Burnley 1 Hull City 1: Robert Snodgrass's class on show again as Tigers make light of summer chaos

Hull City's Robert Snodgrass celebrates after his late equaliser at Turf Moor against Burnley (Picture: Clint Hughes/PA Wire).Hull City's Robert Snodgrass celebrates after his late equaliser at Turf Moor against Burnley (Picture: Clint Hughes/PA Wire).
Hull City's Robert Snodgrass celebrates after his late equaliser at Turf Moor against Burnley (Picture: Clint Hughes/PA Wire).
REGARDLESS of how Hull City fared against former club Burnley earlier in the day, Mike Phelan was determined to take his family out for dinner on Saturday night.

Living just 10 miles from Turf Moor, however, meant the big decision was where to eat with the afternoon result likely to leave the 53-year-old either the subject of some good-natured banter from the locals or begrudging praise.

“We didn’t know whether to book in Burnley or out of town,” admitted Phelan to The Yorkshire Post in the wake of his first visit as manager to the club he joined as a 14-year-old schoolboy. “In the end, we went a bit halfway house. And getting a point meant I could share a pint with everyone.”

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By rights, the toast as Phelan joined his wife and daughters for a drop or two of what surely must have been a good claret should have been Robert Snodgrass.

The Scot’s sublime 95th-minute equaliser not only cancelled out Steven Defour’s opener to end the Tigers’ wretched Premier League record against Burnley but also further strengthened Phelan’s claims to become the club’s permanent manager.

It also continued a remarkable start to the season for Snodgrass, who has now netted six goals in as many appearances for club and country.

He is in the form of his life and a major factor as to why Phelan has been able to make light of a chaotic summer at the KCOM Stadium – that included no new signings until the final 36 hours of the window – to claim seven points from the first four games.

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“To get a point when chasing the game like we were is a good result,” said Snodgrass, who for the second time broke Burnley hearts at Turf Moor after netting a last-minute winner for Leeds United in November, 2011.

“But we had come here to win. In the first half, there was one team looking to win it, which was us.

“Credit to Burnley, they stayed in the game and the boy (Defour) came up with a good finish. But we kept going. I felt confident when I stepped up to take the free-kick.

“I do a lot of work, staying behind at the training ground, doing what I need to do for moments like that.

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“The pressure was on with it being more or less the last kick, but that is the difference sometimes in the Premier League. You have to take your chance when it comes along and be ruthless.

“That was maybe the one disappointment against Burnley. When you create chances, you have to take them. We have to be more ruthless.”

Snodgrass’s late, late leveller came at the end of a contest in which Hull had dominated possession and created the better chances, but trailed to a quite wonderful goal from Defour.

Leaving Sam Clucas wrong-footed with an exquisite piece of footwork in the centre circle, the £7.5m signing from Anderlecht exploited Hull’s reluctance to close him down by racing forward.

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Then, as Curtis Davies belatedly moved forward, Defour hit a 25-yard shot that Eldin Jakupovic, left unsighted by his captain until it was too late, was unable to keep out as the ball curved away from the Hull goalkeeper and into the corner of the net.

Considering the opportunities the Tigers had spurned either side of half-time when, first, David Meyler struck a post and then Adama Diomande somehow shot wide from six yards, Defour’s 72nd-minute solo effort merely seemed to confirm Burnley’s hex over the Yorkshire club remained very much intact.

All four previous meetings between the two teams in the Premier League had been won by the Clarets, that quartet of victories accounting for a quarter of the Lancastrians’ overall tally at this level since first winning promotion in 2009.

So, when what looked to be a strong shout for a penalty as Ryan Mason crashed to the floor under a challenge from Tom Heaton was rejected and then Davies flicked Snodgrass’s corner against the crossbar, more of the same seemingly beckoned for the Tigers.

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Cue Snodgrass, fresh from scoring a hat-trick for Scotland against Malta in World Cup qualifying, when a free-kick was awarded for a rash foul by Ben Mee on Tom Huddlestone 25 yards from goal.

Shaun Maloney may have also been standing over the ball with his fellow Scot, but there was no doubt who was going to take the shot on goal.

Even though England goalkeeper Heaton knew this, there was nothing he could do to keep out a sublime effort that ensures Hull will go into a tricky trio of fixtures against Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea in buoyant mood.

It also added further weight to calls from players and fans alike for the club to make Phelan the permanent successor to Steve Bruce.

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“All the players are sick of saying it,” added Snodgrass when asked about Phelan, whose representatives had revealed 48 hours before the trip to Turf Moor that the two parties were still “wide apart” in terms of striking a deal.

“He has got the lads into a mindset and playing a level of football that is great to be part of.

“What else can he do? He has just won the Manager of the Month, so I can’t think of anything else he can do.”