Leicester City remain bottom of the Premier League table, but they’re much closer to amending that after earning the club’s first win since September by holding on for dear life to beat Hull City 1-0 at KC Stadium.
Riyad Mahrez scored in the 32nd minute and Hull City couldn’t respond despite battering and bruising the Foxes defense in the second half.
The game was cagey and lacked quality through the first half-hour, but things exploded open just after the 30-minute mark. David Nugent laid off to Mahrez, who crashed through the attacking third on the ball. He cut left to lose Liam Rosenior and find space, and he lashed a low shot that snuck inside the left post.
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The goal is just Leicester’s fourth in its last six matches, and gave the Foxes a big lead on the road. Hull nearly equalized on the stroke of halftime as a pinpoint cross from Stephen Quinn came slicing in but Ahmed Elmohamady touched over the bar from close range after getting free past the defense.
An exhausted Leo Ulloa was forced off just 10 minutes after halftime, and Hull took the initiative. The Tigers came so close to scoring with 12 minutes to go, but Jake Livermore’s shot with the outside of his foot was parried onto the post and out by a diving Ben Hamer, and seconds later Nikica Jelavic missed with a follow-up.
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Hull poured men forward as chances went untaken, such as Abel Hernandez’s wide open attempt from point blank range on 88 minutes that blasted into the stands.
Both sides lost a man down the stretch, as Paul Konchesky got his second yellow card with a foul near the touchline. While his teammates held on by clearing off the line in the 90th minute, Quinn was issued a straight red in extra time after handling the ball on a Leicester breakaway. Neither mattered, as the Foxes held on.
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The win for Nigel Pearson and his club was the first in their last 12 matches, stopping a seven-game losing streak. They still have much work to do, but the win pulls them just two points from moving off the bottom of the table. Meanwhile, Hull failed to capitalize on the Boxing Day momentum after a quality comeback from a goal down.
Hull City: McGregor, Rosenior, Bruce, Davies, Meyler (Ince 61′), Brady, Livermore, Aluko (Hernandez 62′), Ramirez (Jelavic 46′), Elmohamady, Quinn.
Discipline: Quinn (straight red) 90+3′
Leicester City: Hamer, Simpson, Wasilewski, Morgan, Konchesky, Cambiasso (Drinkwater 71′), James, Mahrez (De Laet 71′), Nugent, Schlupp, Ulloa (Wood 55′).
Goals: Mahrez 32′
Discipline: Koncheskey (second yellow) 88′