Man City 2 Hull City 0: Three talking points as Negredo scores again
Man City 2 Hull City 0: Here are three talking points as Manuel Pellegrini's side beat the Tigers at The Etihad
In-form Hull might escape the drop
Having faced two of the top four teams in England in their opening three matches, Hull City will be more than happy with how they’ve portrayed themselves to date. In particular, against Manchester City, they showcased their potential quite well. A tremendously bright start for Steve Bruce’s men resulted in their attackers engineering a number of great goal-scoring opportunities. Most notably, Sone Aluko missed a glorious one-on-one chance against Joe Hart in the first half, and although he’ll have been disappointed with his final effort, there and then, everyone knew that Hull were capable of hurting City. The Tigers also defended quite capably for over an hour, as they continued to make their opponents look quite average in attack. However, it was always going to be a tough ask to keep City’s forwards quiet all afternoon at the Etihad Stadium, and they eventually succumbed in the 65th minute.
Pellegrini’s substitutions prove pivotal
With the scores level at half-time, it looked as though the Citizens could well be on course for yet another poor result. Undoubtedly, there will have been times when Pellegrini was beginning to get a tad frustrated. However, the Chilean made sure he’d earn his wages this week with an important change at the break. By bringing Álvaro Negredo on in place of Edin Dzeko, Pellegrini changed the face of the game. Twenty minutes after the restart, City’s number nine rose highest in the six-yard box to power the ball downwards with his head and into the back of the net. From there, City grabbed the impetus and began to play with a little more flair, whenever Hull allowed them to. But when Yaya Toure stepped up to take a 90th minute free-kick on the edge of Allan McGregor’s box, there was an air of inevitability about it. His expertly placed shot crashed off the bar and in to seal the win.
Citizens continue to look off-kilter
Despite winning 2-0 in Saturday’s early afternoon kick-off, City rarely looked like the same side that demolished Newcastle 4-0 in their opening fixture. Credit must surely go to Hull for putting the game to City for large periods as they were certainly unlucky to not take an early lead through Aluko. Another player who also played quite well for the visitors was Danny Graham. Unfortunately for the 28-year-old, he hasn’t looked quite the same player that netted 12 goals for Swansea in the not too distant past. However, he showed flashes of his creativity and that will certainly be encouraging for manager Bruce. As determined and persistent as Hull were, City were once again made to look quite unspectacular by a side they should be beating quite comfortably. In fact, Toure’s late wonder goal definitely put quite a nice gloss on the score-line that will certainly serve to paint over a few cracks that have started to appear in recent weeks. Pellegrini will know that City must improve if they are to challenge for the title, let alone the Champions League. In short, there’s still much work to be done.