FOOTBALL: Manchester City far from slick as Hull put up fight

Such is the high-pressured, and sometimes crazy, nature of football these days the Chilean knew City had to get a win following their shock 3-2 defeat at Cardiff last week. Pellegrini is expected to win things at the Etihad Stadium and the sooner the better.

However, from the start Hull took the game to their hosts. The visitors were expected to defend for most of the match but hadn’t obviously read the script. Sone Aluko should have put them ahead in the first 10 minutes but the Nigerian missed the target when one-on-one with City’s goalkeeper, Joe Hart.

Danny Graham went better than his team-mate by putting the ball in the back of the net five minutes later, but was a yard offside.

It was a strange first-half from City, who looked disjointed and far from possible champions. Come the second half it was much the same story as City continued to struggle in front of a worried crowd.

However, such is the class the Blues have in their side that the longer Hull didn’t take advantage of their superiority the more likely it was City would ultimately make them pay. And that’s exactly what they did with a quality goal from new boy Alvaro Negredo and a superb free-kick from Yaya Toure.

And Pellegrini admitted he was an anxious man for most of the match.

“It was hard work, every match is going to be hard work,” the City boss said. “Hull defended very well. We know you have to give 100 per cent to win every match but I think today that we were more concentrated in defence than the last game against Cardiff.”

His opposite number, Steve Bruce, was pleased with his side’s display, despite the result, saying: “My players can be very, very proud of their performance, they were terrific. We just [had] to take one of these chances.”

FOOTBALL: Manchester City far from slick as Hull put up fight

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