City’s hopes of claiming a top four finish were dealt a blow as they were beaten 2-1 at Hull.
Goals by Jozy Altidore and George Boateng gave the home side a vital win which moved them out of the relegation zone while Emmanuel Adebayor’s eighth goal of the season wasn’t enough for the blues who simply ran out of ideas against the relegation haunted club.
Wayne Bridge returned to the team after injury to a chorus of taunts from the home side in regard to the John Terry scandal earlier in the week and Patrick Vieira finally made his debut but it was Hull who made all the running and their dominance paid off after 31 minutes. City teenager Dedryck Boyata fouled Altidore then was found out of position as Jan Vennegor of Hesselink’s neat lay off found Altidore who curled the ball past Shay Given.
It was no more than Hull deserved for their endeavour in the first half, although it was Bridge who almost silenced the home crowd just before the interval, but his drive was straight down the throat of Hull keeper Boaz Myhill.
Less than ten minutes into the second half and the home side went two up. Stephen Hunt’s corner was cleared by Kolo Toure but only as far as Boateng who unleashed a first time shot which flew past Given for his first goal in two years.
Moments after the goal, manager Roberto Mancini brought on deadline day signing Adam Johnson for his debut in place of Stephen Ireland and five minutes later, the blues were back in the game. Johnson’s corner was not cleared and Toure back-heeled the ball into the path of Adebayor, who scored his second goal since his return from to the side following the tragedy of the African Cup of Nations.
City pressed but created few openings and Carlos Tevez should have done better with he met Gareth Barry’s cross, but his weak shot was saved by Myhill. In the end Hull held comfortably for a vital win while City must now win their two games in hand if they are to pass Liverpool and Spurs in the race for fourth.
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