Newcastle United 2 Hull City 2: Diame bemoans late defensive lapses as Cisse double denies Bruce’s Tigers

Hull's Mohammed Diame scores at St James' ParkHull's Mohammed Diame scores at St James' Park
Hull's Mohammed Diame scores at St James' Park
‘MATCH of the Day’ should have made for compulsory viewing on Saturday night for Hull City fans.

The goals from Nikica Jelavic and Mohamed Diame that put Steve Bruce’s men into a seemingly unassailable 2-0 lead midway through the second half were so spectacular that no Tigers fan would have wanted to miss an opportunity to view them again.

However, while that second-half double was definitely worth forsaking a final hour in the pub for, any City fans who did settle down on the sofa to join Gary Lineker and company must have been tempted to reach for the ‘off’ button when the highlights reached the finale that saw Newcastle hit back in dramatic fashion to rescue an unlikely point.

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Basic individual mistakes, woeful decision-making and some downright shoddy defensive positioning were all on display as Hull threw away not only two points but what would have been a fourth win in as many visits to St James’ Park as a Premier League club.

No wonder, therefore, that Bruce admitted in the immediate aftermath of seeing his side pegged back that the 2-2 draw felt like a defeat.

Diame, after taking his tally of goals to two in as many appearances for City since joining for £3.5m on deadline day, was of a similar mind.

As a seasoned campaigner with almost 170 Premier League appearances to his name since being brought to England by Wigan in 2009, the Senegal international knows all about how difficult staying in the top flight can be.

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Staying ahead of a par score points-per-game ratio of one, as City proved last term, is paramount to those hopes – which is why Diame was so frustrated to see Papiss Cisse deny Hull with his late double.

“It was a really disappointing result,” said Diame after the Tigers had moved on to six points from five games. “It had been really important for us to go to Newcastle and get the three points because we have a hard game against Manchester City next week.

“That is why we needed to win this one. We didn’t and that is two points dropped, especially after going 2-0 ahead.

“We should have won the game. It is disappointing. It is good to score but I wanted to win.

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“Dropping two points was disappointing. But I believe we can do well as a team. We have a lot of new players.

“I have been here in England for six years and the Premier league is tough. But we know we have a lot of quality in the squad, we just need to play more together and see if the mix is good or not.

“Patience will be needed. But we have quality, anyone can see that. We will get better the more we play together.”

City fans will be hoping defensive understanding is one of the areas that improves once the summer arrivals have fully integrated with the rest of the squad. Certainly, the Tigers cannot afford too many repeats of how they gifted Newcastle a way back into a contest that should have been over once Diame had thundered a 25-yard shot in off the post on 68 minutes.

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But a sloppy pass by Stephen Quinn in central midfield just five minutes later handed possession to Check Tiote, who a couple of seconds later had found Cisse and the substitute did the rest with a first-time shot past Allan McGregor.

Judging by his reaction, City’s Scottish goalkeeper knew he should have done better. The same went for Andrew Robertson and Curtis Davies in the aftermath of Cisse netting the equaliser three minutes from time.

An innocuous looking cross from the left wing by Moussa Sissoko should have been dealt with by Robinson but the left-back was caught horribly out of position. That meant when Yoan Gouffran knocked the ball back across goal, Davies needed to react smartly to avert the danger.

Once again, however, the Tigers were caught just as flat-footed and Cisse, on his return from five months out with a smashed kneecap, gleefully capitalised by slamming the ball past McGregor.

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Davies almost made amends in stoppage time with a dipping shot that flew just inches wide of the post. But that could do little to assuage the frustration felt by the City players at the final whistle.

And with good reason after the Yorkshire club had seized the initiative with an explosive start to the second half.

The opening 45 minutes had been dour with not even the threatened protests against Alan Pardew materialising to the extent organisers had been promising.

It was a stunning scissor-kick finish from Jelavic just four minutes after the restart that shocked the game out of its slumber.

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City should then have had another just after the hour, only for Quinn to shoot wide from close range after Tom Huddlestone’s deflected free-kick had fallen kindly into his path.

It proved merely a temporary let-off, however, for Newcastle, who fell further behind courtesy of the thunderous strike from Diame that had hit the net before Krul had chance to react.

With the natives finally starting to turn viciously on Pardew, that really should have been that only for the Tigers to press the self destruct button with individual errors that left their manager fuming.