A back-and-forth second half capped a match that saw three players score their first ever Premier League goals, as Hull City and West Ham United shared the spoils at the KC Stadium on NBCSN late Monday afternoon.
Abel Hernandez and Mohamed Diame scored for Hull City, while Enner Valencia netted for West Ham United. The Tigers also conceded an own goal in a fun 2-2 draw.
Hull stays a point ahead of West Ham, with five points placing them tied for ninth in the table.
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Hernandez’s Hull City debut sure looked like that of a record-signing, as his first half goal keyed the Tigers attack despite West Ham’s decidedly-stronger first half.
Yet Enner Valencia scored his first Premier League goal in even more thrilling fashion to equalize for the Hammers in the second half.
Uruguayan striker Hernandez came over from Palermo during the summer transfer window, and on Monday he out-muscled James Tompkins to meet an Ahmed Elmohamady cross, sending it past Adrian in the 39th minute to lift Hull into the lead.
But Valencia opened his West Ham account in thrilling fashion, dribbling across the field and being left to his own devices by Hull. He had enough room to send a feverish shot past McGregor, and we were square at 1.
But Mohamed Diame put a dagger into the back of the team he left next week, lashing a hard shot across goal and past Adrian to make it 2-1 in the 64th minute.
That glee was short-lived, as McGregor bungled an easy-ish save on a Diafra Sakho shot. The ball went off Curtis Davies and into the goal to tie the score.
Hernandez and Diame subbed off to tremendous applause, but it was likely their heroics combined with the arrivals of subs Hatem Ben Arfa and Gaston Ramirez that drew the KC’s praise.
But it was sub Robbie Brady who threatened to put Hull up top, as Adrian was forced to make a diving save on the Irishman with about 10 minutes to play.
Valencia nearly found a winner at the death, but his header was deflected over the bar.
Hull City: McGregor; Elmohamady, Robertson, Davies, Dawson, Diame (Ramirez, 79′), Dawson, McShane, Livermore, Quinn (Brady, 58′), Jelavic, Huddlestone, Hernandez (Ben Arfa, 79′)
Goal: Hernandez (39), Diame (64)
West Ham United: Adrian, Demel (Jenkinson, 76′), Cresswell, Tomkins, Reid, Kouyate, Noble, Zarate (Song, 62′), Downing, Sakho (Amalfitano, 87′), Valencia
Goal: Valencia (50), Davies o.g. (67)