Hull vs Crystal Palace match report: Mohamed Diamé does the trick for Tigers

Hull City 2 Crystal Palace 0: Bruce’s battlers go back to basics and inflict a first defeat on new Palace manager Warnock

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The Independent Football

A third goal in four appearances for the club from Mohamed Diamé, and a composed late finish from Nikica Jelavic, gave Hull City a win that, quietly, the Tigers needed rather badly.  It also meant a first defeat for Neil Warnock as manager of Crystal Palace, and the contrast in emotion which he and opposite number Steve Bruce will have going into the international break will be considerable.

Back to basics was Bruce’s mantra going into the game after not having seen his side win in the league since the opening day of the season , and his decision to return to a 3-5-2 formation featuring the pacy James Chester in the back three pleased the City fans. More importantly, judging by their early fluency going forward, it pleased his players, particularly Ahmed  Elmohamady, who three times in the first 10 minutes found space on the right to send in dangerous crosses: Jelavic should have done better than head the first tamely over the bar.

By and large, Palace absorbed the early thrusts with a level of organisational competence that quickly quietened the home crowd. It was positively disquieted when Palace began to probe forward in turn, Jason Puncheon and Yannick Bolasie using their pace to support Fraizer Campbell.  They too had an early chance, after Elmohamady inexplicably passed the ball straight to the lurking Campbell, and Chester, with little option, brought the forward down. From 20 yards, Mile Jedinak curled over.

 

That was about it for chances until five minutes before the break, when Diamé, presented with a close-range opportunity to beat goalkeeper Julian Speroni by a wall pass from Abel Hernandez, tried and failed to pick out Jelavic at the far post instead.  Jelavic headed a corner wide, and Hernandez side-footed wide.

They retained the momentum after the break, and might have gone ahead when another inviting Elmohamady pull-back saw three City players converge on the ball on the edge of the Palace area. Unfortunately for the Tigers, centre-half Curtis Davies got there first, and duly lifted the ball 10 feet over the bar.

On the hour, however, they got the goal their dominance of possession meant they just about deserved. A simple one it was too, as after Hernandez saw an attempted curler blocked, the ball rebounded to Robertson on the left; the young Scot picked out Diamé on the six-yard line, and the former West Ham midfielder nodded the ball past the exposed Speroni.

Palace manager Warnock brought on Marouane Chamakh and Dwight Gayle to give his attack more oomph, while Bruce switched to four at the back, guaranteeing a nervous few minutes until Jelavic’s strike made the game safe.

Line-ups:

Hull City (3-5-2): Harper: Chester, Dawson, Davies: Robertson (Rosenoir 81), Livermore, Huddlestone, Diamé (Bruce 90), Elmohamady: Hernandez (Ramirez 75), Jelavic.

Crystal Palace (4-5-1): Speroni: Kelly, Dann (Mariappa 12), Delaney, Ward: Puncheon, McArthur (Gayle 70), Jedinak, Ledley, Bolasie:Campbell (Chamakh 62).

Referee: Mike Dean.

Man of the match: Diamé (Hull City).

Match rating: 6/10.

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