All-action Altidore takes Hull to new high
Hull City 2 Manchester City 1: Mancini calls home fans disrespectful for abusing returning Bridge but there are no excuses for dismal City display
Sunday 07 February 2010
Roberto Mancini took out his frustration on home supporters for their taunting of Wayne Bridge as Manchester City slumped to a shock defeat courtesy of goals from Jozy Altidore and George Boateng. Bridge was taunted from start to finish on a miserable afternoon for the England defender and his colleagues as Hull recorded their first League victory in 11 attempts.
Emmanuel Adebayor pulled a goal back for City but it was not enough to prevent a third defeat under Mancini, who was critical of Bridge's treatment, which included crude songs about his former partner Vanessa Perroncel. Mancini said: "I thought the people should have showed him more respect. They showed him no respect. But I thought he handled it well and he was OK after the game."
He added: "We don't seem to be the same team away from home as when we are at home. We must fight always. We did better in the second half but it wasn't enough. The right result could have been 2-2 though. We did better in the second half and we had some chances. Today was important for us to win, but we have some games in hand and we still have a chance of getting into the top four. We still have a chance, but it's very important that we beat Bolton now. We must win that game."
Mancini made three changes to the side which beat Portsmouth with ease at Eastlands last time out, the most significant being the return of Bridge, who had spent the last two months on the sidelines recovering from a knee injury. Despite his absence Bridge has dominated the headlines of late, of course, following the revelations involving his former Chelsea colleague and friend, John Terry.
Craig Bellamy was recalled for Martin Petrov and Dedryck Boyata replaced the injured Vincent Kom-pany. Adam Johnson, who joined City from Middlesbrough in a £7m deal on deadline day, had to settle for a seat alongside Patrick Vieira on the bench. Vieira had been expected to make his long-awaited debut following his arrival from Internazionale.
The Hull manager, Phil Brown, named an unchanged side, keeping faith with those who secured a creditable draw with Chelsea in midweek to boost their relegation fears. Hull were still without a win in the Premier League for 10 matches, however, and it was difficult to envisage such a poor run coming to an end at the expense of Mancini's side.
Yet City produced one of the most woeful halves of football since Mancini took charge. To Hull's credit they failed to let the visitors settle but this could not excuse City's overall lack of urgency and desire. It took them until first half stoppage time to have a shot on goal and the fact it was the full-back Bridge spoke volumes for their plight.
Hull were magnificent, on the other hand. Boateng and Tom Cairney dominated the midfield exchanges while Stephen Hunt and Craig Fagan were willing workers on either flank. But Hull's jewel was Altidore, who ran the City defence ragged. Boateng and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink went close with powerful drives while Fagan chose to shoot from a tight angle when crossing was the better option.
Brown's side deserved a breakthrough and it duly arrived in the 31st minute when Boateng and Hesselink combined to tee-up Altidore, who picked his spot before curling a delightful strike beyond the outstretched hand of Shay Given and into the bottom corner.
Boateng blazed Hull into a two-goal lead after 54 minutes with his first goal for the club since joining them 18 months ago. Adebayor pulled one back and City launched a late flurry but Hull hung on for a famous win.
Their assistant manager Brian Horton said: "If we show that passion and desire until the end of the season then there will be no problem. The spirit, application and desire we showed was tremendous. It was a great all round team performance.
"It's hard to get out of the bottom three when you're down there so if we are now in 14th place then this has obviously given us a big lift."
Referee: Phil Dowd
Man of the match: Boateng
Match rating: 7/10
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