under pressure from Jozy Altidore, and it came through to Craig Fagan, who lashed over from a tight angle at the back post. Altidore was then fouled on the edge of the box by Kolo Toure, who received a booking for his challenge, but the American’s effort was off blocked by Craig Bellamy.
Hull continued to look the better side in the first twenty minutes and had another good chance through Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink. Dedryck Boyata joined fellow centre-back Kolo Toure in Phil Dowd's book for fouling the lively Altidore, and the resulting free-kick was hoisted into the Manchester City area and knocked down for Vennegoor of Hesselink, who probably had more time than he realised and scuffed his shot wide.
The pressure finally told and Hull took the lead on the half hour mark. Vennegoor of Hesselink held the ball up brilliantly on the edge of the visitors' box and teed up Altidore to beautifully slot home his first Premier League goal into the bottom corner from 20 yards and give the hosts a fully deserved lead.
Just before the break City briefly threatened with a Carlos Tevez shot that was blocked and neat one-two between Bridge and Stephen Ireland that resulted in a smart save from Boaz Myhill, but the home side went into half-time well worth their 1-0 lead.
Ten minutes into the second half and Hull doubled their lead. A Stephen Hunt corner was headed to the edge of the box by Toure and George Boateng connected with a left-foot strike that rocketed into the corner of Shay Given's net.
City’s response was to bring on Adam Johnson for Stephen Ireland and he was involved as the visitors halved the deficit almost immediately. Johnson's corner wasn’t cleared and after an enormous goalmouth scramble, Toure's back-heel was deflected into the path of Emmanuel Adebayor, who buried his shot into the roof of the net. Roberto Mancini then brought on Patrick Vieria for his City debut in place of Craig Bellamy as his team looked for an equaliser.
Vieria’s return to English football was a familiar one as he was booked for a foul on Tom Cairney as City stepped up a gear in search for an equaliser. But they were finding it difficult to break a stubborn Hull side down.