Swansea 1 Hull 1 match report: Danny Graham scores equaliser on return to Liberty Stadium, but refuses to celebrate goal

Michu returned to action after a month out

The Liberty Stadium

Swansea rode their luck to claim a point to claw their way into the top half of the Premier League on Monday night.

Danny Graham, almost inevitably, scored on his first return to the Liberty Stadium since he was shown the door by Swansea manager Michael Laudrup to give Hull an early lead.However Swansea clinched a fortuitous equaliser when Chico Flores deflected his team’s first shot on goal, after an hour, past Allan McGregor .

Swansea deserved some return for their possession, though Hull, still awaiting their first away win for three months, will feel harshly done by amid questions that the equaliser struck Chico’s hand.

That came moments before his team-mate Dwight Tiendalli escape a handball claim in the Swansea penalty area, David Myler’s effort was ruled offside and Yannick Sagbo’s scorching drive was denied by Gerhard Tremmel. Yet this encounter hardly lived up to its place in history

This fixture will forever resonate among Swansea supporters, particularly those who witnessed the club escape relegation from the Football League by the skin of their teeth in the final game of the 2002-03 season.

Members of that Swansea team who beat Hull 4-2, including the one remaining survivor in the current squad Leon Britton, as well as James Thomas, now a fireman, whose hat-trick saved the club from the gallows, were paraded on the field before kick-off. There is little doubt about the importance of that day, though few at the Vetch Field in 2003 could have imagined the clubs would meet again in the Premier League just a decade later.

Britton was ruled out with a broken toe, though Michu returned after a month out with an ankle injury. Laudrup rested Wilfried Bony, recovered from a hamstring problem, for Thursday night’s vital Europa League tie against St Gallen in Switzerland.

Nathan Dyer had helped ease the striker crisis with goals in both his previous home appearances and had the confidence to twist past Alex Bruce inside three minutes, only to fire wide.

Hull were quick to disrupt Swansea from settling into their usual rhythm, Ahmed  Elmohamady probed and Myler was afforded time to unleash an early effort. Just a minute later and Ashley Williams presented an even greater gift.

The centre-back’s languid pass was easily read by Elmohamady. The Egyptian brushed off the half-hearted challenge of Pablo Hernandez before curling a delicious cross for Graham to sidefoot home at the far post inside nine minutes.  

It was a dream start for Steve Bruce, though such has been Hull’s run of results on the road that the early goal made his players sit back on their advantage. Yet Swansea failed to seize control and for once, their touch escaped them as Ben Davies and then Jonathan de Guzman blazed efforts over the bar.

Laudrup’s side dominated possession but could do precious little with it. Their task grew more challenging in the second half as Hull retreated further and erected the barricades.

Curtis Davies impressed at the heart of the Tigers’ resistance but it was only a matter of time before Swansea finally found a way through – though it took a stroke of fortune to find a way past McGregor.

Hull’s goalkeeper was a by-stander for an hour but was beaten when Jonjo Shelvey’s cross skipped off both James Chester and decisively Chico.

Hull awoke from their slumber and saw a strong penalty claim waved away despite Bruce’s header striking Tiendalli’s arm. Sagbo’s powerful snap-shot then brought the best out of Tremmel.

Match details

Swansea: Tremmel 6/10, De Guzman 5, Chico 6, Canas 6, Shelvey 6, Williams 6, Michu 5, Tiendalli 6, B Davies 6, Dyer 5, Hernandez 6

Hull: McGregor 6, Sagbo 6, C Davies 7, Livermore 6, Huddlestone 6, Chester 6, Graham 6, Elmohamady 6, Figueroa 6, Meyler 6, Bruce 7

Goals. Swansea City: Chico 60. Hull City: Graham 9

Substitutes Swansea Pozuelo (De Guzman, 56), Routledge (Hernandez, 67). Hull Koren (Graham, 64). Booked Swansea Williams, Shelvey, Chico Hull Livermore, Sagbo, Figueroa. Possession Swansea 66% Hull 34%

Shots on target Swansea 2 Hull 2

MotM C Davies   Match rating 6/10 Referee M Atkinson (W Yorkshire) Att 19,303

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory