Hull City

West Bromwich Albion 4-2 Hull City: Report

05 July 2020
Hull City slipped to a 4-2 defeat at West Bromwich Albion despite a spirited performance against the automatic promotion-chasing Baggies at The Hawthorns on Sunday.

Charlie Austin opened the scoring early on for the hosts and, although Kevin Stewart levelled midway through the first half, Ahmed Hegazi headed his first goal since November 2018 to put Slaven Bilic’s men back in front before the break.

Mallik Wilks headed in the Tigers’ second equaliser of the afternoon three minutes after the restart but this time they stayed on level terms for less than 60 seconds.¬†Almost straight from the restart, Kamil Grosicki collected Matheus Pereira’s precise through-ball to make it 3-2 before Grady Diangana wrapped up the points for the hosts with a fourth goal 14 minutes from time.

Grant McCann made four changes for the trip to The Hawthorns, with Martin Samuelsen, Jon Toral, Kevin Stewart and George Honeyman all coming into the starting line-up, replacing Dan Batty, James Scott and injured duo Callum Elder (concussion) and Herbie Kane (hamstring).

Batty and Scott were included on the bench, where they were joined by Sean McLoughlin and youngster Callum Jones, named in a senior matchday squad for the first time after a productive season at U23 level.

The Baggies, meanwhile, had three former Tigers in their squad, with Kamil Grosicki given his first start since arriving in January and Jake Livermore and Conor Townsend named amongst the substitutes.

The hosts were the first to threaten as Matheus Pereira sent a dangerous cross into the box, which required Matthew Pennington to divert the ball behind for a corner. Pereira’s initial delivery was headed behind by Lopes, before Kyle Bartley was penalised for clubbing all over Reece Burke from the Brazilian’s second flag-kick.

However, the Baggies next attack saw them grab a fifth-minute lead through Austin. Pereira was involved again as his low cross was deflected on its way into the box, eventually falling to the former bricklayer who poked past George Long.

Mallik Wilks was responsible for the Tigers’ first real effort of the game on 14 minutes when his strike from distance was deflected behind for a corner, from which loud handball appeals from those in black and amber were ignored by referee Oliver Langford as Ahmed Hegazi blocked an effort on the line.

Wilks was involved in the thick of action in the final third once again on 23 minutes, firing a wicked cross into the danger zone that led to back-to-back corners. And it was from the second of Honeyman’s deliveries that the Tigers levelled the scores. The midfielder’s ball into the box was only half-cleared by the home defence and Stewart pounced to thump an effort through a crowd and into the back of the net.

McCann’s men threatened again on 28 minutes when Samuelsen released Josh Magennis, only for the Northern Irishman to fire wide after working his way into the box.

The ever-dangerous Pereira went close to restoring his side’s lead on the half-hour mark with a well-struck effort that was deflected narrowly wide before Rekeem Harper fired high over the bar from 20 yards.

Grosicki was the next to go close when his effort from a very tight angle was saved at the near post by Long. However, the keeper was powerless to prevent the home side from restoring their lead from the resulting corner. Hegazi – on the run inside the box – lost his man and guided home an all-to-simple header.

Long was called upon once again when getting down well to push away Filip Krovinovic’s low effort from distance, with Jordy de Wijs producing an important block to prevent Austin from slotting home the rebound.

Harper should have made it 3-1 on the stroke of half-time when collecting a Grosicki pass on the edge of the box, but his side-footed effort could only find the seats of the Smethwick end behind Long’s goal. Five minutes of added-time saw City’s custodian tested by Pereira before Wilks dragged a low effort wide of the target following a quick break.

McCann made his first change of the afternoon during the break, introducing Keane Lewis-Potter into the action in place of Samuelsen on the Tigers’ left flank.

A frantic start to the second half saw two goals scored inside five minutes. Toral and Magennis combined to find Leo Da Silva Lopes, whose cross was inch-perfect for Wilks to dispatch a thumping header on 48 minutes.

However, parity lasted a little more than 60 seconds. Pereira grabbed his third assist of the afternoon with a through-ball for Grosicki, who produced a composed finish to slot past the onrushing Long.

It should have been 3-3 on 52 minutes as the end-to-end action continued. A swift counter-attack from the visitors saw Toral release Wilks and the winger embarked a brilliant run down the right but could only send his shot from inside the box over the bar.

There was then a major flashpoint as Hegazi – already booked – appeared to kick out at Toral in an off-the-ball incident as the Spaniard was on the floor. However, neither the referee nor his assistant spotted the misdemeanour and the Egyptian escaped without even being spoken to.

Toral twice went close for the Tigers, denied by fingertip saves by Johnstone on both occasions, before Tom Eaves was introduced into the action in place of Magennis on 66 minutes.¬†McCann’s men continued to try and find a route back into the game with a third equaliser of the afternoon and came close to doing so when de Wijs headed over from Honeyman’s right-wing free-kick.

Albion, though, reminded the Tigers of their threat in the final third as substitute Chris Brunt saw an effort blocked before, following a lengthy spell of pressure, Grady Diangana made it 4-2 just three minutes after stepping off the bench himself. The 22-year-old – on loan from West Ham – showed quick feet to get away from two defenders before rolling a low effort past Long and into the bottom corner.

The hosts were reduced to ten men when Hegazi was sent-off for a second bookable offence when going in late and high on Wilks. However, the Tigers were unable to make their numerical advantage count in six minutes of additional time.

West Bromwich Albion:Sam Johnstone, Kieran Gibbs (Conor Townsend 36), Kyle Bartley, Filip Krovinovic (Chris Brunt 72), Matheus Pereira, Kamil Grosicki, Charlie Austin (Hal Robson-Kanu 63), Rekeem Harper (Grady Diangana 72), Romaine Sawyers (Jake Livermore 63), Ahmed Hegazi, Dara O’Shea.

Subs Not Used: Jonathan Bond, Darnell Furlong, Semi Ajayi, Callum Robinson.

Hull City: George Long, Jordy de Wijs, Reece Burke, Kevin Stewart (Dan Batty 72), Jon Toral (James Scott 90), George Honeyman, Matt Pennington, Josh Magennis (Tom Eaves 66), Leo Da Silva Lopes, Martin Samuelsen (Keane Lewis-Potter 46), Mallik Wilks.

Subs Not Used: Matt Ingram, Ryan Tafazolli, Angus MacDonald, Sean McLoughlin, James Scott, Callum Jones.

Referee: Oliver Langford