Hull City’s search for an their first away win since August continues after going down 3-1 to Stoke City at the Bet365 stadium this afternoon.
Marco Silva had targeted this game as a great opportunity to break his away ‘duck’ as the Tigers manager but saw his side a goal behind after only six minutes when Austrian international Marko Arnautovic’s fierce shot whistled past Eldin Jakopovic. Minutes later a clever lofted pass from Xherdan Shaqiri was met by Arnautovic who volleyed his effort over the bar. On 14 minutes Saido Berahino had the ball in the Tigers net but was correctly ruled offside, leaving the former WBA striker looking for his first goal in Stoke colours.
After the shaky start the Tigers started to establish a foot hold in the game and had chances to equalise but to no avail, Oumar Niasse, who wasted a few chances today, Lazar Markovic and Kamil Grosicki all had decent opportunities to draw the Tigers level. None were taken and City went to half time 1-0 down.
The travelling black and Amber army (1464) only had to wait seven minutes into the 2nd period before seeing cult hero Harry Maguire score his 2nd City goal in as many games. After Erik Peters had given a way a needless corner the ball was put into the Stoke box and found the big No5 at the back post to scramble it into the net, and the Tigers were back in the hunt. Other chances were spurned by the Tigers notably Niasse on 62 minutes when the striker shot high and wide after capitalising on some defensive dithering by the home side.
These misses would comeback to haunt the Tigers as on 67 minutes Jon Walters sent over a fantastic cross that was met by fellow substitute Peter Crouch. The veteran making no mistake with his header to record his 101st Premier League goal.
With time running out, Marco Silva brought on striker Abel Hernandez in search of the equaliser to replace the returning Tom Huddlestone, but with time running out it was Stoke who nearly doubled their lead on 78 minutes. Jon Walters’ from inside the area cannoned back off the City crossbar.
Then on 81 minutes Swiss International Xherdan Shaqiri(pictured) scored a goal worthy of winning any game, when he latched onto a loose ball some 25 yards out from Jakupovic’s goal and rocketed the ball into the top corner to to make it 3-1, Shaqiri leaving the field 5 minutes later to the adulation of the home supporters.
It was another disappointing away day for Silva’s men but due to Swansea losing away 1-0 at Watford keeps the two points gap between the Swans and the Tigers to decide who will be relegated. It is imperative that the Tigers continue their glorious home form starting next week against Watford or snap a winless away run that now stretches to 16 games if they want to be Premier League next season.