Hull vs Sunderland match report: Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet in altercation as Jack Rodwell cancels out Dame N'Doye opener

Hull 1 Sunderland 1

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The Independent Online

Lee Cattermole was booked again, Gus Poyet was sent to the stands before half-time and what has already been a bad week for Sunderland after Adam Johnson's arrest looked about to get worse until a Jack Rodwell goal with a hint of handball salvaged a point and kept Hull alongside them in what Hull manager Steve Bruce has described as a "horrible dogfight" to avoid relegation.

Dame N'Doye's 15th-minute goal had Hull on course for the win Hull manager Steve Bruce felt would have all but secured his side's place in the Premier League next season.  But Rodwell, back in the Sunderland side after a month out with injury, headed an equaliser with 13 minutes left, the ball appearing to brush his arm as well on its way over the line, leaving Hull to rue a missed opportunity to put clear daylight between themselves and the bottom three.

Poyet – dismissed after an incident in which he almost came to blows with his opposite number Bruce – had predicted a feisty encounter and the first of eight cautions came as early as the 13th minute when Wes Brown went into Mike Dean’s book for catching Ahmed Elmohamady as he tried to retrieve a ball running away from him.

This time there was no mistaking the perpetrator and it proved a costly misdemeanour on two counts for the former Manchester United defender as Hull scored from the free-kick conceded. Sunderland lined up a wall in anticipation of a shot but Tom Huddlestone had other ideas, driving the ball along the ground into the centre of the penalty area, where N’Doye’s clever flick of the heel diverted it past Costel Pantilimon.

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Dame N'Doye puts Hull City ahead

 

Sunderland’s defending was poor, no doubt frustratingly so for Poyet, whose short fuse quickly burned down and resulted in his dismissal after a spat with Bruce, who might have been in trouble himself but for the intervention of  assistant referee Stuart Burt.

Tensions came to a head when Rodwell was booked for diving, claiming a foul by Alex Bruce as he chased Jermain Defoe’s flick. Poyet plainly disagreed and kicked out at a water bottle, at which point Dean arrived and pointed in the direction of the stands. An exchange of views between the respective coaching staffs followed, ending with Poyet walking across to shake hands with Bruce and then applauding the Hull manager as he turned to walk away. Whatever he said plainly upset Bruce, who moved menacingly towards Poyet before Burt stepped in and restrained him twice before the Hull manager regained his composure.

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Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash

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Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash

 

But with City in front through Senegal striker N’Doye’s third goal in four matches since his deadline-day arrival from Lokomotiv Moscow, Bruce’s side were calling the shots.

Hull continued on the front foot after the break, and after Liam Bridcutt became the third Sunderland player shown a yellow card after taking down Jelavic with a clumsy lunge, N’Doye threatened to do more damage before trying to find Jelavic with a pass when he might have profited more from a shot.

Sunderland were too often stretched at the back, and it felt like a second goal for Hull would finish them off. They were lucky not to concede it when N’Doye lost his footing at the critical moment, ballooning the ball over the bar after Jake Livermore had picked him out.

 

Inevitably, Cattermole added his contribution to Sunderland’s woes, picking up his 10th yellow card for a sly kick on Hull’s David Meyler and triggering a two-match ban.

Livermore went close for Hull, but the cushion of a second goal eluded them to their cost as Sunderland equalised with 13 minutes left, substitute Patrick van Aanholt’s cross looping over Allan McGregor to be nodded in by Rodwell. Hull pressed for a late winner but Pantilimon preserved his side’s point with a point-blank save from N’Doye.

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