Hull City 2
1-0 (Cousin 14), 2-2 (Geovanni 60)
1-1 (Ireland 38), 1-2 (Ireland 44)
- Match reports
- 16 November 2008 18:00
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
Pre-match: There were two changes to the City starting line-up from last Sunday, with Ben Haim & Kompany replacing the suspended Dunne & Fernandes. Robinho took the captain’s armband. There was a warm ovation for Geovanni from the City fans.
Both sets of fans generated a huge amount of noise at kick off, but it was Robinho who had the chance to quieten the home fans after just two minutes with a free kick from around 30 yards out. This time there was to be no blockbusting screamer, his effort going a long way to the right of Myhill’s post. Hull skipper Ian Ashbee wasted a good shooting opportunity on 10 minutes, placing his shot harmlessly past Hart’s right-hand upright.
The last thing City needed was to gift a chance to the hosts, but unfortunately on 14 minutes a mistake by Tal Ben Haim did just that. The defender, who had been booked a couple of minutes earlier, under hit a back-pass towards Hart and rolled the ball straight into the path of Daniel Cousin, who took a couple of strides forward to touch it past the onrushing Joe Hart and into the net.
To make matters worse for City, Hart hurt his left ankle in the collision with the goal scorer, and although he tried to carry on the Blues keeper was substituted a couple of minutes after the restart, receiving a sympathetic hand from the home fans.
The next phase of the game saw the home side dominate as they looked to take advantage of City’s nervousness at the back. Errors were the order of the day on both sides, with the Blues’ only real threatening moments coming to nothing when Benjani was caught offside on a couple of occasions. Ben Haim looked to have conceded a corner on 35 minutes after a good headed interception, but King’s offside position negated it anyway.
The error-strewn-nature of the half led to another goal just two minutes later – but this time it was a howler by the home side, and City were level! Kamil Zayatte looked to have ended a decent City move, but he rolled the ball straight across the face of the goal in the area and into the path of Stephen Ireland, who slotted it home for his fourth league goal of the season.
The goal gave City the lift they badly needed, and three minutes before the break they should have had the chance to level from the spot. Robinho’s shot clearly hit Turner on the arm inside the area but referee Phil Dowd, just yards away, waved play on to Robinho’s astonishment.
But it did not matter as seconds later City were ahead through a piece of genuine skill. Garrido burst down the left, found Stephen Ireland in acres of space just outside the box and the midfielder took his time to curl a beautiful strike past Myhill and just inside the post! Cue choruses of ‘Ireland is Superman’ from our fans!
No changes at the break, but two minutes into the second half, after two City corners had led to nothing, Geovanni made a chance from nothing when a spectacular scissors kick went over Schmeichel’s bar. Marlon King had another chance shortly after but Kasper was down well to his right to keep us ahead.
A free kick on 56 minutes had Geovanni lining up from long-range, around 35 yards out, but the former City man’s effort lacked venom or direction, and Schmeichel watched it drift a long way wide.
But Geovanni did not have too long to wait to get the goal he must have craved, and once again it was from a free kick. This time he was five yards from the box and dead centre, but his shot took a big deflection off the wall to leave Schmeichel wrong-footed.
Cousin’s diving header brought a good save out of Schmeichel seconds later, and down at the other end Robinho looked to take a touch too many before driving a shot straight at a defender.
Fine work by Robinho and Benjani on 68 minutes set up Darius Vassell for a great chance inside the box, but he missed his first kick, and the Hull defence had time to close him down at the second.
A brace of substitutions on 75 were quickly followed by the sight of Ben Haim striding through the Hull midfield to possibly set something up, but his final ball was found wanting and he was soon sprinting back into position.
More free kick mayhem followed around the 80 minute mark as Geovanni lined up from the edge of the ‘D’ outside the box. He got three bites at the cherry, because Phil Dowd ruled that first SWP and then Ireland had encroached. The final effort deflected wide, and the Blues fans breathed again.
Four minutes were to be added, and as the board was flashing the stoppage allowance, Darius Vassell was denied by a fine save from Myhill. A superb ball across the pitch from Garrido set him up to loop it over the Hull keeper, but at full stretch he fingertipped it to safety.
A breathless last few seconds saw City earn two corners, Micah Richards coming closest with a header that went just wide in the 95th minute. The full time whistle went just afterwards, and the Blues left Humberside with a point that had at one stage looked unlikely, then looked like becoming three before almost inevitably Geovanni came back to haunt them.