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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power