x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Hull sitting pretty at the top

Hull produced another stunning performance to claim an unlikely share of the Premier League lead.

Hull's Marlon King celebrates scoring the third goal in the Tigers' 3-0 win against West Brom.
Hull's Marlon King celebrates scoring the third goal in the Tigers' 3-0 win against West Brom.

Hull produced another stunning performance to claim an unlikely share of the Premier League lead this afternoon. The promoted Tigers were second best to West Brom for large parts of a full-blooded encounter at the Hawthorns but hit the hosts with three goals in the second half. In a blistering 20-minute spell, Hull ? earlier indebted to goalkeeper Boaz Myhill and the crossbar for keeping them in the game ? snatched victory trough Kamil Zayatte, Geovanni and Marlon King. Hull's fourth successive win, amazingly, put them level with Chelsea and Liverpool at the top of the table and left them in good heart for clashes against the Blues and Manchester United next week. It was a second successive heavy defeat for the Baggies and, like last week's 4-0 loss to United, was one in which the scoreline barely reflected their effort. The result could hardly have been anticipated at the break after the hosts enjoyed a number of opportunities. Ishmael Miller, recalled to add some firepower to the goal-shy home attack, proved a particular handful for the Hull defence and Myhill had to be at his best. West Brom took an early grip on the game and earned their first opportunity from a free-kick on the edge of the box after Andy Dawson chopped down Miller. The hosts were denied by both Myhill and the crossbar from the resulting corner as Borja Valero's drive was parried and Jonas Olsson headed the rebound against the woodwork. Bednar still almost scrambled the ball in by the post but Hull escaped and boss Phil Brown, with just 10 minutes gone, replaced the struggling Dawson with Sam Ricketts. West Brom continued to press and James Morrison picked out Ryan Donk with a fine cross but the defender headed straight at Myhill. Hull had a chance at the other end when West Brom failed to clear a King corner but Ashbee shot well wide. West Brom were incensed not to win a free-kick as Bednar went to ground under a challenge from Michael Turner as he chased a long ball. Perhaps in frustration, Miller clumsily went in on Zayatte to earn a yellow card. Zayatte was not affected and flashed a header wide from a Dean Marney corner soon after. Geovanni, scorer of spectacular goals against Arsenal and Tottenham, attempted another after finding space 10 minutes before the break but Scott Carson dealt with his long-range effort. Myhill made an even better save from Miller moments later after the striker beat Zayatte for pace on a powerful run into the box. He shot across goal but Myhill just managed to tip his effort wide. Hull caught the hosts with the sucker punch two minutes after the restart as King broke clear and crossed low into the box. Yet Hull are starting to find corners a rich source of goals and they benefited again as Marney's cross dropped between defenders and was volleyed in by Zayatte. West Brom attempted to hit back but Donk saw another header deflected for a corner and Miller was denied by a superb Turner tackle. Morrison then forced another superb save from Wales international Myhill with a low shot from 30 yards. West Brom paid for their profligacy as Hull doubled their lead following another moment of inspiration from Geovanni after 62 minutes. The former Barcelona midfielder knocked the ball forward for King, who brilliantly flipped the ball back in his direction with his first touch and Geovanni dived to head in. Moments later it was 3-0 as King raced onto a poor header by Gianni Zuiverloon and calmly clipped the ball past Carson. After that West Brom were barely a threat and failed to test Myhill as Hull's fans enjoyed the countdown to the final whistle and confirmation their remarkable run had continued.

*PA Sport