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Page last updated at 18:07 GMT, Sunday, 16 November 2008

Hull 2-2 Man City

By Paul Fletcher

Geovanni equalised for Hull
Geovanni's free-kick was his sixth Premier League goal for Hull

Geovanni equalised for the Tigers as Hull and Manchester City ended three-game losing runs in the league.

Daniel Cousin put Hull in front, capitalising on Tal Ben-Haim's awful back-pass to flick the ball past Joe Hart, who later went off injured.

Stephen Ireland levelled after a heavy touch from Kamil Zayatte gifted him an open goal and he then put his side ahead with a brilliant 18-yard shot.

But Geovanni equalised against his former club with a deflected free-kick.

Brown happy with hard fought point

The result might not fully satisfy either manager but it was a fair result after an entertaining contest in which some awful defensive errors added to the drama.

Hull lost at home to Bolton last weekend and needed a morale-boosting result ahead of successive away matches at Portsmouth and Stoke.

But Manchester City boss Mark Hughes - with a more gifted squad at his disposal - was arguably under greater pressure to win.

He had travelled to Abu Dhabi during the week for a meeting with owner Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan that prompted rumours about the future of the manager.

606: DEBATE

Hughes surprisingly gave Robinho the skipper's armband in the absence of suspended Richard Dunne - and he might have scored in the opening minutes with a free-kick but his effort was both weak and wide.

Hull showed the greater endeavour and desire in the opening stages, but their their opening goal was very much a result of individual error rather than attacking brilliance.

There was little immediate danger when Micah Richards squared the ball across the penalty area to Ben-Haim despite Hull's forwards closing down the space quickly.

But the Israel international scuffed his back-pass and Cousin had the presence of mind to nip in and deftly stab the ball past the advancing Hart.

To make matters worse, Hart was injured in the incident and was replaced by Kasper Schmeichel for his first Premier League appearance since September 2007.

Stephen Ireland
Ireland bagged both Man City goals in the draw with Hull
Plenty of committed tackles followed and neither side could be accused of lacking effort, but Manchester City's equaliser was as shambolic as Cousin's opener.

Zayatte should have belted the ball clear after breaking up an attack. Instead, he chose to run it across his own penalty area and lost control with a heavy touch, allowing Ireland to slip the ball into an empty net.

By contrast, Ireland's second goal on the stroke of half-time was all about a sublime piece of individual skill.

Picked out by a superb low cutback from defender Javier Garrido, the midfielder controlled the ball with his first touch and then bent it inside the post from 18 yards.

Geovanni showed true Brazilian flair with an aerial volley that flew narrowly over the crossbar but he pulled Hull level on the hour mark when his free-kick found the net after a deflection off Vincent Kompany.

Hughes pleased with positive performance

Manchester City were aggrieved at referee Phil Dowd's decision to penalise Richards for a foul and their sense of injustice was almost compounded by a flying Cousin header, but an alert Schmeichel made the save.

The visitors then had a good opportunity to regain the lead after a cross-cum-shot fell invitingly to Darius Vassell, but the former England somehow striker missed the ball.

Hull might have had their third when Geovanni had three attempts at a free-kick, with two Manchester City players booked for encroaching from the wall.

In the end his third effort struck the wall before Vassell wasted the final chance of the match with a shot which was too close to Myhill.


Hull City manager Phil Brown:
"To come in at half-time at 1-1 would have been ok but to go 2-1 down having gone 1-0 up can destroy you.

"The confidence levels of the players seemed to sap after the equalising goal and I've always said that if you stick to the basics it will come right.

"We got the basics readjusted after half-time and came out with a game plan that put Man City on the back foot and it was an exciting second half."

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes:
"We're reasonably pleased given the start we had, but we showed good character to come back strongly.

"We are disappointed with the second goal because we didn't think it was a free-kick and they benefited from that," said Hughes

"It's all about interpretation. We felt a bit hard done by and maybe similar situations weren't given in our favour."


Hull: Myhill, McShane, Turner, Zayatte, Ricketts, Boateng (Halmosi 85), Ashbee, Marney, Geovanni, Cousin (Barmby 76), King.
Subs Not Used: Duke, Doyle, Garcia, Folan, Giannakopoulos.

Booked: McShane, Marney.

Goals: Cousin 14, Geovanni 60.

Man City: Hart (Schmeichel 19), Zabaleta, Richards, Ben-Haim, Garrido, Wright-Phillips, Kompany, Ireland, Mwaruwari (Jo 76), Robinho, Vassell.
Subs Not Used: Onuoha, Michael Ball, Hamann, Elano, Evans.

Booked: Ben-Haim, Wright-Phillips, Ireland.

Goals: Ireland 37, 45.

Att: 24,902

Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match on 90 minutes: Man City's Stephen Ireland - 8.55 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.



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see also
Premier League as it happened
16 Nov 08 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
16 Nov 08 |  Football
Man City suffer Hart injury blow
16 Nov 08 |  Man City


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
RTE Online Hull City 1-1 Manchester City - 25 mins ago
Manchester City Football Club Hull 2-2 City - 28 mins ago
Sporting Life Hull v Manchester City - 2 hrs ago
Guardian Unlimited City's deal-broker questions Hughes - 45 hrs ago
Sky Sports Hughes won't be ripped off - 13 Nov 2008


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