December 29, 2012
Tigers maul poor Leeds
Premier League hopefuls Hull overcame their problems in front of goal to see off a woeful Leeds side 2-0 at the KC Stadium.
Steve Bruce's men are in the thick of the promotion race and cemented themselves in second place heading in to 2013 with this win, eventually brought about by goals from Corry Evans and David Meyler.
Prior to Evans' 52nd-minute opener it had looked as though the one thing to have blighted Hull this season - a dismal lack of goals - would haunt them again, but once the seal was broken they did not look back.
They were ably assisted by Neil Warnock's Leeds, though, who over Christmas have gone from promotion candidates to mid-table fodder, with this one of their most anaemic performances of the season.
United had one notable effort - a Tom Lees half-chance - and with 17-goal Luciano Becchio benched, spent the game chasing shadows and were lucky to end the game with 11 men.
Their problems were clear from the off, with the three-at-the-back system employed by Warnock leaving his players confused, something illustrated as early as the fourth minute when Alan Tate's back pass fell short and Robert Koren failed to convert a one-on-one.
Leeds' disarray at the back continued and they were fortunate not to concede a seventh-minute penalty when Sone Aluko was too quick for Jason Pearce on the outside, before they had a chance of their own; Lees stabbing over as he chased up Ross McCormack's mis-hit effort from a corner.
Hull's lack of a prolific striker has been masked by the goals they have conjured from elsewhere, none more so the head of defender Abdoulaye Faye, and he had half of the ground on their feet in the 25th minute as he got up for a free header from a corner, only for the ball to have nestled in the side-netting.
It was Hull who remained the better side, though, with their pace and movement pinning Leeds back. Twice Ahmed Elmohamady produced brilliant crosses that Koren failed to make good of, first lashing wide and then missing the ball all together.
With no possession to speak of, Leeds reverted to unsavoury methods of staying in the game, with Aidy White and McCormack booked for late challenges and Michael Brown shown a yellow card for refusing to step off the field while he received treatment.
The pattern of the match continued into the second half, Aluko drilling just wide after cutting in, with Paddy Kenny then doing well to get down and deny Meyler after Brown's error had set Hull free.
Aluko then turned Pearce inside out and flashed a cross-cum-shot across goal which Koren should have turned in, but the latter was more effective with 52 minutes gone as he laid on Evans' goal.
His neat reverse pass put the Northern Ireland international in down the right-hand side of the box and, without a moment of hesitation he rammed a low drive across Kenny and into the bottom corner.
It was no more than Hull deserved, in fact another couple of goals would have been justified, and one arrived three minutes later as Meyler, due to return to Sunderland tomorrow, rose to head in Robbie Brady's corner at the near post.
Only the theatrics of Kenny from Brady and Koren's wasteful follow-up denied Hull a third, with other near misses coming and going as both sides happily saw the game through to its conclusion.
|Hull City||Leeds United|
|1 Eldin Jakupovic||1 Patrick Kenny|
|6 Jack Hobbs||15 Alan Tate|
|5 James Chester||5 Jason Pearce|
|23 Abdoulaye Faye||4 Tom Lees|
|10 Robert Koren||17 Michael Brown|
|29 Stephen Quinn||19 David Norris|
|24 Sone Aluko||14 Aidan White|
|31 David Meyler||7 Paul Green|
|8 Corry Evans||25 Samuel Bryam|
|27 Ahmed Elmohamady||44 Ross McCormack|
|30 Robert Brady||28 Davide Somma|
|22 Ben Amos||Jamie Ashdown 12|
|15 Paul McShane||Adam Drury 3|
|2 Liam Rosenior||Jerome Thomas 9|
|16 Seyi George Olofinjana||Luke Varney 11|
|14 Tom Cairney||Ryan Hall 30|
|11 Jay Simpson||Rodolph Austin 8|
|33 Nick Proschwitz||Luciano Becchio 10|
|Nick Proschwitz for Robert Koren (76)||Luke Varney for Davide Somma (46)|
|Liam Rosenior for Ahmed Elmohamady (82)||Rodolph Austin for David Norris (68)|
|Jay Simpson for Sone Aluko (89)|
|Robert Brady (76)||Aidan White (35)|
|Ross McCormack (44)|
|Michael Brown (45)|
|Samuel Bryam (70)|
|· Squads: Hull City | Leeds United|