Hull City 3 Cardiff City 0: Tigers roar into play-off spot with comfortable win over beleaguered Bluebirds

Hull City surged into the top six of the Championship with a comfortable 3-0 win over Cardiff City.

The Tigers side were sharp from the get-go, whereas the beleaguered Bluebirds were laboured and left chasing shadows far too often.

Liam Delap served the ball on a plate for Aaron Connolly to open the scoring, giving Hull a half-time lead. Scott Twine added to the advantage with a stunning free-kick in the second half before Ozan Tufan lobbed Jak Alnwick to make sure of three points.

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Hull had the better of Cardiff in the opening exchanges, enjoying comfortable spells of possession and finding Cardiff’s defence fairly easy to circumvent.

Aaron Connolly opened the scoring for Hull City. Image: George Wood/Getty ImagesAaron Connolly opened the scoring for Hull City. Image: George Wood/Getty Images
Aaron Connolly opened the scoring for Hull City. Image: George Wood/Getty Images

Little creativity was involved in Hull’s first opportunity of the afternoon, when Connolly latched on to a Ryan Allsop punt. The forward rounded Alnwick but Dimitrios Goutas recovered to make an excellent last-ditch block.

Hull were patient in their build-up play, not overzealous in their pursuit of an opener but threatening all the same. Alnwick had to be alert to push a well-struck Delap effort wide as Hull started to ramp up the pressure.

Cardiff did catch glimpses of goal in the first-half without ever looking particularly likely to break the deadlock. A flick from Rubin Colwill looped just over the crossbar and Karlan Grant fired a shot wide while off balance.

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Hull’s control was eventually rewarded when Delap lashed the ball across the face of goal, allowing Connolly to prod home from close range. Connolly turned provider in the dying embers of the first-half, releasing Tufan, but the playmaker saw his shot blocked.

Within a minute of play resuming following the interval, Hull found themselves in behind Cardiff’s defence, but Alnwick kept out Connolly’s effort from a tight angle.

However, the Bluebirds stopper did not cover himself in glory when he came for a Lewie Coyle cross he did not make. Connolly pounced on the loose ball but snatched at the opportunity and rifled well over.

Connolly would soon be involved in Hull’s second of the afternoon, winning a foul in what Hull fans know as Twine territory. The set-piece specialist stepped up to take the resulting free-kick and found the top corner.

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It was then the turn of Tufan to get in on the act and he raced on to a Tyler Morton through ball before beautifully lobbing a stranded Alnwick.

Hull fans had little to be angry about throughout the afternoon but were far from happy to see the referee ignore appeals for a penalty when Connolly went to ground inside the box. Cardiff launched an immediate counter-attack and won a free-kick, although Mark McGuinness saw his header bounce over after meeting the delivery.

Travelling fans expecting a late rally were left disappointed, as Hull held down the fort to maintain their 3-0 lead and seal three points.