Hull City maintained their unbeaten home start to the season with a 2-0 win over fellow play-off hopefuls Birmingham City at the KC Stadium yesterday.
The Blues went into Saturday’s fixture with an unbeaten away record and having won their previous four games, but the Tigers broke the deadlock in the 36th minute when David Meyler swept home from Ahmed Elmohamady’s cut-back, and diverted the ball past Tomasz Kuszczak and in off the post.
Uruguayan international Abel Hernandez then doubled Hull City’s advantage two minutes later, after promising left-back Andrew Robertson tore down the left hand side, and provided the pacey striker with his seventh goal of the season.
It was an important win for the Tigers, and here’s what we learned from the encounter:
1) Steve Bruce has found the right formula
The Tigers started the season in an inconsistent fashion and manager Steve Bruce admitted himself that he was unsure of his best eleven, but since pairing Hernandez alongside Arsenal loanee, Chuba Akpom, Hull City look rejuvenated and a constant threat, particularly when both strikers hit their opponents on the counter attack.
Bruce has chosen to leave big name players such as Mohamed Diame and Tom Huddlestone on the bench for the last two games, and it is a decision which looks justified with the Tigers running out 3-0 winners at home to Ipswich Town last Tuesday, before their impressive 2-0 win over Birmingham yesterday.
2) Birmingham City were poor by their usual standards
Gary Rowett’s side have been outstanding under his leadership this season, and started Saturday’s game in second place in the Sky Bet Championship, but the Blues looked a shadow of themselves at the KC Stadium.
Jacques Maghoma almost gave Birmingham City the lead, but for a wonderful save from Allan McGregor in the Hull City net, but that remained the Blues’ best chance in a game in which they rarely posed a threat.
Demarai Gray and Clayton Donaldson have been two of the Blues’ outstanding performers this season, but they were well dealt with by Hull, and struggled to make any sort of impact.
Rowett will demand a better performance from his side on Saturday, when they host Wolverhampton Wanderers.
3) David Meyler is determined to keep his place
Republic of Ireland international David Meyler has looked a different player since returning to the Hull starting line-up last Tuesday.
Meyler volleyed home the Tigers’ third in their win over Ipswich in spectacular fashion, as well as performing in the manner that Hull City fans are used to seeing from the 26 year old, closing the ball down well and being effective both offensively and defensively, and making sure his side keep the ball.
Huddlestone and Diame have found themselves sat on the bench due to the form of Meyler, who picked up where he left off against Ipswich on Saturday, asserting himself whilst being efficient with the ball, and adding his third goal of the season.
The win moves Hull City up to second in the Championship, and sees Rowett’s Birmingham drop down to sixth.
Hull and Birmingham fans… do you agree? Has Bruce found the right formula? How bad were Birmingham? Does Meyler deserve a sustained run in the side? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!