FT: Manchester City 2-0 Hull City

STEVE BRUCE: "We are playing one of the biggest clubs in Europe."STEVE BRUCE: "We are playing one of the biggest clubs in Europe."
STEVE BRUCE: "We are playing one of the biggest clubs in Europe."
Despite a performance of real commitment and plenty of quality, Hull City eventually succumbed to Premier League title-hopefuls Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo - a target for the Tigers the last time they were in the Premier League - headed home the opener 20 minutes into the second half from Pablo Zabaleta’s cross.

And then Yaya Toure put the seal on a victory that proved hard to achieve with a 20-yard free-kick in the 90th minute which found the net via the underside of the cross bar.

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Up until that point, Steve Bruce’s side showed no fear against their expensively-assembled hosts from across the Pennines.

If anything, Hull could have been a goal to the good at the break.

After Robert Koren had played on the hesitency of under-fire England goalkeeper Joe Hart early on, Sone Aluke fashioned a glorious chance all on his own.

From inside the centre circle, he fooled Joleon Lescott and raced forward creating a one-on-one chance, only to drag his shot wide of Hart’s post.

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Danny Graham then neatly converted Robbie Brady’s left-wing cross only for the goal to be correctly ruled out for offside.

This was all inside the first 11 minutes.

By the quarter-hour mark Koren had almost scored, with a wonderfully-timed half-volley from a cleared corner narrowly whistling past Hart’s left-hand upright.

The hosts came closest to scoring in this hectic opening themselves with Aleksandar Kolarov drawing a fine reaction save from Allan McGregor with a front-post header from Jesus Navas’s corner.

Then Lescott forced McGregor to tip over his header from David Silva’s left-wing cross.

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Other than those clear-cut chances, big spending Manchester City were frustrated in their efforts to break down a well-organised Hull City in the first half.

The second half followed a similar pattern, with Hull actually starting to grow into the game and believe they could actually get something from it when Negredo struck.

Introduced at half-time for the ineffective Edin Dzeko, Negredo should have scored on 47 minutes with an easier header that he diverted a long way wide.

But he made no mistake midway through the half with a downward header across McGregor from Zabaleta’s deep cross.

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Bruce threw on the returning Stephen Quinn who went close with a right-foot volley that Hart saved.

Graham also volleyed wide as Hull continued to carry a threat.

If the result had been in doubt, Toure put those fears to bed with a wonderful free-kick after Sami Nasri was fouled.


Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Lescott, Nastasic, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Toure, Navas, Silva, Dzeko, Aguero. Substitutes: Pantilimon, Clichy, Negredo, Milner, Nasri, Garcia, Jovetic.

Hull City: McGregor, Elmohamady, Figueroa, Chester, Davies; Huddlestone, Livermore; Brady, Koren, Aluko; Graham. Substitutes: Harper, Rosenior, Bruce, Meyler, McShane, Boyd, Quinn.