Premier League round-up: Southampton claim surprise victory at Anfield while rivals Everton sneak thriller at Upton Park

Ricky van Wolfswinkel penalty miss increases pressure on Canaries boss Chris Hughton after poor start to season

Saturday 21 September 2013 22:51

Norwich 0 Aston Villa 1 match report: Libor Kozak opens his account in away win but concerns over injured Chritian Benteke

Paul Lambert’s last game as manager of Norwich City was a home win over Aston Villa in May last year; since then he has returned three times to Carrow Road, and each time emerged victorious in charge of Villa.

His £7m deadline-day signing Libor Kozak was his matchwinner today, scoring on the half-hour, less than 90 seconds after coming on as a substitute for the injured Christian Benteke. The Czech found himself alone against John Ruddy, and although the Norwich goalkeeper saved his shot, the rebound was collected by Gabriel Agbonlahor, who set up Kozak to score – the first goal in English football for the man whose 10 for Lazio made him last season’s Europa League top scorer.

“He’s had to adapt after coming from a very different football culture, but his goals ratio in Serie A, where defences are tough, was very good,” said Lambert afterwards. “From the goal, his game grew – he led the line well.”

Villa’s victory was topped and tailed by two important saves by their American goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

In the sixth minute, Norwich were awarded a penalty for handball against Ciaran Clark; though Guzan was a good three yards off his line before Robert Snodgrass struck the ball, referee Chris Foy allowed the save to stand.

Norwich manager Chris Hughton, who revealed that Ricky van Wolfswinkel had been “expected” to take the spot-kicks – and will do so from now on – was phlegmatic about the save. “The goalkeeper did appear to come off his line, but that rule doesn’t seem to be enforced these days,” he said. “The miss undoubtedly gave Aston Villa a lift.”

Three minutes from the end, Guzan made the kind of flying save that conventionally attracts the epithet “wonder”, flipping the ball out one-handed from almost under his crossbar to deny Norwich substitute Gary Hooper a close-range debut goal.

Lambert was pleased with his goalkeeper, but not effusive. “That’s his job,” he said. “His job is to save.”

Hooper’s introduction in place of Johan Elmander after 63 minutes had been rapturously received by the Norwich fans – whose approbation turned instantly to fury when their new favourite, Nathan Redmond, was also replaced, by Anthony Pilkington. Hughton’s entirely reasonable explanation was that Redmond had been “shackled quite well” by Villa full-back Leandro Bacuna and the greater danger was coming from Snodgrass on the right. In truth, those substitutions made very little difference to a game in which the Canaries’ efforts were already becoming disjointed and remained so.

Villa had begun the game with last season’s double-act of Benteke and Agbonlahor up front; they ended it with the 6ft 4in Kozak partnered by the 6ft 5in Dane Nicklas Helenius – a sign, perhaps, of aerial bombardments to come, though both looked quick and capable on the ground.

Lambert appeared relaxed about the injury to Benteke. “I don’t know how bad it is, we’ll have to see,” was as much as he was prepared to reveal on the subject. Benteke, who has scored more Premier League goals in 2013 than anybody else – 18 – slipped while running backwards and appeared to twist his knee. He fell down again in pain as he returned to the field after treatment that was clearly ineffective, and was flat on his back on the halfway line as Norwich put together one of their best moves, which ended with Ricky van Wolfswinkel volleying inches wide.

There were not too many other close calls in a game that left Hughton frustrated at his side’s finishing. “It’s hard to take, because we deserved to win,” he said. “We created good chances but we didn’t have the quality or fortune we needed in front of goal.”

He will hope that Hooper will soon be up to speed to start paying off his £5m fee from Celtic, and that Van Wolfswinkel finds the finishing touch appropriate to an £8.5m striker –from the penalty spot perhaps.


Norwich (4-2-3-1): Ruddy; Martin, Turner, Bassong (R Bennett, 38), Garrido; Howson, Fer; Snodgrass, Elmander (Hooper 63), Redmond (Pilkington 63); Van Wolfswinkel.

Substitutes not used: Bunn, Whittaker, Hooper, Hoolahan, Tettey.

Aston Villa (4-4-2): Guzan; Bacuna, Vlaar, Clark, Luna; Tonev (Sylla, 77), El Ahmadi, Delph, Weimann; Agbonlahor (Helenius, 60), Benteke (Kozak, 28).

Substitutes not used: Steer, Baker, J Bennett, Albrighton.

