English Premiership

Manchester City see off Hull

2014-09-27 19:41
Edin Dzeko (AFP)

Kingston Upon Hull - Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko scored twice as Premier League champions Manchester City made hard work of beating Hull City 4-2 at the KC Stadium on Saturday.

Sergio Aguero and Dzeko struck to put Manuel Pellegrini's team 2-0 up after just 11 minutes, but the visitors contrived to surrender the advantage before half-time, with Eliaquim Mangala particularly culpable.

The 32 million pound close-season signing from Porto scored an own goal before conceding a penalty that allowed Abel Hernandez to make it 2-2.

City looked in danger of losing more ground on leaders Chelsea before Dzeko struck a second after fine support play from David Silva. Substitute Frank Lampard scored his fourth goal in three matches to complete the victory.

Pellegrini made five changes to the team that had cruised to a 7-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup, but unexpectedly chose to stick with Argentine Willy Caballero in goal at the expense of Joe Hart.

Steve Bruce's Hull had conceded nine goals in their four previous fixtures, dropping points from winning positions in three of them.

Those defensive concerns were evident after just 38 seconds, when Aguero eased into the penalty area to shoot at Allan McGregor from a tight angle. Ten minutes later, Hull were 2-0 down.

The Tigers were defending as if it was the last 10 minutes and were punished for failing to clear their lines.

Pablo Zabaleta beat Jake Livermore to win a header 15 yards out and Aguero hooked a volley across McGregor and into the bottom-left corner for his fourth goal of the campaign.

Pellegrini's side were dominant and took just four minutes to double their lead.

Silva found Dzeko near the corner of the 18-yard box and the former Wolfsburg striker drifted away from Liam Rosenior before lashing in right-footed shot to give McGregor no chance.

Hull already looked dead on their feet, but they were revived by a slice of luck that gave them hope.

Ahmed Elmohamady's pass down the right sent Rosenior racing clear. The full-back's cross was devilish and prompted Mangala to inadvertently steer the ball beyond Caballero and into his own net.

With new-found belief, Hull went on the attack and their equaliser, courtesy of another Mangala mistake, was deserved.

The France defender's high, untidy challenge in the penalty area felled Hernandez as he chased Mohamed Diame's chipped through ball.

Uruguayan Hernandez duly sent Caballero the wrong way from 12 yards for his second goal since joining Hull from Palermo for 10 million earlier this month.

Yaya Toure's patchy start to the season has mirrored that of his club's, but the Ivorian came close to putting City back in front early in the second half when he shot from 30 yards only to be denied by the post.

With the clock running down, the visitors were in need of inspiration, and Silva provided it.

The Spanish playmaker glided across the face of Hull's defence to feed Dzeko on the left of the area and his accurate first-time finish was firm enough to beat McGregor's dive.

As Hull poured forward looking for another leveller, they left themselves at risk of being caught on the break and so it proved as Zabaleta reached the byline and cut the ball back for Lampard to finish from inside the six-yard box.


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