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Match Report: Hull City 6-0 Fulham
Hull City headed into this vital clash with Fulham having blown a two goal advantage against Manchester United last time out at the KC Stadium. Having been two goals up inside 15 minutes to come away with nothing was a blow despite valiant attempts for a point. The game with the Cottagers was made even bigger with the fact that the bottom three sides all picked up wins. Fulham travelled to the KC Stadium full of confidence having seen off Norwich thanks to a late Scott Parker goal – knowing a win would see them climb out of the relegation zone.
Steve Bruce was boosted with the news that goalkeeper Allan McGregor was fit and available to take his place in their starting line-up having taken a knock against Manchester United. However Alex Bruce and David Meyler were given a rest following minor knocks in their last outing with Danny Graham also losing his place in the side. Coming into the side in a switch to 4-4-2 were Liam Rosenior, George Boyd and Robert Koren.
Rene Meulensteen made a total of six changes to his starting line-up from the side that beat Norwich. Coming into the team were Bryan Ruiz, John Arne Riise, Giorgos Karagounis, , Hugo Rodallega, Ashkan Dejagah and Elsad Zverotic. Dropping out were Damien Duff, Kieran Richardson, Scott Parker, Alexander Kacaniklic, Sascha Riether and Adel Taarabt.
Hull City: McGregor – Rosenior – Chester – Davies – Figueroa – Boyd – Huddlestone – Livermore – Elmohamady – Koren – Sagbo
Subs: Harper – Bruce – Meyler – Graham – Fryatt – McShane – Faye
Fulham: Stockdale – Riise – Hughes – Amorebieta – Zverotic – Dejagah – Sidwell – Karagounis – Kasami – Ruiz – Rodellega
Subs: Bettinelli – Kacaniklic – Richardson – Boateng – Riether – David – Bent
It was the home side that had all the chances in the first-half with their slick passing and set-piece plays causing Fulham all kinds of problems all over the park.
However the first effort of the game came from the travellers when a neat passage of play saw a ball played into John Arne Riise but his low drive was well saved by Allan McGregor.
George Boyd, who was given a starting position on the left flank of Hull, looked lively in the opening exchanges and won a free-kick in the 13th minute near the corner of the box. Tom Huddlestone, who is 27 today, fizzed in cross-cum-shot which was gratefully gathered by former Tigers loanee David Stockdale.
Huddlestone so nearly booked a trip to trim his hair minutes later when an inviting free-kick was won by Yannick Sagbo. The resulting set-piece allowed him to curl a shot around the wall only for the ball to cannon off the post. From the same passage of ball Ahmed Elmohamady floated a cross into the box seeing a Boyd header narrowly tipped over the bar by the Fulham keeper.
The home side were having all the chances in the opening 30 minutes with the visitors seemingly allowing them to attack at will. Elmohamady tried his luck from distance with an outside of the foot shot but the attempt was tame and caused Stockdale no troubles.
A good advantage call by the referee allowed Sagbo to cut onto his right-foot near the left corner of the box but his effort travelled just past the post.
Birthday boy Huddlestone received a rousing chant of “Happy Birthday” from the East Stand of the KC Stadium when he trotted over to take one of Hull’s many corner kicks.
Despite the game being goal-less at half-time all the chances were going in favour of the home side and it seemed only a matter of time when they would break the deadlock.
The floodgates would well and truly open in the second-half, first Ahmed Elmohamady got the opener on the 49th minute mark after a Huddlestone corner fell to the Egyptian international who found the back of the net.
City doubled their advantage just before the hour mark when Sagbo played an inch-perfect through ball, splitting the Fulham defence, allowing Koren to slides home the finish.
Three minutes later and Hull had scored again. This time it was Boyd who was fed by Livermore before finding the back of the net leaving Stockdale helpless.
The 67th minute brought about the fourth goal of the match, Maynor Figueroa struck a sweet long-range shot which stung the palms of Stockdale. Huddlestone collected the parried ball before feinting a shot and smashing in his second attempt from the edge of the box. The KC Stadium turned to pandemonium with a member of the Hull backroom staff literally cutting some of the midfielders’ hair off.
Fulham, deflated by the trio of goals in such a short space of time looked a soulless team and it got worse in the 75th minute. A 35-yard Huddlestone free-kick was tipped onto the bar by Stockdale with the rebound falling to substitute Matty Fryatt who found the net.
Hull made it 6-0 nine minutes from time when Graham’s first-time effort was saved by Stockdale with Koren following up with a finish.
Amazingly it could have been more when a cross-field ball saw Boyd advance into the left side of the box but the midfielder just dragged his shot wide of the Fulham goal.
The win was the biggest-ever victory for Hull City in the Premier League and sees them climb up to 10th in the league table.
Jamie Barwick is a 21-year-old Sports Journalism graduate and a fan of Hull City, covering the Tigers on KingFut.com.