Referee: Chris Foy

Man of the match: Brad Guzan (AstonVilla)

Attendance: 26,813

Match rating: 5

Liverpool 0 Southampton 1 match report: Reds lose unbeaten streak after Dejan Lovren header gives Saint the win

As he watched the final minutes of his exile drain away, Luis Suarez would have wondered how he would have fitted into the afternoon, how he would have taken the chances squandered by others and how he would have won this game.

Liverpool have endured the 10-match ban that accompanied Suarez’s sinking of his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic’s arm better than any dared hope. Brendan Rodgers not only kept hold of the striker, despite the Uruguayan’s increasingly whiny protests that he wanted to spend quality time in London, but this was the only game of the 10 that had been lost.
It was, however, badly lost and the question now is whether Rodgers will throw Suarez back in against Manchester United in Wednesday’s League Cup tie or wait until Sunday at Sunderland. Given that Paolo di Canio’s side has had to endure Mezut Ozil’s debut, this might be unnecessarily cruel on a club already adrift and rudderless in the Premier League.
Nevertheless, this was a reminder that, however impressively they may have begun, Liverpool are not yet the real thing. Southampton, who have now taken eight points with three goals, won easily and once Dejan Lovren had put them ahead, there were few moments of genuine anxiety.
With time and Anfield’s patience almost exhausted, Daniel Sturridge sent a ball over the top for Raheem Sterling. He was clear on goal and, had he kept his nerve the equaliser might have been his. Instead, his first touch sent the ball scuttling towards the goalkeeper. The match finished amid empty seats and boos.
For those who imagined that the well-worked victory over Manchester United signalled Liverpool’s rebirth, this was as sobering as a bucket of water tossed over a gutter-bound drunk.
Rodgers had never been among them. The Liverpool manager’s programme notes had talked of: “returning the club to the pinnacle of the game, both domestically and in Europe,” without suggesting that the journey would be complete by May.
“We never got going. From the off, it was lethargic” said Rodgers, who had last tasted defeat in March. This was also against Southampton and it was, coincidentally, the only loss suffered by Philippe Coutinho since his arrival on Merseyside from Inter Milan. Liverpool may have missed Suarez but they missed the little Brazilian rather more.
“Yes,” Rodgers agreed. “Technically it was disappointing. We looked flat and slow in our game. I would like a much stronger squad but we have what we have and we have lost a number of players, including Glen Johnson and Coutinho.
“It hurts because we haven’t tasted defeat for so long but I am still optimistic for the season despite a defeat that is hard to swallow. The one bright light is that, from Wednesday, we have Suarez back.”
Bizarrely, Rodgers started with no fewer than four centre-halves. One of them was Mamadou Sakho, who remarked when he signed from Paris St Germain that he should not be considered a left back. That was precisely where he found himself and, as You‘ll Never Walk Alone began sounding out, around the stadium he could be seen quietly praying.
Individually, both Sakho and Kolo Toure produced some smart interplay but the unit as a whole looked dreadfully ponderous. Rodgers pointed out that there was also precious little offensive threat from his back, although their habit of passing back to Simon Mignolet, who fancies himself as a sweeper, frequently threatened self-destruction.
That a side with four centre-halves lost the game to a corner, conceded after a mix-up between Toure and Martin Skrtel, was their manager reflected “criminal”. His counterpart, Mauricio Pochettino, remarked caustically that: “Just because you have four centre-backs doesn’t mean you are not going to concede. Over the 90 minutes we were much superior to them.”
The corner from Adam Lallana was struck by Lovren with the side of his head as he fell under pressure from Daniel Agger and then hit the roof of the net as Steven Gerrard tried to clear from behind the line. Shortly afterwards Rodgers employed a specialist left-back.
A free-kick from the Liverpool captain before the interval had the closest they came to a breakthrough but, just at the second when the when the stadium was about to explode to celebrate the goal, Artur Boruc pushed it aside. Journalistic cliché would demand that the Southampton keeper leapt like a salmon. There are few dolphins in the various Sea Life centres dotted around the coast who could have done better.

Liverpool (4-4-1-1): Mignolet, Toure, Skrtel (Luis Alberto 72), Agger, (Luis Enrique 56) Sakho; Henderson, Gerrard, Lucas Leiva, Moses; Aspas (Sterling ht); Sturridge.

Substitutes: Jones, Ibe, Kelly, Wisdom.

Southampton (4-2-3-1): Boruc; Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw; Schneiderlin, Wanyama; Rodriguez, Osvaldo (Cork 89), Lallana (Ward Prowse 76); Lambert (Davis 66).

