Hull vs Swansea match report: Ki Sung-yeung unlocks Hull defence yet again to put under-fire Steve Bruce on the brink

Hull 0 Swansea 1: Jonjo Shelvey's off-target shot cannoned off Ki and wrong-footed Allan McGregor to give Swans the three points

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The Independent Online

It has been a season so far characterised by patience among Premier League chairmen, with no manager dismissed before Christmas for the first time since 1995, but the spirit of good will is bound to expire sooner or later and Steve Bruce will be among those beginning to feel concerned about his job security.

Bruce spent around £40 million in the summer yet his Hull side go into the festive programme in the bottom three after a run of 10 matches without a win, extended at the KC Stadium yesterday as Swansea claimed their first win outside Wales since the opening day of the season.

His luck could be better.  Already badly hit by injuries and suspensions, he lost another key player when centre-back Michael Dawson suffered a hamstring tear at Chelsea last week and Curtis Davies limped off with a sore calf yesterday.

The decisive goal, moreover, was helped on its way by a deflection that left goalkeeper Allan McGregor powerless to prevent it.

But Hull had enough possession to at least avoid a sixth defeat in eight matches yet could not score. In fact, they have not managed a goal now in more than five hours of play.

Swansea, in fact, could have won by a wider margin had Jonjo Shelvey, whose shot it was that spun in past McGregor off team-mate Ki Sung-Yeung, not missed the best chance of the second half, with only the Scottish keeper to beat. Bafi Gomis missed a couple of chances too.

The result justified manager Garry Monk’s decision to make three outfield changes in addition to three forced by injuries, with leading scorer Wilfried Bony the surprise absentee, starting on the bench despite a run of eight goals in 10 matches. Leon Britton, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jefferson Montero were all unfit.

“We will lose Wilfried for a month because of the African Nations Cup and it was important for Bafi to get some game time ahead of that and that was the reason for my decision,” Monk said.

Swansea had their slice of good fortune in the 15th minute. When Shelvey shot at goal from 25 yards it was hard to tell whether it would have troubled McGregor but as it was, the deflection, off Ki Sung-Yeung’s midriff, left him hopelessly wrong-footed.

Hull’s best period came in the minutes before and after half-time, when Andy Robertson clipped the bar with a shot and Abel Hernandez drew a save from Lukasz Fabianski, then Nikica Jelavic, who had the ball in the net moments before half-time but only to be flagged offside, forced Fabianski to scramble a header round the post.

“We could do with a goal like there’s but I’m not going to blame luck,” Bruce said. “We are struggling without some of our better players but some of those who did play did not perform at anything like the level required.”

Hull: (3-5-2): McGregor; Chester, Bruce (Aluko, 59), Davies (Maguire, 77); Elmohamady, Meyler, Livermore, Ramirez, Robertson; Jelavic (Sagbo, 81), Hernandez.

Swansea: (4-1-4-1) Fabianski; Richards (Rangel, 81), Fernandez, Williams, Taylor; Ki; Dyer, Shelvey, Carroll (Emnes, 57), Routledge; Gomis (Bony, 76).

Referee: Mark Clattenburg.

Man of the match: Ki (Swansea)

Match rating: 6/10

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