Robert Koren

Charlton, Hull advance into FA Cup sixth round

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Charlton and Hull City advanced Monday into the FA Cup sixth round, each seeing out 2-1 wins during replays.

Simon Church had the game winner over Sheffield Wednesday for Charlton, a club from South London that isn’t so far removed from better days in the Premier League but now facing potential relegation into England’s third tier.

So, a quarterfinal berth in the FA Cup is big doings for the club (pictured above in celebration Monday). It also scuttled the chances of a mighty Sheffield derby, as the winner of Monday’s match has already been drawn into a quarterfinal meeting with Sheffield United.

Just a few more points will probably see Hull safely out of any relegation danger, ensuring another Premier League season at the KC Stadium. So, the Tigers have already accomplished something – although a quarterfinal FA  Cup appearance is certainly something else Steve Bruce’s club can hang its hat on.

Goals from Curtis Davies and Robert Koren were the difference as Hull got past Brighton from England’s second tier.

Hull City 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Spurs can only manage a point at Hull (video)

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After Spurs fell 5-1 to Manchester City midweek, many thought they’d seek revenge on Hull City, giving them a similar thrashing. And with Hull having failed to score in their last four league matches, it looked as though it would be simple enough for the visitors. Instead, both sides had to settle for just a share of the spoils.

It was the Tigers that started out on top. Former Tottenham man Tom Huddlestone sent in a lovely free kick, with January signing Nikica Jelavic getting on the end of it. The Croat misfired, however, landing on top of the net rather than inside.

Spurred into action, perhaps, the visitors went on the attack. Emmanuel Adebayor got on the end of a ball from Roberto Soldado, forcing Steve Harper to spring into action fast enough to tip the shot over the bar.

Moments later, Hull took the lead – with credit going to the very men they signed to increase their goal tally. Jelavic did the work holding back the defense, while slipping the ball on to new signing Shane Long. Long broke free to fire past Hugo Lloris, putting his shot into the top corner of the net.

It seemed unlikely that Tottenham, slowly slipping away from the Champions League positions, would let go of the opportunity to grab a point so easily. Sure enough, the visitors equalized right around the hour mark.

Danny Rose made an ambitious attempt from about 35 yards out, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, sent his shot wide. Pauliho, starting for the first time in a month, picked up the loose ball, turned, and fired into the roof of the net.

Both sides had their chances to nick all three points in the final 30 minutes. First Curtis Davies came running in to clear Adebayor’s shot off the line. Then, on the other end, Robert Koren sent his shot just wide, only for Jelavic to see his follow up blocked by Michael Dawson.

Hull City: Harper, Rosenior, Figueroa, Davies, McShane, Huddlestone, Meyler, Elmohamady (Koren 70), Brady (Boyd 69), Jelavic (Sagbo 88), Long

Goals: Long 12′

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose; Lennon, Bentaleb, Paulinho, Eriksen; Adebayor (Kane 90), Soldado

Goals: Paulinho 61′

Watch Live: Hull City vs. Chelsea (Lineups and Discuss)

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Hull City are excelling in their first season back in the Premier League, with Steve Bruce’s men especially strong at home.

Yet the Tigers have only faced one of the top four at home and beat Liverpool comfortably so can they take yet another top scalp when Chelsea roll into town (Watch live on NBSCN, 7am ET and live online via NBC Sports Live Extra)

As for Chelsea, they sit just two points behind league leaders Arsenal as Jose Mourinho rotated his squad splendidly well over the festive period to grab plenty of vital wins. Going into the game Chelsea are unbeaten in five PL matches, while Hull have only won once in their last seven which was a 6-0 hammering of Fulham 6-0.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE VIA NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA

As for team news Hull have made one change as George Boyd comes in for Robert Koren. While Chelsea don’t start with Juan Mata again,  as Fernando Torres starts ahead of Samuel Eto’o up front.

LINEUPS

Hull City: McGregor, Chester, Bruce, Davies, Elmohamady, Figueroa, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Boyd, Sagbo. Subs: Harper, Rosenior, Faye, Quinn, Koren, Graham, Fryatt

Chelsea: Cech; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Ramires, David Luiz; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Torres. Subs: Schwarzer, Bertrand, Mikel, Essien, Schurrle, Mata, Eto’o

Premier League Roundup: Man City, Man Utd and Hull all win to see out 2013 in style

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Another pulsating day of Premier League action took place on Saturday, as six games were played just 48 hours after the Boxing Day bonanza.

Several squads rotated their lineups as Manchester City and Manchester United both scraped valuable 1-0 wins with many of their regulars missing from the starting XI.

Elsewhere Hull absolutely hammered Fulham, as the Tigers soared into the top ten with a scintillating display of clinical finishing. While at the bottom of the league, two relegation scraps saw West Ham draw 3-3 with West Brom and Sunderland stole a late 2-2 draw away at Cardiff.

(MORE: Latest Premier League Standings)

What magnificent day of action. Can this never end?

We have four more massive PL games coming your way on Sunday too, so don’t change the channel from NBCSN, or log off this website for the rest of this weekend. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Anyway, back to the six matches which took place on Saturday, here’s the recaps, analysis, video highlights and more.