Substitutes: Davies, Ramirez, Chambers, Hooiveld.

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

Attendance: 44,755
Match rating: 6/10
Man of the match: Lovren (Southampton)

West Ham 2 Everton 3 match report: Leighton Baines and Ravel Morrison entertain Roy Hodgson while Romelu Lukaku steals the show

The lure of nine active Englishmen had drawn Roy Hodgson to the East End but while there was much for the national manager to savour in the performances of Ross Barkley, Leighton Baines and Ravel Morrison it was a Belgian who stole the show and settled this match.

Romelu Lukaku has been deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge but Roberto Martinez, that high-priest of the passing game, cannot hide his glee at borrowing the towering front man from Jose Mourinho. “He will be such a big asset for us,” said the Everton manager after Lukaku marked his debut with an 84th-minute winner that completed Blues' comeback. They are now the division's only unbeaten team.

Everton had trailed 1-0 at half-time and 2-1 with 15 minutes remaining, Morrison's first West Ham goal and Mark Noble, from the spot, having twice put West Ham ahead. Then Noble, already booked, somewhat harshly, for pulling back Kevin Mirallas, set off in pursuit of Barkley. England's newest international had been a growing influence with his midfield breaks, one had already prompted Everton's first equaliser when Baines despatched a free-kick awarded when James Collins brought him down. Noble argued, with some justice, he made some contact with the ball before felling Barkley but Lee Mason showed a second yellow. Baines, from an near-identical position, clipped his free-kick into the opposite corner off the post. Jussi Jaaskelainen could only stand and admire.

“Leighton can put the ball wherever he wants,” said Martinez. “I've never seen anyone do that twice from the same place against the same goalkeeper in different corners.” Old Evertonians had: Kevin Sheedy, v Ipswich, 1984 FA Cup quarter-final, except on that occasion the first was disallowed and the second was his re-take.

“Right up to Noble getting sent off I thought the players were great,”said West Ham manager Sam Allardyce. “They are a good side and we matched them. We found a difference in Everton when Lukaku came on, it was more difficult for us to cope with, but we contained them really well until Baines' put the ball in the back of the net. When we went ahead I thought we would see it out, but the sending off changed the game. Mark played the ball.”

While West Ham were without Joe Cole and Stewart Downing as well as Andy Carroll Everton's growing depth was illustrated by a bench that included World Cup finalist John Heitinga, £15m James McCarthy, and highly-rated loanees – from Barcelona and Chelsea respectively – Gerard Delofeu and Lukaku.

The latter was there because Martinez made the mistake of following the old tenet 'never change a winning team', forgetting that Chelsea should won last week's game before Everton scored. Thus Nikica Jelavic and Stephen Naismith started.

A soporific first half ensued, brightened only by Morrison's goal. It took a heavy deflection off Phil Jagielka but was reward for a tidy, if unspectacular performance by the youngster. At the break Martinez introduced Lukaku and McCarthy. The latter added drive in midfield while Lukaku's impact was akin to a man realising, mid-meal, he needed to put his teeth in. Suddenly Everton had bite. Winston Reid played him very well, but his team-mates did not. It was no surprise when Everton levelled, but it was when West Ham regained their lead. Mladen Petric, given a debut off the bench, forged a counter-attack that led to Kevin Nolan outfoxing McCarthy before falling over his leg. Like Noble's later dismissal, it fell into the 'seen them given, often' category.

Noble tucked the kick away and West Ham seemed set for their first win since the opening day, but six minutes later they were level and a man down. Everton took ruthless advantage, Lukaku heading in the winner from a clever Mirallas cross. He was knocked out in doing so but it was West Ham who were out for the count.


West Ham (4-1-4-1): Jaaskelainen; Rat, Collins, Reid, O'Brien; Noble; Diame, Morrison, Nolan (Taylor, 80), Jarvis (Vaz Te, 71); Maiga (Petric, 61).

Substitutes not used: McCartney, Collison, Tomkins, Adrian (gk).

Everton (4-2-3-1): Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Osman (Oviedo, 52), Barry; Naismith (McCarthy, h/t), Barkley; Mirallas; Jelavic (Lukaku, h/t).

Substitutes not used: Robles, Heitinga, Delofeu, Stones.

Referee: L Mason

Match rating: 7

Man of the match: Barkley

Chelsea 2 Fulham 0 match report: Blues uninspiring in climb to the top

“We will give you happiness,” Jose Mourinho promised in his programme notes. He did not specify that it would be today, when there were too many periods of doubt and frustration for the home crowd, but from the worst start to a season in the Abramovich era - as well as a Champions' League home defeat by Basle in midweek - Chelsea now sit on top of the Premier League table; until this afternoon at least.

Although Fulham have just about the worst record of any club against their main local rivals - nine wins in 79 meetings now and one since 1979 - four of the last five League matches had been drawn before today and until Oscar's goal early in the second half they looked capable of achieving another. They did not, however, take their two good chances and were punished further by that collector's item, a goal by Jon Obi Mikel. It was his first in the League and only a third in almost 300 games, which sent many supporters home with a smile after all. Adding to their pleasure, their neighbours drop into the bottom three.

Afterwards Mourinho pointed to the League table in defence of his decision to leave Juan Mata not only out of the starting XI again but out of the squad. The manager has made it obvious that he regards the gifted Brazilian Oscar as first-choice for the creative playmaker's role just behind the main striker, one which he grew into today, improving during the second half as the rest of his team did. On Mata, Mourinho said: “He must work and adapt to a certain way of playing and has to learn to play the way I want - be more consistent and more participative when the team lose the ball.”

It was still significant that with less than half an hour gone, Oscar, Andre Schurrle - who had been ineffective as a centre forward away to Manchester United - and Eden Hazard had all done a shift in the central role with equally little success. Samuel Eto'o, in whom he has invested so much faith, played unimpressively in front of them and later made way for Fernando Torres, in whom Mourinho seems to have far less belief.

“The result was better than the result against Everton, but I think we played much better against Everton than we did today,” Mourinho added. “After a bad start that everybody kept telling me is the worst start for about a decade, I go to bed and look at the table nobody is in front of us.”

Four players did drop out after the loss to Basle - David Luiz and the midfield trio Willian, Marco van Ginkel and Frank Lampard. John Terry came in at the back and looked solid alongside Gary Cahill. They were caught out only once, when Darren Bent's pace should have given Fulham the lead. Pajtim Kasami, playing just behind him, sent a perfect pass between the two centre backs but the former England striker, just onside, allowed Petr Cech to save with his foot.

That was by far the best opportunity of the first half, David Stockdale in the visitors' goal being required to make no more than one save from the excellent Branislav Ivanovic, in between fielding crosses and corners.

Not surprisingly the away fans were by far the more satisfied come the interval, even chanting the name of their manager, who had been the subject of isolated calls for his head following last Saturday's draw at home to West Bromwich Albion. From the same end of the ground came taunts of “you're not special anymore” at Mourinho, who must surely have used equally harsh words to his team in the dressing-room.

Jol said: “At half-time we were really pleased, but in the second half they were more aggressive than us.” That aggression, a determination to win more balls, led to a goal seven minutes after the resumption when Stockdale could not hold shots from either Schurrle, cutting in from the left, or Eto'o, leaving Oscar with an easy task to put Chelsea ahead, as he had done against Basle.

Jol summoned the mercurial Adel Taarabt and there was an immediate reminder that the lead needed to last longer than the 25 minutes on Wednesday: Kasami flighted a free-kick beyond the far post, where Steve Sidwell headed weakly wide.

With seven minutes to play a header by Torres forced a fine save from Stockdale and from the resulting corner Terry headed down for Mikel to convert with an acrobatic effort for his first goal in any competition since January 2007.

Mourinho, meanwhile, has lived up to his promise to help English football by agreeing that his assistant Steve Holland should become the permanent coach to the Under-21 team under Gareth Southgate. Holland, who was briefly manager of Crewe, will stay at Chelsea, where on this evidence he still has plenty of work to do - top of the table or not.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Mikel; Schürrle (Lampard, 80), Oscar, Hazard (De Bruyne, 85); Eto’o (Torres, 64).

Fulham (4-4-1-1): Stockdale; Riether, Hangeland, Amorebieta, Richardson; Duff (Taarabt, 64), Sidwell, Parker, Kacaniklic (Na Bangna, 72) Kasami (Rodallega, 85); Bent.

Man of the match Ivanovic.

Match rating 5/10.

Referee Andre Marriner.

West Bromwich Albion 3 Sunderland 0 match report: Sunderland patience with Paolo Di Canio is running out

The pin is being prised loose from the human grenade. Paolo Di Canio refused to countenance change despite a calamitous Sunderland performance against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns yesterday.

To make matters worse, his side were embarrassed by the former Sunderland player Stéphane Sessègnon, who can look upon himself as the refugee from a regime on the cusp of chaos.

Sessègnon's goal, which marked his debut and set his new employers on their way to a 3-0 success, helped to extend his former club's sequence without a win – which began with a 6-1 thrashing at Villa Park last April – to nine games. Di Canio's bizarre mime of contrition to the few away fans remaining at the final whistle convinced no one.

He spent fully three minutes standing 30 yards from supporters with his hands plunged deep into his trouser pockets. He shook his head sadly, patted himself forlornly on the chest and made some "chin-up" gestures. Perhaps wisely, he ignored entreaties to conduct an immediate inquest in the cheap seats behind the goal.

"It is my responsibility to receive their negative energy," he said, somewhat improbably. "It was a bad day for everybody. I wanted to show them I will never give up. We have to keep together. I still believe in myself. I will never change.

"The players need to release the rubbish from their brains. They have to have more confrontation, more anger with each other.

"They need to look into each other's eyes. They lost their belief after 20 minutes. They turned their faces away. They must try to discover their mentality.

"One result could be good medicine. One win and everything will become clear. As an honest, intelligent person, I know we have to quickly get out of this situation. Someone in 10th position can get sacked, but I am not worried about my job. But I am worried about the results.

"You will have to ask the board about me. They will of course ask why we are bottom of the table and think about their decisions. If we continue to lose, lose, lose, there will be consequences."

Albion, a side who would struggle to score against the proverbial team of dustbins, converted three goals with telling ease. To the surprise of only the terminally naïve, Di Canio's high-profile failure is beginning to look like a self-fulfilling prophesy. His insistence that he does not fear unemployment may quickly become a moot point.

Liverpool are due at the Stadium of Light next Sunday. They will be followed by Manchester United, whose manager David Moyes must have enjoyed the most comforting of scouting trips to the Black Country yesterday. A difficult game at Swansea will set up a Tyne-Tees derby of rare significance.

Sunderland's owner, Ellis Short, has a vested interest in bowing to Di Canio's insistence that his new-look side cannot be judged until at least halfway through the season. However, the patience of foreign benefactors in the Premier League is notoriously fragile.

Di Canio has brought so much on himself. Such eccentricities as the apparently arbitrary banning of ketchup are survivable when a team is winning or at least giving the impression of coherence. The chances of Sunderland doing either before long are remote.

Like all those with a perceived power complex and an unhealthy sense of self-esteem, Di Canio is already speaking of himself in the third person. Having turned the training ground into a boot camp, he absolves himself from responsibility for the chaos he has generated.

He and his Italian lieutenants might have signed 14 new players but, in their eyes, it is the team's fault for not gelling immediately and effectively. The laws of human chemistry and the lessons of previous sporting experience are deemed worthless.

Di Canio added a new frisson of avoidable danger by insisting he had sacrificed Sessègnon, Sunderland's player of the year in 2011-2012, because he "didn't care" and was no longer capable of "giving his best". Fate was duly tempted and delivered a grievous blow. In the 20th minute, the predictable problem occurred. Scott Sinclair's diving header from Morgan Amalfitano's right-wing cross was parried into his path by goalkeeper Keiren Westwood.

Sessègnon's simple finish made Di Canio's life immeasurably more complicated. The Benin international, warmly welcomed by Sunderland fans, obeyed the tiresome conventions of the times by refusing to celebrate, but the Albion fans had no such respect.

They launched into a gleeful chorus of "thank you Di Canio" and the tone of a fraught afternoon was set. The cameras will continue to have a fatal fascination with the Italian. His body language is too expressive to resist. He even unwittingly emulated his compatriot Fabio Capello, the former England manager, by pushing his assistant Fabricio Piccareta across the dugout.

Steve Clarke, a contrasting, almost taciturn opposite number, was understandably delighted with Sessègnon, whose work permit came through in midweek. "He did what he was brought here to do," he said. "He's clever on the ball, an entertainer who has a goal in him."

Jack Colback, brutally exposed at right-back, and Ki Sung Yeung, who was nominally a holding midfield player, were both booked for manhandling Sessègnon. Amalfitano, Albion's other debutant, hit the crossbar and was involved in all three goals.

Di Canio's afternoon was summed up when Steven Fletcher was helped off with 20 minutes to go after damaging his right shoulder in the act of volleying over from the edge of the six-yard box under the challenge of Jonas Olsson. He had already used his three substitutes.

