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Hull City v Aston Villa – October 2013

Hull City v Aston Villa – October 2013

Libor Kozak contests the ball with Curtis Davies

Hull City maintained their unbeaten home record this season in a flat goalless draw with Aston Villa.

Both were seeking a third consecutive league win, but without their injured top scorers – Hull’s Robbie Brady and Christian Benteke of Villa – struggled to create goalscoring opportunities.

Villa’s Gabriel Agbonlahor spurned the game’s only clear chance from 12 yards.

A long-range Tom Huddlestone strike was Hull’s best effort as Villa secured only their third clean sheet of 2013.

Brady has scored in all three of Hull’s league wins this season, while Benteke has hit four of Villa’s nine league goals. Their absence was telling.

With Brady recovering from a hernia operation, Hull struggled to replace his goal threat, though they were able to keep their fourth home clean sheet of the season.

The Tigers have not beaten Villa since 1987 and, following their 3-2 win over Manchester City last week, Paul Lambert’s side recalled Agbonlahor and Ashley Westwood from respective ankle and thigh injuries.

Agbonlahor was influential, but his second-half miss when unmarked inside the box was pronounced in such a tight encounter and meant Villa had to settle for a first draw of their league campaign.

The two sides with the worst possession statistics in the top flight before this fixture looked unlikely to change their ways in an opening period void of clear chances.

Villa had plenty of possession in unthreatening areas, but Hull manager Steve Bruce had warned of the visitors’ counter-attacking threat and it was when pouncing on the home side’s errors that Lambert’s side looked lively.

Possession not king…

Ahead of this fixture, Hull (42.7%) and Aston Villa (39.9%) held the worst average possession figures in the Premier League.

Villa midfielder Fabian Delph was busy early on, but a lack of care in the final third meant Agbonlahor’s saved shot from 18 yards was the visitors’ only meaningful first-half attempt.

Hull were equally ineffective. Danny Graham, without a goal since January, was denied by a Leandro Bacuna interception in the six-yard box, before the Dutchman repeated the feat to deny Stephen Quinn.

Huddlestone, who was this week tipped by Bruce to add to his four England caps, had a stinging 25-yard shot saved by Brad Guzan at the end of the half, but it was Agbonlahor’s wasted effort after the restart which proved decisive.

Good work by the impressive Bacuna released Andreas Weimann and his pull-back was met by the 26-year-old, but he curled his effort narrowly wide from 12 yards.

Hull’s Ahmed Elmohamady shot wildly wide when he latched on to a deep cross and Karim El Ahmadi’s timid late effort from range was easily held by Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor as both sides remained in the top half of the Premier League table.

Hull City manager Steve Bruce:

“There was a real lack of clear-cut chances and, for me, it had 0-0 written all over it from the first 10 minutes.

“We’ve won a couple at home now and drawn a couple so we’ll take the point and move on.”

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert:

“We had no doubts from the start that this was going to be tough and a point away from home anywhere in this league is something very valuable.

“I don’t think either side did enough to win the game.”

LINEUP, BOOKINGS (3) & SUBSTITUTIONS (5)

Hull City

  • 01 McGregor
  • 06 Davies Booked
  • 23 Faye
  • 02 Rosenior Booked
  • 03 Figueroa
  • 08 Huddlestone
  • 29 Quinn (Boyd – 69′ )
  • 14 Livermore
  • 27 Elmohamady (Meyler – 85′ )
  • 24 Aluko (Sagbo – 69′ )
  • 09 Graham

Substitutes

  • 04 Bruce
  • 07 Meyler
  • 17 Boyd
  • 20 Sagbo
  • 33 Proschwitz
  • 15 McShane
  • 22 Harper

Aston Villa

  • 01 Guzan
  • 07 Bacuna
  • 06 Clark
  • 14 Luna
  • 04 Vlaar
  • 16 Delph
  • 08 El Ahmadi
  • 15 Westwood Booked (Tonev – 74′ )
  • 10 Weimann
  • 11 Agbonlahor (Bowery – 75′ )
  • 27 Kozák

Substitutes

  • 17 Herd
  • 24 Tonev
  • 03 Bennett
  • 13 Steer
  • 21 Bowery
  • 02 Baker
  • 18 Sylla
Ref: Mark Clattenburg
Att: 24,396

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