When your luck is out it’s out, as Hull City goalkeeper Allan McGregor will tell you. His dreadful error cost his side at Elland Road, as Leeds took all three points despite a very good performance from Nigel Adkins’ side.
City were unchanged from the narrow 1-0 defeat at Cardiff last weekend, with Jarrod Bowen again being named on the bench. The Tigers started the game brightly, winning a corner in the first minute after Kamil Grosicki, who was lively throughout, had a shot saved by Wiedwald in the Leeds goal.
City then had another opportunity minutes later, with City’s Man of the Match (in my opinion) Fikayo Tomori’s effort taking a nick past the post. It was a worry that City were getting all these chances, but we’re doing absolutely nothing with it. The chances kept on coming too, with Wiedwald saving to his right from Nouha Dicko, who again was lively. A minute later, it was Jon Toral’s turn to let fly – his shot was deflected wide for a corner. Again though, nothing came of it. What a brilliant opening 20 minutes this was from city – one of the best I have seen so far this season. Everything but a goal.
However, all of this hard work was undone in the 25th minute when what turned out to be the match-winning moment occurred. The ball came rolling back harmlessly to McGregor and all he had to do was boot it but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. He made an absolute mess of his clearance, which fell to Pablo Hernandez about 25 yards out, and without a defender in sight he moved forward 10 yards and cool as you like chipped the ball over the helpless keeper. All that hard work City had done in the opening half hour was just blown away by one mistake – football’s a cruel game. But then again it’s typical City isn’t it.
It went from bad to worse when steady centre half Ondrej Mazuch pulled his hamstring and had to be replaced by Kevin Stewart. Yet another name added to the ever growing injury list for happy-go-lucky boss Adkins to deal with. City however responded well, with Toral agonisingly scraping the post with a nice curled shot – it was at this point where you started to sense that it wasn’t going to be City’s day. However, a minute before half time McGregor claimed back some dignity after he made a crucial save to deny Ezgjan Alioski, which could easily have put city to bed.
Half Time – Leeds United 1-0 Hull City
It was a cagey beginning to the second half, with opportunities hard to come by until the 61st minute, when a glorious free kick from Toral was there to be nodded in but Stewart could only head over. Should have done better. We finally saw the introduction of Bowen with about 20 minutes left, too late really to make an impact on the game – watching him, I’m not sure he’s 100% fit yet which probably explained why he was on the bench.
City were pushing and pushing for an equaliser but just couldn’t deliver a quality ball in the final third, which was so frustrating. That was it really for the second half, there was really not much to say about it, since absolutely nothing was happening in front of goal.
Full Time – Leeds United 1-0 Hull City.
The main problem with City at the moment is that they are not doing the basics right. The flair players like Grosicki are getting frustrated when something doesn’t come off for them and are then failing to track back to support the defence. The defeat leaves City three points above the relegation zone, with crucial games coming up over the Christmas period. The performance was good, but the quality was poor.