A Sone Aluko equalizer overcame the first half strike from Romelu Lukaku to hand Hull City a 1-1 draw at Everton. With the point, Hull steers clear of the relegation zone in 17th place while the Toffees remain 11th in the table, two points behind Tottenham.
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The first half started slowly with Everton possessing and Hull dropping into a formidable defensive shape. The Tigers did manage a scary moment in the 10th minute when a dangerous cross from the wing prompted a punch from Tim Howard and the American fell awkwardly appearing to injure his shoulder. Howard would recover and have little to do until late in the second half.
After a disappointing performance against Tottenham last Sunday, Romelu Lukaku found himself in good form for this contest. After his deep shot was saved by Allan McGregor and a toe poke was blocked by Michael Dawson, Lukaku delivered a show-stopper in the 34th minute. Phil Jagileka’s long ball found the hulking Belgian, who skimmed his header on to the streaking Kevin Mirallas. Finding space on the right side of the box, Mirallas beat Dawson, cut in and laid a perfect ball that Lukaku slammed into the back of the net for the one-nil lead.
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The second half began with Everton controlling the match as Mirallas and Lukaku linked up once again with the former’s looping outside-of-the-foot effort just clearing the bar. Inexplicably, the Toffees then took their foot off the gas and Hull City took advantage. A clever substitution from manager Steve Bruce put Sone Aluko on for Mo Diame and on the striker’s first touch he beat Sylvain Distin before firing past Tim Howard to knot the match at one-apiece.
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With 30 minutes left to play, some back-and-forth play resulted in some tough tackles but didn’t see a clear chance for either side.
Everton: Howard, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Besic (McGeady 80’), Barry, Mirallas (Pienaar 64′), Barkley, Osman, Lukaku
Goals: Lukaku 34′
Hull City: McGregor, Elmohamady, Rosenior, Chester, Dawson, Livermore, Huddlestone, Meyler, Diame (Aluko 53’), Quinn (Robertson ‘88), Jelavic
Goals: Aluko 59′