Hull v Southampton
The KCOM Stadium - Sunday, 6th November 2016
> Austin scores a penalty in the 6th minute
> Hull score with their only 2 shots on target
> 10th in the Table, 1 point behind Burnley
IBO Reporter : channonite
I was a bit upset with this result, as my sister-in-law and her two sons (who as rugby league fans, think football is for southern softees) live in Hull, so at the final whistle, I found it difficult to keep a sense of perspective.
The game came just three days after a punishing win in the Europa League against Inter Milan, one of the giants of European football. Without wanting to seem to patronising, it looked like a case of going from the sublime to the ridiculous, back to the reality of the Premier League.
As usual, Puel rang the changes to try and give players a break. Forster, was in goal again, as McCarthy is still out with his hamstring injury. A similar lack of choice affected the selection of Maya Yoshida at right back, with the rest of the back four being José Fonte, Virgil van Dijk (who must need a rest now) and Ryan Bertrand at left back. Midfield was Clasie, Romeu and Davis, with Tadić, Austin and Redmond up front. On the face of it, a team with more than enough in it do take on Hull, a team that had lost six games in a row.
The game started exactly to form, with Saints all over Hull. Within five minutes Tadić passed from the right wing to Yoshida, who went barrelling into the penalty area and was brought down. The easiest decision the referee had to make all day. Penalty. Up steps Austin and thumps the ball past Marshall. 0-1.
Shortly after the goal came a pivotal moment, when Hernandez went down injured and it was plain that he couldn't continue. He was replaced by Mbokani. It didn't change things initially, as the dominance of Saints continued. Just before the half hour mark Keane went down injured and had to be replaced. The second sub was Robert Snodgrass. Yes, that Robert Snodgrass. The one that seems to have made a habit of scoring against Saints at his previous clubs. One when he was at Leeds, sticks in my memory. More of him later.
The rest of the half was so one sided it was ridiculous. It was almost like a training session at times, with Saints stringing together over twenty passes, without Hull ever looking close to being threatening. Like all pre-2009 Saints fans must have felt, I just couldn't shake the feeling that this level of dominance, with only the one goal to show for it, might come back to bite Saints. Bah!
The second half started as it finished, but now Hull were starting to come back into things and Snodgrass in particular was beginning to look a threat. He almost got on the end of one cross and almost immediately after came the equaliser. A cross came into the Saints penalty area and there, unmarked, was Snodgrass to thump the ball beyond Forster. 1-1.
Saints were shell shocked and it was just about to get worse. From the kick off the ball was won by Hull and worked down the left wing. It was crossed into the Saints area, where it was met by the head of Dawson, who thumped a header past Forster (or was it through Forster?). 2-1. The official time of hull's first goal was 61 minutes, the second goal was at 63 minutes.
Puel's reaction was to pull off Tadić and replace him with Boufal. Within ten minutes he made a double substitution. Off went Clasie and Redmond and on came Ward-Prowse and Rodriguez. For the rest of the match Saints went all out to get the equaliser, but Marshall in the Hull goal was having one of those matches. I lost count of the number of times that a goal bound effort was thwarted and finally they ran out of time.
To be honest, Saints only had themselves to blame. Just look at the stats in the sidebar, Hull had just two shots on target in the entire match and scored with both of them. There must have been some hangover from the Internazionale game on the Thursday, but they were the better team at Hull for the vast majority of the match, just lacking a cutting edge to have put the game beyond reach.
We have the International break now and the next Premier League game is at home to Liverpool. It doesn't get any easier, does it?
5 Maguire (Huddlestone 74')
9 Hernández (Mbokani 9')
19 Keane (Snodgrass 26')
3 Yoshida - Booked 83'
17 van Dijk
21 Bertrand - Booked 72'
4 Clasie - Booked 57' (Ward-Prowse 77')
14 Romeu - Booked 90'
11 Tadić - Booked 29' (Boufal 66')
22 Redmond (Rodriguez 77')
Sunday, 06 Nov 2016
Austin 6' (pen)
Referee : Graham Scott
Attendance : 17,768
- Hull 34%
- Southampton 66%
- Hull 6
- Southampton 19
Shots on Target
- Hull 2
- Southampton 7
- Hull 1
- Southampton 10
- Hull 13
- Southampton 15