Hull 0-1 Man Utd

Hull City will play Premier League football again next season in spite of going down 1-0 to champions Manchester United.

Newcastle's defeat at Aston Villa saw the Tigers preserve their top-flight status by the narrowest of margins.

For thirteen first-half minutes City looked destined for the drop after falling behind to Darron Gibson's magnificent right-foot strike.

But news soon filtered through that the Magpies had fallen behind at Villa Park and as the final whistle blew in the Midlands, the Tigers fans were able to celebrate.

In truth Phil Brown's men rarely looked capable of controlling their own destiny and the visitors' much-changed line-up - Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo and a host of star names were rested ahead of the UEFA Champions League final - could easily have run out more convincing victors.

United made 10 changes in all ahead of Wednesday but the final score meant there could be no complaints.

Hull started brightly by winning two early corners and a long ball from Michael Turner put Craig Fagan in on goal but the forward could not control and Tomasz Kuszczak gathered.

Geovanni then broke clear down the left twice in quick succession but the Brazilian's first cross just evaded Fagan and Kuszczak punched his second clear.

Nani had United's first serious attempt from a free-kick 30 yards out but Boaz Myhill was not troubled.

Hull were almost caught on the counter-attack when a vicious low cross from Rafael da Silva almost found the onrushing Lee Martin.

United then struggled to clear a corner from Andy Dawson and the ball broke to Marney but his shot was easily saved by Kuszczak.

United stunned Hull by taking the lead in the 24th minute with a ferocious strike from Gibson.

The 21-year-old let fly from 25 yards with a powerful shot across goal that flew past Myhill into the top corner.

That goal put Hull into the bottom three, as things stood, and the Tigers needed to respond but Federico Macheda almost doubled their misery when he shot straight at Myhill.

United then began to dominate possession but Dawson did get forward to curl in a dangerous cross which Turner headed over.

Hull were almost caught again after a strong run by Danny Welbeck but the 18-year-old striker dragged his shot wide.

Macheda then engineered another opportunity for himself but failed to hit the target and Hull had a chance when Geovanni blasted a free-kick over.

Geovanni then turned provider to tee up a shooting chance for Dawson but Kuszczak tipped over the left-back's piledriver.

The atmosphere intensified considerably before the break as news filtered through of goals being scored against relegation rivals Newcastle and Middlesbrough.

Hull had a good chance early in the second half when Kevin Kilbane's cross picked out Nick Barmby but the former England international failed to make firm contact and Kuszczak tipped wide.

Gibson tried his luck again from distance just before the hour but this time his effort sailed well over the bar.

Brown replaced the creative talents of Geovanni, his top scorer, with a target man in Caleb Folan but nerves were affecting the Tigers' play.

Hull failed to make the most of their possession with Richard Garcia letting himself down after a good break with a poor ball for Folan.

Gibson conceded a free-kick for handball on the edge of the area but Dawson curled his shot straight at Kuszczak.

United countered and Macheda again had a chance to double the lead but shot wide.

Fagan attempted a spectacular volley after a long Sam Ricketts throw into the area but was well off target.

Turner got his head to another Ricketts throw but his looping effort was clawed out from under the bar by Kuszczak.

The closing minutes were tense with City trailing but knowing a goal for Newcastle at Villa Park could relegate them.

Nani almost put them further behind with a powerful shot four minutes from time but Myhill pushed the ball wide.

Hull struggled to get the ball in injury time and they had a nervous few seconds' wait after the final whistle before their survival was confirmed.

Source: Sky Sports
Date Published: 24 May 2009