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Match Report: Hull City 1-0 Sunderland – Elmohamady on the end of red card challenge
Sunderland recorded their eighth defeat of the season after a 1-0 away defeat to Hull City at the KC Stadium and had both Lee Cattermole and Andrea Dossena sent off.
The win for Hull means they remain unbeaten at home in the league seeing them maintain their league position of tenth. For Sunderland their derby day celebrations came to a grinding halt after they returned to losing ways and still languish in the relegation zone.
Hull went into this fixture having endured the mid-week cup heartache of losing on penalties against Tottenham Hotspur. In the league, the Tigers were buoyed by their performance in the 1-0 defeat to Spurs despite a very contentious penalty decision going in the favour of the home side. Sunderland meanwhile were riding on the crest of a wave having beaten their fierce nearby rivals Newcastle United in a dramatic 2-1 victory at the Stadium of Light. The Black Cats were also afforded the luxury of not having a game during the week which would only benefit Gus Poyet’s side. This would be a fixture pinpointed by both managers whereby they can pick up vital points in the league, but will certainly be billed as Steve Bruce’s cup final facing his former employees.
Alex Bruce joined Allan McGregor and James Chester on the sidelines having picked up an injury in the cup defeat at White Hart Lane. But Steve Bruce welcomed back Steve Harper, Maynor Figueroa, Tom Huddlestone, Jake Livermore and Yannick Sagbo who all were rested in the mid-week cup fixture. Robbie Brady was fit again but only found a place on the starting bench whilst Danny Graham was ineligible to play with Sunderland being his parent club. Sone Aluko was named on the starting team-sheet but pulled up in the warm up and was replaced by David Meyler with Gedo coming onto the substitutes bench.
Sunderland made only one change to their side with the previous week’s goal hero Fabio Borini coming into the starting eleven at the expense of Adam Johnson who dropped to the bench.
Hull City: Harper – Rosenior – Davies – McShane – Figueroa – Elmohamady – Huddlestone – Livermore – Meyler – Boyd – Sagbo
Subs: Jakupovic – Koren – Gedo – Brady – Faye – Quinn – Proschwitz
Sunderland: Westwood – Bardsley – O’Shea – Cuellar – Dossena – Larsson – Cattermole – Colback – Borini – Fletcher – Altidore
Subs: Mannone – Ki – Brown – Gardner – Johnson – Celustka – Giaccherini
This game was one which saw players and managers facing former clubs left right and centre, Elmohamady, McShane and Meyler were all facing their former employees. Whilst manager Steve Bruce was facing the club that decided to sack him almost two-and-a-half years ago in November 2011. Elsewhere Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore and goalkeeper Vito Mannone were revisiting the club they had had previous loan spells at.
The opening fifteen minutes were a cagey affair with the only real chance to speak of coming when Huddlestone floated in a free-kick headed on by Curtis Davies but his header evaded both McShane and Livermore.
The game then sprung into life as Hull took the lead in the 25th minute when Carlos Cuellar turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Yannick Sagbo after an inviting cross from the right from Liam Rosenior.
Kieran Westwood then felt the full force of McShane after a delivery was played into the box which saw the Irish centre-back collide with the goalkeeper, with the latter coming off second best. After a lengthy delay Westwood continued but it was clear that he was in some pain and had to be replaced by Mannone.
The goal gave the Tigers the confidence to keep possession for a number of minutes much to the delight of the home crowd who chanted ‘Ole’ at every completed pass.
Due to the lengthy injury delay there was five minutes stoppage time awarded as the game headed for half-time. But there was much more drama to ensue.
Lee Cattermole was the first to be shown a red card after a lunging studs showing challenge on former teammate Elmohamady after an exchange of passes between Meyler. The midfielder, no stranger to red cards, knew he was in the wrong and appeared unmoved by the decision from referee Andre Marriner.
Andrea Dossena was the next to depart when he stamped over the ball onto Meyler in a nasty looking challenge leaving the away side with a mountain to climb if they were to get anything out of this game.
Poyet was forced into making changes at the break and introduced both Adam Johnson and Wes Brown with Altidore and Borini having their afternoons cut short.
With a numerical advantage on their side Hull dominated possession in the second-half as was to be expected.
George Boyd came close to adding a second on the night but his low drilled effort went just past the post in the 54th minute.
Meyler was replaced by Koren just shy of the hour mark before Livermore tested Mannone in the Sunderland goal with a long range effort.
Steven Fletcher cut a forlorn figure on the pitch and was frequently the only man upfield for Sunderland with their midfield having to do extra work to make up the two departed men.
Hull were camped in the Sunderland half for the majority of the second-half but the crossing of both Elmohamady and Boyd was dealt with valiantly by the central three of Brown, O’Shea and Cuellar.
Huddlestone had numerous chances to pull the trigger on the edge of the box but even with a clean connection would have struggled to find the target due to the amount of bodies in the away team box.
Seb Larsson had one fleeting chance but his effort failed to test Harper and hit the side netting from a free-kick. The Black Cats did question Harper in the City goal however after Johnson was put through one-on-one position but the former Newcastle goalkeeper denied the winger with a fine save. Within seconds of clearing the ball the Tigers went the full length of the pitch before Livermore rattled the post with a rasping shot from 20 yards.
Hull continued to pressurise the Sunderland defence but failed to find that second goal but that won’t matter to Steve Bruce or the home support as they continued their impressive Premier League campaign with a 1-0 victory.
The Egyptian Focus
Ahmed Elmohamady had a good game today against his former club and certainly enjoyed the own-goal gesturing to the name on his shirt to the travelling support. Elmo was on the end of a terrible challenge from Cattermole which he deservedly got sent off for. Rather than shy away the challenge only spurred the Egyptian on and in the second-half found space on the right flank on numerous occasions. Despite the considerable crosses Elmo put into the box a City player just couldn’t get a connection on the ball. Unfortunately for Gedo he didn’t play any minutes and was an unused substitute.
Jamie Barwick is a 21-year-old Sports Journalism graduate and a fan of Hull City, covering the Tigers on KingFut.com.