Aston Villa 1-1 Swansea

Early promise evaporated for the home side at Villa Park, as Gabriel Agbonlahor’s opener was cancelled out by Roland Lamah. Swansea looked the more likely to grab a winner but the match ended in a draw, as Villa’s woes continue. As for the Swans, they keep stalling as Michael Laudrup suffers from second-season syndrome.

Cardiff City 2-2 Sunderland

A truly remarkable comeback from Sunderland as they trailed 2-0 with seven minutes to go against Cardiff, but then somehow grabbed a point. Jordon Mutch and Frazier Campbell put the Bluebirds 2-0 up and in the 83rd minute substitute Steven Fletcher pulled one back to give Sunderland hope. And then the thousands of traveling Mackems fans were sent wild as sub Jack Colback grabbed a stunning equalizer in the fifth minute of stoppage time. On a more serious note, Sunderland’s Fabio Borini was taken to hospital after falling ill, here’s an update.

Hull 6-0 Fulham

An absolute battering at the KC Stadium, as Hull surged into the top half of the table and embarrassed Fulham in the process. Two goals from Robert Koren and strikes from Elmohamady and Matt Fryatt were slightly overshadowed by Tom Huddlestone’s first goal in 54 PL games, which came on his birthday and also meant he could finally cut his hair after he’d been growing it out for charity until he scored. The Tigers were sublime, Fulham were woeful.

Norwich City 0-1 Manchester United

A hard-fought three points for the Red Devils, as Danny Welbeck’s strike just after half time proved to be the game-winner for Manchester United. A spirited Norwich side made life extremely difficult for David Moyes’, especially in the first half, but Welbeck’s arrival at the interval made all the difference.

Manchester City 1-0 Crystal Palace

City huffed and puffed throughout this tiresome game at the Eithad, as a resilient Palace team stood firm and even took the came to City with three glorious chances at the start of the second half. However Joe Hart was in fine form to thwart the Eagles, as Edin Dzeko’s clinical strike in the 66th minute grabbed all three points to send City top.

West Ham 3-3 West Brom

A pulsating clash down at Upton Park, as West Ham took an early lead through Joe Cole but Nicolas Anelka’s double have the Baggies a 2-1 half time lead. After the break the Hammers turned things around to lead 3-2 with Modibo Maiga and Kevin Nolan on the score sheet, however Saido Berahino then made it 3-3 with a terrific strike and almost won it late on with a curler that hit the post. Controversy marred the post-game analysis, as Nicolas Anelka was accused of making an anti-Semitic gesture.

Hull City 6-0 Fulham: Tigers run riot over defenseless Fulham (video)

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The first half provided very little in the way of, well, anything from either Hull City or Fulham. Fortunately for those waking up late, the second half gave plenty of action. Unfortunately for Fulham fans, all that action came from one direction.

Hull’s goals began in the 59th minute, and it took less than 10 minutes for the hosts to go up 4-0 on hapless Fulham, 15 minutes for them to take a 5-0 lead. That’s 40 goals Fulham have conceded in just 19 matches.

The first goal came courtesy of a corner, sent in from Tom Huddlestone, that Fulham were unable to adequately clear. The ball fell to the edge of the box, Ahmed Elmohamady pounced, and David Stockdale could only watch as the rout began.

It took 11 minutes for Hull to get their second. Robert Koren slipped around Aaron Hughes with astonishing ease, getting on the end of a cross from Yannick Sagbo. He fired his shot in to the top corner to double the Tigers’ lead.

Moments later, Sagbo tried for his own goal, but his shot was blocked. No matter. Despite the presence of plenty of white shirts, George Boyd managed to make some room for himself, grabbing the ball from Jake Livermore and slotting into the bottom right corner.

Less than five minutes later, Hull had their fourth — and a fantastic goal celebration to boot. Once again, Fulham were unable to clear their lines, and it was Huddlestone that took advantage this time. After scoring, Huddlestone ran to the touchline and allowed one of the Hull staff to cut off a bit of his hair.

Perhaps that resulted in a Samson-like curse, as five minutes later, Huddlestone could do no more than hit the bar. However Matty Fryatt, on for Sagbo after the fourth goal, was there to follow up.

This time Hull allowed Fulham ten minutes of merciful rest, even permitting Hugo Rodallega a shot (blocked, of course). Then Koren came back for his second, poking in from close range after Stockdale parried a shot from Danny Graham.

Hull City: McGregor, Chester, Davies, Rosenior, Figueroa, Huddlestone, Livermore, Elmohamady, Boyd, Koren, Sagbo (Fryatt 68)

Subs: Harper, Bruce, Faye, McShane, Meyler, Fryatt, Graham

Goals: Elmohamady 49′; Koren 60′; Boyd 63′; Huddlestone 67′; Fryatt 74; Koren 84′

Fulham: Stockdale; Zverotic, Hughes, Amorebieta, Riise; Dejagah (Bent 64), Sidwell, Karagounis, Kasami; Ruiz (Kačaniklić 60); Rodallega

Subs: Bettinelli, Kacaniklic, Richardson, Boateng, Riether, David, Bent