EPL Results: Magical Silva Gives 10-Man Man City Tremendous Win over Hull
By Deepak Vikraman | March 16, 2014 1:41 AM EST
Looking back at the end of the season, this game might be looked at as one of the key moments on Manchester City's march to the English Premier League title - if they win it at the end of May.
Having to play with ten men for over 80 minutes, after skipper Vincent Kompany was sent off for a professional foul on Nikica Jelavic, Man City, via the magical left foot of David Silva, twice, the left peg of Edin Dzeko and some good old fashioned fighting defending, pulled off a how-did-we-do-that 2-0 victory over Hull City, who threw everything they possibly could at Man City, but could not find the equaliser, let alone a winning goal.
The back-to-the-walls three points means Manchester City cut the gap to Chelsea to six points, with two games in hand. Chelsea visit Aston Villa in the late game on Saturday, and will now be under pressure to pick up a win after seeing their title rivals get out of jail against all odds.
It was a crazy first half which saw Hull City make a bright start against the 11 men of Manchester City, before going off the boil with a man advantage as the away side created the better chances, which included the only goal.
Jelavic set the alarm bells ringing at the Man City defence right from the off, getting behind the back-four on a couple of occasions, with a cut-back the first time just about cleared, and an offside flag the second letting the men in blue off the hook.
Despite the warning signs, however, Man City did not heed them and Kompany of all people made a calamitous error in just the tenth minute. The Man City skipper dillied and dallied on the ball, allowing Jelavic, who looked much like the striker that took the Premier League by storm in his opening six months at Everton, to nip in and steal the ball. Kompany's response was to tug at the shirt of the Hull forward as Jelavic looked to break free with the referee left with little option but to bring out the red card.
Kompany protested the decision vehemently, feeling he had been fouled by Jelavic in the first place, applying a Mario Balotelli-like kick onto the wall as he walked into the dressing room; but the Man City talisman needn't have worried too much as the red card seemed to galvanise the rest of his teammates and wake them up a little bit, with David Silva, with a moment of genius, four minutes later giving his side the lead.
The Spanish midfielder was allowed space on the edge of the penalty box, allowing Silva to strike a quite outstanding no-look curler, into the top corner.
Man City kept playing with fire with the high line, but whenever they were in possession, they looked like a threat, with the full-backs not hesitating about bombing on. Off such an attack, Man City's right-back Pablo Zabaleta was quite unlucky not to give the away team the lead, as another wonder strike from outside the box dipped and swung, before thudding into the crossbar and bouncing off the line and out, much to Hull's relief.
The final 15 minutes of the half saw Hull build better attacks, looking more like the team with an extra man rather than the other way around, as Jelavic continued to pose a constant threat.
David Meyler thought he had given his side the lead just before halftime, stroking a sweet left-footed strike from 12 yards into the top corner, but the assistant referee correctly raised that flag for offside in the build-up.
Jae Livermore also came close to equalising for the home side, with the ball whistling wide off a shot from distance as a fighting Man City went into halftime 1-0 up.
There was only one team on the attacking front in the second half, as Man City looked to shut shop at the back. Shane Long and Jelavic kept going at the Man City backline, with the latter coming close on a couple of occasions with his right boot and head.
George Boyd, who came on for David Meyler, had a couple of penalty appeals turned down as well, with the first turning up the voltage in the clash. The midfielder was slipped in behind the Man City defence on the right channel, and Boyd got to the ball first but also went down too easily under Joe Hart's challenge, leaving the latter seething.
Fernandinho barged into Boyd inside the box moments later but there was no penalty forthcoming, with the City midfielder offered a wonderful chance to put the game to bed at the other end soon after.
Silva got the ball inside the Hull penalty area, swing a left boot looking for another curler special, with the deflection off a defender falling perfectly onto the path of Fernandinho, whose first touch was good, but the second, with the goal screaming to be found, was not.
Hull kept going firing in cross after cross, freekick after freekick, but try as they might the goal would not come as Man City finished an outstanding win with a late strike from Dzeko, who calmly slotted the ball past Alan McGregor off a magnificent through ball from Silva.
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