Robinson ensures all the positives are negative
Hull City 0 Blackburn Rovers 0
Sunday 13 December 2009
Searching for positives to take from this match, Rovers manager Sam Allardyce highlighted his side's defensive competence. It was certainly true that his goalkeeper Paul Robinson had relatively little to do, and what he had to do he did very well, but the predominant impression left by the game was how poorly Hull performed in a match they badly needed to win.
Consider. With the exception of an awkward midweek trip to Bolton, City's next few games are against Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Spurs and Manchester United again. On this evidence, it is hard to see them picking up points from any of those.
By the time the talismanic Jimmy Bullard returns in an estimated six to eight weeks' time, the odds are that the Tigers will be caged firmly in the bottom three.
City's best chance came early, and as their manager Phil Brown pointed out, what a difference it might have made had Craig Fagan, put through by George Boateng, not side-footed his shot too close to Robinson.
Otherwise Blackburn looked comfortable, though Robinson had to save again when a Christopher Samba slip allowed Fagan to pick out Stephen Hunt on the left side of the area. Again, the shot was weak.
Blackburn's best chances came in the second half, and all fell to the substitute Nikola Kalinic, who in the space of five minutes drove a left-foot shot into the side-netting, saw City goalkeeper Boaz Myhill smother at close range, and then shot wide from inside the six-yard box. Both sides also had penalty claims turned down, and the Hull substitute Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink headed wide as Hull finally began to press for a winner.
"It was one of those games, a scrappy game by both teams – you tend to get sucked into a way of playing against Blackburn, instead of getting the ball down and playing, the way we have been playing of late," Brown said. "If we'd got that first goal through Craig Fagan, they'd have had to come out and be less cautious, and leave gaps at the back we might have taken advantage of."
Blackburn's manager Sam Allardyce reckoned the chances his team had created should have been enough to sneak the win. "We needed to call on Robbo in the first half, when Fagan had their best chance, but when Nico came on he carved himself out three good chances, without converting any. We're lacking a cutting edge, but we're getting the defensive side right, which is very important," he said. But not great to watch.
Referee: Chris Foy
Man of the match: Robinson
Match rating: 4/10
Latest in Sport
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal offloads fringe players as he looks to the long term
Loic Remy joins Chelsea: Striker adds artillery to Diego Costa's firepower
Leicester vs Arsenal player ratings: Who was the star man? Wes Morgan? Leonard Ulloa? Alexis Sanchez?
Tottenham to offer Andros Townsend to Southampton in £14m deadline day bid for Jay Rodriguez
Tottenham vs Liverpool player ratings: Who was the star man? Raheem Sterling? Alberto Moreno? Or new-boy Mario Balotelli?
- 1 Unseen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chapter deemed 'too subversive' released
- 3 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward