Wednesday , 20 September 2017
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Ten-man Hull defy odds to boost survival bid

LONDON: Hull City ignored the controversial dismissal of Oumar Niasse to boost their bid for Premier League survival with a vital 2-0 win over Watford on Saturday.

Marco Silva’s side played with 10 men for 65 minutes at the KCOM Stadium after Senegal international Niasse was sent off for a tackle on M’Baye Niang.

Despite that setback, the Tigers clawed their way towards safety thanks to second half goals from Lazar Markovic and Sam Clucas.

Although third bottom Swansea beat Stoke City 2-0, fourth bottom Hull remain two points above the relegation zone with four games left in a nerve-jangling battle to avoid crashing into the Championship.

Hull have earned 19 points out of 21 at home since Silva was hired and that impressive form could be enough to secure their survival.

Hull defender Harry Maguire almost scored an own goal in the first minute when his back pass eluded goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic and went just wide of the post.

That nervous opening foreshadowed an anxious performance from Hull, who struggled to create any openings before finding themselves down to 10 men in the 25th minute.

When Niasse stretched to challenge Niang, the on-loan Everton forward made enough contact for referee Bobby Madley to rule it was worthy of a red card.

Silva was furious on the touchline and Watford almost added to his frustration when Sebastian Prodl’s header was clawed away by Jakupovic.

With Watford dominating possession, Silva’s men were being pushed to breaking point and Maguire nearly deflected Niang’s cross into his own net just before half-time.

Watford felt Hull defender Andrea Ranocchia could also have been sent off for a crunching tackle on Niang, but this time Madley kept his cards in his pocket.

Etienne Capoue’s close-range effort was kept out by Jakupovic early in the second half, but Hull snatched the lead in the 62nd minute.

Kamil Grosicki crossed from the right and Markovic rose highest to head goalwards before finishing off from close-range after his initial effort bounced down on the line.

Hull bravely didn’t sit back and doubled their advantage in the 70th minute.

Clucas took possession 30 yards from goal after Watford cleared a corner and took one touch to steady himself before smashing an fierce shot into the top corner.

West Ham United, meanwhile, moved one step closer to safety and Everton moved above Arsenal into sixth place after the two sides played out a 0-0 stalemate at the London Stadium.

Neither side was able to find a way to break the deadlock with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku failing to extend his run of having scored in his nine previous games against the Hammers.

The Premier League leading scorer was not the only player to struggle during a drab game that left both managers frustrated.

Victory for West Ham would have taken them to the 40-point mark while Everton would have moved above Manchester United and into fifth place with a win.

Bournemouth thrashed Middlesbrough 4-0 in convincing performance to stay in the middle of the table.

Courtesy : Dawn News

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