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Match Report: Hull City 1-4 Newcastle United
An Alan Pardew head-butt on Hull’s David Meyler overshadowed Newcastle’s 4-1 victory over Hull City at the KC Stadium.
The incident will no doubt grab all of the headlines in the media as the Newcastle manager appeared to lunge his head towards Meyler in the second half, with his side 3-1 to the good.
Hull turned their attentions away from the FA Cup as they continue their fight for Premier League survival with Steve Bruce naming an unchanged side from the one that brushed aside relegation threatened Cardiff City.
The Magpies arrived at Hull with mixed fortunes of late having narrowly beaten Aston Villa before being thumped by both Tottenham and Chelsea in previous weeks. Pardew made two changes to his team with Fabricio Coloccini, who returned to his homeland after a family bereavement, being replaced by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Luuk De Jong replacing Papiss Cisse up front.
Hull City: McGregor – Bruce – Davies – Figueroa – Elmohamady – Rosenior – Meyler – Huddlestone – Livermore – Jelavic – Long
Subs: Harper – Chester – Koren – Aluko – Sagbo – Boyd – Quinn
Newcastle: Krul – Debuchy – Dummett – Tiote – Williamson – Yanga-Mbiwa – Sissoko – Anita – Remy – de Jong – Gouffran
Subs: Cisse – Gosling – Haidara – S Ameobi – Taylor – Alnwick
The away side started the better of the two teams with Yoan Gouffran striking the outside of the post with the game still in its infancy.
Hull could so easily have been ahead in the 10th minute when Alex Bruce was twice denied by a superb double save from Krul. Literally 28 seconds later and the ball was in the net at the other end as the Magpies broke downfield before Mathieu Debuchy drilled a low cross from the right which found the advancing Moussa Sissoko who smashed the ball into the back of the net.
In-form Nikica Jelavic should have restored parity just before the half hour mark when Ahmed Elmohamady swung in an inviting cross only for the striker to glance his header wide. Minutes later and Jelavic went closer from a set-piece when Yanga-Mbiwa pulled down Shane Long just outside the box. Up stepped Jelavic who saw his free-kick take a deflection of the Toon wall and cannon off the crossbar.
Elmohamady was the next party guilty of missing a good chance after great hold-up play from Long on the left flank allowed him to get his cross in but the Egyptian could only find the side-netting with his header.
Just as Hull were starting to threaten, disaster struck as Maynor Figueroa played a poorly weighted back pass allowing Loic Remy to collect the ball and round McGregor before slotting home.
Despite gifting Newcastle a goal the second-half couldn’t have started in a better fashion for Hull as Curtis Davies rose highest to head past the onrushing Krul from a Tom Huddlestone free-kick.
With the crowd now sensing a comeback Hull were again left ruing individual errors as Newcastle found the net yet again. A seemingly harmless free-kick near the half-way line was played short before being intercepted by the away side allowing Gouffran to run into the box before firing a shot at McGregor which he parried straight into the path of Sissoko who finished for his second and Newcastle’s third.
Sections of the crowd though the Scottish international goalkeeper could have done better with the previous goal but he more than made up for it with a fine fingertip save to deny Remy.
The 72nd minute brought about the biggest talking point of the game as the ball was coming out of play near the touchline Pardew dummied the ball before the onrushing Meyler collided with the manager. Pardew, unsteadied and irate by the collision, confronted the Irish midfielder and appeared to head-butt the player which brought about crazy scenes on the side-lines. Both sets of players came together to separate the pair before Meyler received a yellow card for his part and Pardew being sent to the stands much to the delight of the home support. A genuinely shocking thing to witness from a manager who is no stranger to touchline bans, but he should have known better and could be in serious trouble.
Vernon Anita added a fourth deep into stoppage time to wrap up a comfortable victory but the headlines will all involve Pardew.
Hull, who have relied heavily on their home form, have now gone four league games without a victory as they head into the FA Cup Quarter-Final with Sunderland in eight days’ time.
Jamie Barwick is a 21-year-old Sports Journalism graduate and a fan of Hull City, covering the Tigers on KingFut.com.