English Premiership

Spurs nudge Hull towards relegation

2015-05-16 19:13
Mauricio Pochettino (AFP)

London - Tottenham Hotspur pushed Hull City closer to Premier League relegation with a 2-0 victory at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

The game was sealed with two second-half goals in the space of seven minutes from Nacer Chadli and Danny Rose.

Victory kept Mauricio Pochettino's side on course for a Europa League place next season after seventh-placed Southampton put the pressure on Spurs by thrashing Aston Villa 6-1 in Saturday's early kick-off.

Tottenham, now a point ahead of the Saints, will assure themselves of a place in the Europa League if they win away to Everton a week on Sunday, the final day of the 2014/15 Premier League season.

Hull remained two points away from safety, and must now beat Manchester United at the KC Stadium next weekend to give themselves any hope of securing a third consecutive season in the Premier League.

Even before Saturday's kick-off, Hull's survival hopes had been dented when Jake Livermore was suspended on Friday after allegedly testing positive for cocaine.

Hull manager Steve Bruce brought back Nikica Jelavic to play alongside Dame N'Doye up front, with Sone Aluko dropped to the bench.

There was no lack of attacking intent from the visitors early on, with Dame N'Doye in particular asking questions down the right-hand flank.

Jelavic, starting his first game since March, gave the home side a warning when his half-volley from a cross by Ahmed Elmohamady struck the top of the bar.

Tottenham were also looking increasingly dangerous in attack, and Erik Lamela poked an effort wide when Ryan Mason did well to cut the ball back from the byline.

Hull remained comfortable, though, and took their clean sheet into the half-time break, giving Bruce little cause for concern.

The second half saw Hull even more on the attack than in the first period, the Tigers forcing a number of early corners that tested the home defence.

It was, therefore, somewhat of a sucker-punch for the strugglers to find themselves behind just under 10 minutes after the restart.

Lamela fed the ball to Chadli in the 54th minute and the Belgium midfielder was too quick for the Hull defence and put the hosts ahead after rounding onrushing goalkeeper Steve Harper.

Hull's Premier League future looked even more bleak in the 61st minute when left-back Rose was able to beat the offside trap and volley in a lob from Mason from inside the penalty area.

It was a hammer blow for Hull, who replaced the tiring Jelavic with Uruguay striker Abel Hernandez in a bid to give them more impetus up front.

However, the two Spurs goals drained their overall effectiveness, with N'Doye putting one effort wide after a goalmouth scramble before blasting the ball over the crossbar.

Despite a continued commitment to attacking, Hull were unable to convert any further opportunities, leaving survival out of their hands.

Read more on:    hull  |  tottenham  |  english premiership  |  soccer
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