The first half was a very typical of late performance, tons of possession, almost all of it between the centre circle and the Hull penalty area, few chances created and a defence that looked vulnerable every time they were asked to turn. Jelavic hit the bar and any number of crosses were floated over or behind, unhindered by either a Tiger or a smart looking, sash wearing defender. They went close several times apart Jelavic’s effort and Dier, Lamela and Kane should’ve all done better at the other end but neither goalie needed to make a save before the break.
Hull came out all guns blazing in the second half and had gone close a few times before we scored against the run of play. Lamela joined in a break and played a delightful through ball behind Dawson and into the path of the onrushing Chadli who finished confidently by rounding Harper and sidefooting into an empty net. Worse was to come for the away team a few minutes later when Mason, following some good work from Dembélé after referee Taylor had inadvertently blocked the Belgian’s initial attempt to spread the play, spotted Rose continuing a run from the left into the box and he found him with a delightful chip. Rose’s body language had been poor all game almost has poor as his choice of new hair colour, bright red – what, if anything, goes through a player’s mind when he does something like that? “The fans won’t mind, it’s only a hair dye. They might not even notice.” Of course we mind. It’s insulting. Get it sorted. Anyway, Rose successfully shinned home Mason’s chip over Harper’s left shoulder and looked immediately more chipper.
So twice in several minutes we’d seen incisive and imaginitive passes through and over the Hull defence; there hadn’t been a sniff that either was likely up to that point. It’s a funny old game. (Good luck Greavsie.)
Hull had to come at us and they come at us they did, but three attempts in one goalmouth scramble was the closest they came to clawing a way back into the game. We defended a lot better in the second half but still had to rely on the incompetence in attack that is likely to get the Tigers relegated for our clean sheet.
I was once again impressed with Eric Dier. To me he looks a footballer full of potential – though not at full back obviously. Once we get our crazy right back situation sorted – few teams can have so many on the books but with none ready for the first team, he’ll move into the middle and I suspect make a good job of it.
I was less impressed by Kane who seems to have stopped doing the things he was doing so well only a few short weeks ago. He’s trying too hard is all; he should be letting things come naturally to him not forcing everything all the time. He was taking on shots too early, not looking for team mates when they were better placed and generally looking anxious. Relax Harry, it will all be okay.
Everton next week and Liverpool’s comedy result against Palace means that fifth place is, remarkably, still a possibility. There are so many games to look back on and think “if only…”, just don’t forget the late winners and equalizers we’ve produced during the season that counterbalance these. COYS.
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