David Nugent hat-trick keeps Nigel Pearson awake but Steve Bruce blows his top
Leicester City 3 Hull City 1
The King Power Stadium
Monday 24 September 2012
"Nigel Pearson, he'll send you to sleep." This was just one of the several uncomplimentary chants the travelling Hull supporters directed the way of Nigel Pearson, their former manager, but Leicester City fans will beg to differ after seeing their fourth consecutive home Championship victory.
Leicester may still be pointless on their travels but their home form certainly fits a club with promotion aspirations and thanks to David Nugent, they had another, richly deserved, win to celebrate.
Four days after his 100th league goal against Burnley, Nugent won this game with his first career hat-trick, achieving it with a classic combination of goals with his left foot, head and right foot. In the process, the 27-year-old Liverpudlian lifted Leicester to seventh in the table, while stalling the progress of a Hull side who would have gone joint-top with victory.
"It's my first ever hat-trick, it's been a long time – I've waited nearly 11 years," said Nugent, who had Hull on the back foot from the seventh minute when he intercepted Danny Drinkwater's shot and scored his first. Hull goalkeeper Ben Amos had already begun his dive and had no time to react as Nugent struck a slick left-footed finish inside the far post.
It was Leicester's first first-half league goal this term and they almost had another with Amos foiling Jamie Vardy, who then had an effort cleared off the line by Sone Aluko.
Aluko's next contribution was to help Hull equalise as he fired in a cross-shot from the right that Jay Simpson turned home.
That was as good as it got for the visitors, Nugent restoring the lead just before half-time. After Ahmed Elmohamady had cleared a Ben Marshall effort off the line, Anthony Knockaert crossed for Nugent to nod home. Knockaert, a summer recruit from French Ligue 2 club Guingamp, shone in a roaming role behind the Leicester forwards. "He's got an awful lot of talent," said Pearson, whose switch to a fluid 4-3-3 allowed his team to exploit the space behind the wing-backs afforded by Hull's 3-5-2 system.
By contrast it was a frustrating afternoon for the Hull manager, Steve Bruce, who was sent off after a touchline row with assistant referee Ian Dudley. A sheepish Bruce said: "Sometimes you do some stupid things. I contested a decision which went against us but I still shouldn't go on like some raving lunatic the way I did. I've apologised."
His team might have had a late equaliser as Knockaert nodded Nick Proschwitz's header off the goal line. Instead Leicester broke immediately and Nugent swept home his third.
Scorers. Leicester: Nugent 7, 42, 90. Hull City: Simpson 26
Leicester City (4-2-1-3): Schmeichel; De Laet, Morgan, St Ledger, Konchesky; James (King, 70), Drinkwater; Knockaert; Vardy (Waghorn, 74), Nugent, Marshall (Dyer, 85). Substitutes not used: Logan (gk), Whitbread, Schlupp, Futacs. Hull City (3-5-2): Amos; Chester, Faye (Proschwitz, 78), Bruce; Elmohamady, Koren, Evans (Olofinjana, 78), Quinn, Dudgeon (Rosenior, 70); Aluko, Simpson. Substitutes not used: Oxley (gk), Dawson, McLean, McShane. Match rating: 6/10. Man of the match: Nugent. Referee: E Ilderton (Tyne and Wear)
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