It was the Tigers who started the brighter of the two teams and after Craig Fagan and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink missed decent opportunities to break the deadlock, the pressure finally told on 31 minutes.
Vennegoor of Hesselink held the ball up brilliantly on the edge of the visitors’ box and teed up Altidore to beautifully slot home his first Premier League goal into the bottom corner from 20 yards and give the hosts a fully deserved lead.
Roberto Mancini’s side were lacklustre in the opening 45 minutes and could count themselves fortunate to only be one goal down at half-time, something Phil Brown’s side changed soon after the interval. Kolo Toure cleared Stephen Hunt’s corner, but only as far as Boateng – who hammered home a stunning first-time shot from the edge of the area for his first goal in over two years.
The visitors’ response was to bring on Adam Johnson for Stephen Ireland and he was involved as the visitors halved the deficit almost immediately. Johnson’s corner wasn’t cleared and after an enormous goalmouth scramble, Toure’s back-heel was deflected into the path of Emmanuel Adebayor, who buried his shot into the roof of the net.
That left Manchester City with half an hour to find an equaliser but, if the Tigers were expecting an onslaught, it never came as clear openings were few and far between. Their best chance of a leveller came and went when Carlos Tevez met Gareth Barry’s cross with a weak shot, allowing Phil Brown’s men to hold on for a vital win that lifted them out of the relegation zone and up to 14th place in the Premier League table.
Reflecting on the win – and his first top-flight goal – Altidore said after the game: “It was good to score, but most importantly it’s good we won the game. We’ve been unlucky the last few games. This is well deserved.”