Black Cats go down to narrow defeat at the KC Stadium.Sunderland could not repeat last weekend’s derby heroics as the Black went down 1-0 at Hull as Carlos Cuellar unfortunately diverted past his own keeper.
The Lads’ were reduced to nine men in the first-half when Lee Cattermole and Andrea Dossena were both dismissed
Gus Poyet made one change from the 2-1 win over Newcastle United with Fabio Borini replacing Adam Johnson in the starting line-up. Wes Brown was also included in the match day squad for the first time in 18 months.
The home side named three ex-Sunderland players in their starting line-up as Paul McShane, Ahmed Elmohamady and David Meyler were all selected by former Black Cats boss Steve Bruce.
The first 25 minutes passed both teams by, with neither side really taking a hold of the game and dominating play.
However, Hull took the lead on the half hour as Liam Rosenior swung the ball into the danger area and, after tussling Ivorian Yannick Sagbo, Cuellar got his head to the ball but diverted it beyond Keiren Westwood and into the far corner.
Westwood had to be replaced soon after as McShane’s late run for a loose ball concluded into the defender clattering into his fellow Irishman in the Sunderland goal and, despite both players being brave, it was the Black Cats’ stopper who came off the worse and was replaced by Vito Mannone, an ex-Hull loanee, six minutes after going down.
The hosts could have doubled their lead shortly before the interval, but Sagbo’s close range shot was deflected inches wide of the right hand post.
Cattermole was then dismissed for a foul on Elmohamady before Italian full back Andrea Dossena, who had a good debut last week, was the next to receive his marching orders. The former Napoli man over-ran the ball and Meyler nipped in front of him, only for Dossena to catch the former Black Cat with a late challenge.
These were the most eventful minutes of the game as in the second half; neither side looked like they were going to score, despite Poyet bringing on Wes Brown and Johnson at half time.
It was the 11 men of Hull who got the first opening of the half, but Vito Mannone managed to hold onto Jake Livermore’s swerving drive just short of the hour mark.
Twenty minutes later, and both sides could have scored easily. Mannone’s long kick downfield was flicked on by the isolated Steven Fletcher, and Adam Johnson found himself one on one with former-Newcastle ‘keeper Steve Harper. Despite the close range, Johnson could not find a way past Harper and ended up hitting the stopper’s chest.
Barely a minute later and Livermore was getting closer for the Tigers, crashing a 25 yard effort past the helpless Mannone and off the left hand post.
The game then became more settled as the clock ticked down, with Bruce’s side keeping the ball but struggling to break the Lads down.