By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Away Games
Manchester City were undone by a rejuvenated Hull City at the KC Stadium as Roberto Mancini’s men were defeated 2-1, with Micah a helpless spectator due to a calf injury.
The key talking point before kick-up was the return of left-back Wayne Bridge after a turbulent week following revelations about England teammate John Terry’s personal life involving the former’s ex-girlfriend.
But come kick-off, it was clear that Hull were in confident mood following a turn-around that has lifted the squad, youngster Tom Cairney immediately setting his attentions on causing problems for City’s backline with a number of zig-zag runs.
With a triumvirate of Carlos Tevez, Craig Bellamy and Emmanuel Adebayor, the visitors were always going to pose an attacking threat, whilst at the other end Jozy Altidore was causing all sorts of problems with the opposing defence.
Pablo Zabaleta drove just over after nice interplay with Tevez, but it was Hull who grabbed the first goal of the game as Altidore collected a knock down and fired home to send the crowd into raptures.
Tensions were threatening to boil over as time progressed and City struggled to penetrate the hosts’ defence. Indeed, Chris Fagan and Stephen Ireland almost came to blows with five minutes remaining before the referee stepped in.
Just before half-time, Ireland set up Bridge for a low shot which Boaz Myhill – one of the form keepers of the season – beat away, and the teams left the pitch with the Tigers looking the clearly dominant force.
Mancini will certainly have called for more from his players in their attacking endeavours at half-time, but his game-plan went out the window as Hull doubled their advantage a minute after the restart.
George Boeteng it was who fired a stunning shot passed Given, Stephen Hunt’s corner being cleared by Kolo Toure only as far as the Dutchman who returned the ball with pinpoint accuracy.
City’s Italian tactician immediately changed things around, bringing off Ireland and handing Adam Johnson his debut, and Adebayor stepped up his own game with a shot that curled wide of the goal.
He was more accurate moments later, however, as City hauled themselves back into the game, Gareth Barry knocking the ball back into the danger zone and the Togo international blasting home.
Johnson’s introduction was causing problems for a tiring Hull defence, with Myhill having to tip over one of the recent signing’s crosses, and likewise minutes later the stopper was forced to scramble the ball clear after another dangerous ball in.
The potential England international was equal to Tevez’s effort on goal after fine work by Barry, parrying the ball away from danger as Hull desperately clung on to their advantage.
There were to be no more openings for City as they relinquished ground on the top-four, whilst Phil Brown and his staff were left to celebrate a win that moves them three points clear of the drop zone.
Hull: Myhill, McShane, Gardner, Mouyokolo, Dawson, Fagan, Boateng, Cairney, Hunt, Altidore, Vennegoor of Hesselink.
Man City: Given, Zabaleta, Toure, Boyata, Bridge, Ireland, De Jong, Barry, Bellamy, Tevez, Adebayor.
Hull City: Altidore (31’), Boeteng (54’)
Man City: Adebayor (59’)