16:59 15th April 2017
The Tigers’ away-day troubles show no sign of coming to an end after a 3-1 defeat at Stoke City on Saturday.
Poor defending saw Marco Silva’s side fall behind to Marko Arnautovic’s early goal and although Harry Maguire levelled the scores soon after the break, Stoke went on to win through a Peter Crouch header and a fine strike from Xherdan Shaqiri.
Silva made two changes to the side that started at Manchester City last weekend as Maguire and Tom Huddlestone returned from injury and suspension respectively. Ahmed Elmohamady and Evandro made way and dropped to the bench, while Dieumerci Mbokani was back in the squad amongst the substitutes with David Meyler missing out after a knee injury ended his season this week.
Maguire played as a right back as Silva went with four at the back. Huddlestone, Alfred N’Diaye and Sam Clucas formed a central midfield three, with Lazar Markovic and Kamil Grosicki working out wide to support Oumar Niasse in attack.
The Tigers made a poor start and found themselves behind less than six minutes in. Michael Dawson played a poor pass into midfield which was intercepted, leaving his side outnumbered at the back. Arnautovic picked up Shaqiri’s ball and cut inside onto his right foot before firing a shot into the top corner of the net from the edge of the box.
Arnautovic should have had a second on nine minutes when he latched onto Shaqiri’s clever pass, but the Stoke man volleyed over the bar from just six yards out.
Stoke were doing all of the early pressing and had the ball in the net through Saido Berahino in the 14th minute, but a correct offside decision cut short his celebrations.
Maguire and Andrea Ranocchia combined to block from Shaqirias Stoke created another good opportunity before the Tigers had their first chance of the afternoon when Clucas just managed to get a flick onto a cross from the right. It looked to have fallen perfectly for Niasse inside the six-yard box but he couldn’t direct the ball on target.
Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant made his first save 25 minutes, pushing away a volley from Markovic away after the winger had connected with Maguire’s long diagonal ball.
Maguire shot over the bar after the home side had struggled to deal with Grosicki’s corner and Markovic headed a difficult chance wide with the Tigers finally managing to get some sort of foothold in the game.
They were still looking shaky at the back, though, and another chance for a Stoke second came when Glen Johnson played in Arnautovic but he dragged a shot wide of the far post.
Grosicki passed up a shooting chance when opting to try and square the ball for Niasse, who was booked just before the interval for a challenge on goalkeeper Grant.
The Tigers enjoyed the majority of possession in the early moments of the second half and made it count five minutes in when Stoke needlessly conceded a corner. A well-worked routine saw Clucas, Grosicki and Markovic combined before Clucas delivered to the far post where Maguire saw his shot take a deflection on its way into the net.
Stoke made a double change soon after as Jonathan Walters and Crouch came on and Walters almost had the home side back in front when he stooped to head Arnautovic’s cross goalwards forcing Eldin Jakupovic to make an excellent save before Crouch put the rebound wide.
The two Stoke substitutes soon combined to put the home side back in front. Walters took possession on the left before crossing deep for Crouch who lost Andrea Ranocchia to guide a header into the net.
That prompted a change from the Tigers as Abel Hernandez came on to replace Huddlestone.
Grosicki had the chance to level when he got the better of Johnson, cutting inside before seeing a low shot pushed away by Grant. Niasse was beaten to the loose ball by Bruno Martins Indi.
Walters saw a shot come back off the bar at the other end before Stoke put the game beyond the Tigers with a sublime strike from Shaqiri from 25 yards out.
Mbokani and Elmohamady came on as late substitutes for the Tigers, but there was no turning of the tide with Silva’s side beaten, leaving them two points clear of the relegation zone.
Stoke City: Lee Grant, Ryan Shawcross, Bruno Martins Indi, Marc Muniesa, Glen Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Charlie Adam (Jonathan Walters 58), Erik Pieters, Xherdan Shaqiri (Mame Diouf 88), Saido Berahino (Peter Crouch 58), Marko Arnautovic.
Subs Not Used: Jack Butland, Phil Bardsley, Giannelli Imbula, Ramadan.
Hull City: Eldin Jakupovic, Andy Robertson, Harry Maguire, Tom Huddlestone (Abel Hernandez 70), Alfred N’Diaye, Sam Clucas, Andrea Ranocchia, Kamil Grosicki, Michael Dawson, Oumar Niasse (Dieumerci Mbokani 86), Lazar Markovic (Ahmed Elmohamady 86).
Subs Not Used: David Marshall, Shaun Maloney, Markus Henriksen, Evandro.
Referee: Mr S. Attwell.
Attendance: 27,505 (1,464 Visiting Supporters).