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Match Report: Hull City 0-0 Aston Villa
Hull City and Aston Villa had to settle for a share of the points in a goalless draw at the KC Stadium.
The point meant both sides maintained their top-half positions with Hull City extending their unbeaten run in the Premier League to four games.
Prior to the game both clubs sat eighth and ninth in the league with each respective side throwing pundits’ predictions by the wayside with solid starts to the season. Hull again picked up another three points at home against West Ham thanks to a dubious penalty which was dispatched by Robbie Brady. Aston Villa meanwhile, arrived at the KC Stadium buoyed by their impressive 3-2 home victory over title contenders Manchester City having twice been a goal down. Both clubs were vying for their third consecutive win in the league and ultimately cancelled each other out.
Steve Bruce will be thinking what he has done in a previous life after he again lost another player through injury. This time Hull’s leading scorer Robbie Brady went under the knife to finally cure a long standing hernia complaint leaving him out of action for up to a month. Stephen Quinn was brought into the starting line-up to replace Brady with Nick Proschwitz finding a place on the substitutes bench.
Paul Lambert recalled the duo of Gabby Agbonlahor and Ashley Westwood who were now free of injury, at the expense of Yacouba Sylla and Nathan Baker who dropped to the subs bench.
Hull City: McGregor – Rosenior – Faye – Davies – Figueroa – Elmohamady – Huddlestone – Livermore – Quinn – Aluko – Graham
Subs: Harper – McShane – Bruce – Meyler – Boyd – Sagbo – Proschwitz
Aston Villa: Guzan – Bacuna – Clark – Vlaar – Luna – Delph – El Ahamadi – Westwood – Weimann – Agbonlahor – Kozak
Subs: Herd – Tonev – Bennett – Steer – Bowery – Baker – Sylla
Andreas Weimann, who netted the winner against Manchester City the previous week, should have done better when Elmohamady failed to deal with a Fabian Delph’s third minute cross.
With both clubs in a fine run of form it was no surprise the opening exchanges hardly yielded any clear-cut chances. Delph looked a bright spark early on for Villa showing some neat touches in the middle of the park whilst Elmohamdy was afforded plenty of time on the ball on the right flank.
Despite the away side having the lion share of the opening possession the 15th minute brought about a good chance for Hull City. A neat exchange between Sone Aluko and Danny Graham saw the latter freed on the right of the box before swinging in an inviting ball towards the onrushing Quinn. Bacuna, who scored a sensational free-kick the previous week, did exceptionally well to get infront of the Irishman to prevent him turning the cross goalbound.
Four minutes later and the home side had an even better chance to open the scoring with Danny Graham the guilty party after he miscued his shot under pressure from Ron Vlaar from an Elmohamady driven low cross.
Alan McGregor then had to be at his best in the 21st minute to stop a surging Agbonlahor shot finding the back of the net with a full stretch diving save.
Referee Mark Clattenburg then handed Liam Rosenior a yellow card for a rash tackle near the side of the box on Agbonlahor who had beaten him for pace. Westwood joined the right-back in the book after a swinging elbow felled Tom Huddlestone – amid protests from the crowd for a red card.
Former Aston Villa player Curtis Davies was then shown a yellow card for a foul on Kozac, much to the delight of the travelling support.
Huddlestone tested former Tigers loanee keeper Brad Guzan with a stinging right-foot shot from all of 25-yards but the American was equal to the effort before both teams went into the interval locked at 0-0.
The lively Agbonlahor came close to breaking the deadlock in the 53rd minute after great work from Weimann saw him cutback a pass to the striker but his curled right-foot shot fizzed past the post.
El Ahmadi had two efforts at the City goal, the first of which was a 25-yard strike which was comfortably claimed by McGregor before the 28-year old then exchanged passes with Weimann before having his shot deflected away for a corner.
Both sides tried in vain for a late winner but the game finished goalless with both clubs happy not to lose the encounter.
Jamie Barwick is a 21-year-old Sports Journalism graduate and a fan of Hull City, covering the Tigers on KingFut.com.