x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Brown 'no fear' as Tigers escape

Hull City escape relegation from the Premier League by the skin of their teeth after being beaten 1-0 by champions Manchester United.

Danny Welbeck of Manchester United, left, jumps for a header with Hull City's Andy Dawson at the KC Stadium.
Danny Welbeck of Manchester United, left, jumps for a header with Hull City's Andy Dawson at the KC Stadium.

HULL // Phil Brown's Hull City escaped relegation from the Premier League by the skin of their teeth after being beaten 1-0 by champions Manchester United on Survival Sunday. Darron Gibson's 24th-minute thunderbolt was enough to seal a final day win for United but the Tigers beat the drop as Newcastle went down to a 1-0 defeat at Villa Park and Middlesbrough's loss at West Ham.

Asked if there was any fear his side wouldn't make it, Brown said: "Never. Getting promotion last season was fantastic, but staying in the Premier League in front of our own fans is equally fantastic. "I had the club captain Ian Ashbee and Jimmy Bullard behind the dugouts keeping me up to date with scores elsewhere. It was nerve-racking towards the end but fully deserved. "We went a goal behind to a wonder strike from outside the box, but we played well in the first half. Nobody can question that Manchester United team, the quality was there for all to see.

Gibson's goal was a superb 30-yard strike that moved wickedly in the air before beating the Hull goalkeeper Bo Myhill. Sir Alex Ferguson made 10 changes to the team that drew 0-0 in their title-clinching game against Arsenal last weekend, with Gibson, Lee Martin and Ritchie De Leat getting rare starts, but none of the other relegation threatened sides could complain at the enthusiasm and eagerness shown by United's youngsters.

And Hull had chances to draw level, the best coming from Andy Dawson who forced Tomasz Kuszczak into a fine save. Then as news of an Aston Villa goal came through, the home fans celebrated despite their side being a goal down. City ended the half on top with Nick Barmby's shot from the edge of the box bringing a comfortable save from Kuszczak. The champions came out firing in the second half and Rafael's cross caused havoc in the City defence with Kevin Kilbane clearing from under his crossbar.

Barmby then forced Kuszczak into a good save from a close range header and Michael Turner's header with eight minutes to go was stopped by the Polish keeper on the line. While United prepare for their Champions League final against Barcelona, Hull can look forward to another season in the top flight. sports@thenational.ae