Hull City 0 - West Bromwich Albion 1

Date: Saturday 9th November 2019 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Hull: Long, Lichaj, Burke, de Wijs, Elder, Lopes (Lewis-Potter, 89), Stewart (Honeyman, 71), Bowler (Eaves, 46), Irvine, Grosicki, Bowen
Unused subs: Ingram, Tafazolli, Batty, Pennington
WBA: Johnstone 7.0, Furlong 6.0, Ajayi 7.0, Bartley 7.0, Townsend 7.6, Livermore 8.4, Sawyers 7.6, Phillips 6.6 (Krovinovic, 63 6.8), Pereira 6.6, Diangana 6.6 (Edwards, 77), Robson-Kanu 7.0 (Zohore, 93)
Unused subs: Bond, Brunt, Austin, Hegazi
Scorers: Livermore (28)
Referee: James Linington (Isle of Wight)
Attendance: 13,866
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 5

Summary:

Albion stay top thanks to a solitary Jake Livermore goal at his old club Hull City - but it was a beauty. Conor Townsend remained at left back with Nathan Ferguson suspended and Kieran Gibbs still injured, and Hal Robson-Kanu replaced Charlie Austin up front. Both sides were on good runs of form, with Hull having beaten Forest, Derby and Fulham before this game and Albion having lost just once in fifteen this season.

The goal came just before the half hour mark when Matt Phillips took a short corner and Matheus Pereira fed the ball to Livermore, who took a touch before blasting it just inside the right hand post.

Albion lead the Championship by two points from Preston and Leeds.

Mark Koppel:

A good win (the first one at Hull for nearly 12 years) and probably gets more merit than the one on Monday against a poor Stoke side.

Should have finished them off in the second half with a number of chances falling to people like Diangana and Pereira who all shot wide.

Sawyers and Livermore were both commanding and now give us a double suspension challenge against Sheff Wed. Also the last time Livermore had a long time off he came back 2 stone heavier!

Player Ratings:

  • Johnstone 7 - Little to do and acted as Last Defender really well on occasions.
  • Furlong 5 - Unfortunately the way we play means he is in positions needing a good cross into the box. He attempted 6 crosses today but not one didn't go to a Hull player.
  • Bartley 7 - So improved that Heagzi cannot get back into the team. Good blocks, only one mistake when on the ball, and commanding in the air.
  • Ajayi 7 - What a signing! So good on the ball and also strong in 50/50 situations.
  • Townsend 8 - Another much improved player. Ran with the ball superbly and, unlike Furlong, can cross the ball with menace. No room for Gibbs to return based on today's performance.
  • Livermore 9 - It wasn't just his great goal but the fact he never gave the ball away this afternoon that led to his MOM rating.
  • Sawyers 8 - Similarly you feel he will make the right decisions when on the ball. Also his passing today was always most accurate.
  • Diangana 6 - Dangerous going forward and will be a loss if he goes back to West Ham. But a little lightweight when under close pressure.
  • Pereira 6 - Lovely play on the ball again today but, like Grady, did get dispossessed a little easy at times.
  • HRK 7 - Didn't look like scoring but held the ball up and laid it off really well
  • Phillips 6 - Quiet game today. Maybe 2 games in 5 days is too much for him nowadays. Good decision to take him off.

Subs:

  • Edwards 6 - Tried to beat his defender twice after coming on. Once successful, once not.
  • Krovinovic 7 - Good option off the bench when we are winning because he holds onto the ball better than Diangana and Pereira.
  • Zohore - No rating as not on long enough.

Brendan Clegg:

Another huge win for us away from home. I thought we dominated enough in spells to deserve it but were very lucky with 2 or 3 big chances that Hull should've converted.

HRK came in for Austin but otherwise it was same old same old.

Hull were not afraid to have a right go at us with high energy and committing players forward - they had a couple of useful players - but in the first half after a 20 minutes of cagey football we began to control possession and pull them all over the place.

Livermore's early booking was a problem but he made up for it with a thunderous striker to put us into the lead and, apart from a moment where our midfield and right side went AWOL and Hull really should've scored, it was our lack of quality from good situations that cost us.

We worked it well wide but Hull we set for the deep crosses we put in and neither Diagana, Phillips or Furlong were able to get to the byline in order to cut low passes back - Dianga wasting the one time we really managed this by shooting horribly wide when HRK had a tap-in on.

We had a big let off thanks to a great save from SJ following some really careless possession and the linesman's flag saved us for the rebound.

Second half was far more of a ding-dong. We started really slowly and I don't know whether Sawyers was worried about a booking too much but he lost way too many 60-40s in his favour in the first 10 minutes, didn't cover well enough and it gave Hull momentum from which they probably should've equalised.

Bilic changed it early bringing on Krov for Phillips and moving Pereira wide and that settled us on the ball more and once again we should've scored from some well created opportunities - Diagana just steering wide the best of them.

We looked comfortable but there was still time for a real scare in the last 5 minutes with Sawyers getting the second booking and Hull missing another really good chance. Our seemingly new found steel and fortune got us over the line.

Overall there were some fantastic moments again. We carved them open with some great football but were just that centre-forward with pace away from making it count; this is no criticism of HRK who played to his strengths all game and put in a Rondon-esque shift in terms of running, chasing them down and leading the press. We just had that same lack of someone who can win the 10 yard sprint in the corridor between centre backs and keeper when balls are played through.

Sheffield Wednesday at home now becomes our toughest game of the season with our first choice pairing out. I think Krov can do the Sawyers role if he has some muscle and energy alongside him; perhaps moving Semi in there with Hegazi at the back? It would be a big game though and I don't think Brunt has the legs for it now. Perhaps this is Harper's opportunity if he can play with discipline?

  • SJ - 7 Kept us in it with a great save and his kicking choices were spot on.
  • Furlong - 7 Another decent showing, tried to get forward but was caught out a couple of times.
  • Ajayi - 7 That turn of pace really is vital. Some great passing out.
  • Bartley - 7 Showed leadership again, really committed and good defending. The odd questionable moment on the ball but generally sound.
  • Townsend - 7 Another really plucky game. Showed great touches and never stopped running but needed better cover.
  • Livermore - 8 Dominated everything, silly card, great goal. Bilic has liberated him - his forward passes are like a different player.
  • Sawyers - 6 I don't mind the languid style and as always showed genius moments but there were times when he was too weak or casual.
  • Phillips - 6 As we know he's a threat even when playing in the low gears. We probably didn't make use of him enough.
  • Pereira - 7 The passes didn't quite come off and he still likes to roll around a bit but the way he puts himself about and tracks back is endearing for a player so pretty on the eye. Loves a battle.
  • Dianga - 7 Typically erratic, careless one minute, unplayable the next. I still think he'll get recalled so let's just enjoy it while it lasts and get as many points as possible.
  • HRK - 7 Individually I don't think he could've done any more. I've never seen him work so hard and got us up the pitch countless times with his strength and first touch.
  • Krov - 6 Once again looked after the ball so well. Such a shame he doesn't have that burst or upper body strength to hold people off when running through, but a classy keep-baller.
  • Edwards - 6 Invited tackles, won bookings, needs to keep his head up and working hard.
  • Zohore wasn't on long enough to contribute but from one long kick he got our starting position 10 yards further forward because of the threat to run in behind.