James Chestney reports on a disappointing night at the Etihad.
The city of Hull is renowned for its 80 minute rugby league sides and, for eighty minutes at the Etihad Stadium, Hull City were in with a shout at Manchester City.
They were losing just 1-0 before City (Manchester), stepped on the gas to run out easy winners as far as the scoreline goes. Hull City did get a goal back late in the game to show they still have the quality but by then it was too late, though the biggest cheer of the night was saved for the returning Robert Snodgrass.
Manager Steve Bruce made seven changes and also named a strong bench, one which was possibly stronger then their Premier Division opponents. However, it was to be top class quality of Manchester City which would be too much for a Tigers side chasing a Capital Cup semi final slot, which would have been with Everton.
It took the home side just twelve minutes to break down the Hull defence, albeit with a bit of luck from a rebound. Kevin De Bruyne, who was excellent all night, fired in a shot which hit the post. If it bounces one way it stays 0-0 but it bounced in front of Wilfried Bony so it was 1-0.
This was how it stayed, despite both sides having great chances, until the 80th minute when Kelechi Iheanacho turned in Raheem Sterling’s cross. De Bruyne then capitalised on a weak header by Robertson, who was trying to get the ball back to Eldin Jakupovic, the Belgian striker nipping in to poke the ball home.
Hull City then gifted their hosts a free kick just to the left and outside the box and even with Ahmed Elmohamady on the line the ball was whipped in by De Bruyne. That made it 4-0 and Hull City were out but not down.
Their attacking flair was such they ended the game with a great goal to give the 5.000 travelling fans something to cheer about. A one-two between Andrew Robertson and Abel Hernandez resulted in the Scottish international sliding the ball past Man City keeper Caballero.
The Tigers may have exited the Capital One Cup but they now return to the more pressing matter of the Sky Bet Championship. Saturday sees a trip to Leeds United, a club who seem to be struggling both on and off the pitch but Steve Bruce will take nothing for granted in the search for three points.