Inevitably, Albion quickly extended their lead. Amalfitano attracted two covering defenders, who failed to stop his out-swinging cross, before another error by Westwood led to the ball landing at the feet of Liam Ridgewell, who swept it past him from an angle.

Amalfitano, signed on a season's loan from Marseilles, capped an outstanding performance by drilling a third goal into the bottom corner in added time. For all Di Canio's desperate eloquence, the stampede of the Sunderland fans to the exits was a greater statement of intent. This is turning sour, fast.

West Bromwich (4-2-3-1): Myhill; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Mulumbu Morrison; Amalfitino, Sessègnon (Berahino, 89), Sinclair (Yacob, 69); Anelka (Anichebe, 69).

Sunderland (4-1-3-2): Westwood; Celustka, Diakité, O'Shea, Colback; Sung Yeung; Johnson, Gardner (Cattermole, 69), Giaccherini (Mavrias, 46); Fletcher, Borini (Altidore, 58).

Referee Phil Dowd.

Man of the match Amalfitano (West Bromwich).

Match rating 7/10.

Newcastle United 2 Hull City 3 match report: Magnificent Sone Aluko stuns Magpies with super-strike

Three stony-faced men; Joe Kinnear, the director of football, Mike Ashley, the owner of Newcastle United and Graham Carr, the club's chief scout, all sat together in the directors' box at St James' Park at a game for the first time yesterday. They cannot have enjoyed what they saw. Newcastle swings as quickly as any club in England from delirium to despair. Victory would have sent them second in the Premier League, at least for a couple of hours. It did not come. Instead, they fell to a newly-promoted side assembled for significantly less than they were. That will not go down well.

Kinnear had penned a first column for the Newcastle programme before the game. "It was not an easy task to improve the quality of the current squad with the financial resources at our disposal," he wrote. "Particularly in a window which the value of players was grossly overinflated and the demands of agents likewise."

Still, all three will have felt there was enough to beat Hull. Momentum had built with victories against Fulham and then away at Aston Villa. Newcastle scored early through Loïc Rémy yesterday and then stopped playing. Their flair players were poor. Papiss Cissé no longer looks like scoring. It is 11 games since he has done so and he was taken off with the game still very much in the balance. Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye, who limped off with a groin injury, were below par.

Those with fluency wore the blue of Hull. Tom Huddlestone was strong in the heart of midfield, Robbie Brady scored a fine equaliser in the 26th minute and Sone Aluko, whose sister Eniola had scored in England women's 6-0 victory over Belarus earlier in the day, stole the show. Rémy had restored the lead and Ahmed Elmohamady had deservedly equalised before Aluko (below with David Meyler) scored a goal fit to win any game, smashing a first-time volley past Tim Krul. That was in the 78th minute. Newcastle had run out of ideas and space long before then. There was much to admire in Hull's adventure. Krul was the busier of the two goalkeepers, excelling to thwart Danny Graham when the score was 1-0.

"What's pleased me more than anything is the way in which we've played," Steve Bruce, the Hull manager, said. "We played two strikers. We were a bit bold. It doesn't surprise me we can come here and win because we have good players. I hope they keep their feet on the ground.

"[The 5-1 defeat by Newcastle when he was Sunderland manager] was certainly the darkest afternoon I've had in football. It is the worst result I can think of. It's took a long time to come back but we've come back, dusted ourselves down and it's nice to win here."

October will be a big month for Newcastle and their manager, Alan Pardew. They face Cardiff and Liverpool before a Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland that is already building. Their home form (one win from six) is poor.

"It was a frustrating afternoon," Pardew said. "We started really, really well. We got the goal which is not something we do early. Everything looked happy but we weren't tight enough as a team. We were loose and Hull exploited those spaces. All three goals were poor from us. We gifted them goals. You can't do that against any opposition. Hull played very well. For us it was a really disappointing day. It's the commitment and quality that you need in every game. We had a day at the office we have to forget."

Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Krul; Debuchy (Tioté, 86), Yanga-Mbiwa, Coloccini, Santon; Sissoko, Anita; Ben Arfa, Cabaye (Gouffran, 62), Rémy; Cissé (Marveaux, 73).

Hull City (4-4-1-1): McGregor; Elmohamady, Chester, Davies, Rosenior; Quinn (Boyd, 64), Livermore, Huddlestone, Brady (Meyler, 74); Aluko; Graham (Sagbo, 84).

Referee Martin Atkinson.

Man of the match Aluko (Hull).

Match rating 7/10.

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