Sky Bet Championship side Hull City claimed their second Premier League scalp of this season’s Capital One Cup, with a victory over Leicester City at the KC Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Tigers required extra time and penalties to knock out high flying Leicester, and extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to nine games, whilst also maintaining their unbeaten home record this campaign.
The match finished 0-0 after 90 minutes, and the East Yorkshire side will have feared the worst when Riyad Mahrez gave the Foxes the lead ten minutes into extra time, but Abel Hernandez equalised shortly after, scoring his eighth goal in eleven games, and taking the game to penalties.
Mahrez stepped up first for Leicester and a wonderful save from Eldin Jakupovic denied the Algerian international.
That remained the only miss of the shoot-out leaving extra time substitute, David Meyler, with the opportunity to send the Tigers through to the League Cup quarter final for the first time in the club’s history, which the Republic of Ireland international duly did, topping off a superb week for the 26 year old and Hull City.
A superb win for the Tigers, but what did we learn?
1. Hull City are picking up momentum
The Tigers started the season in underwhelming fashion, but now remain unbeaten in their last nine games in all competitions, and recording four wins out of their last seven.
Last week saw the Tigers defeat Ipswich Town in emphatic fashion with a 3-0 win at the KC Stadium, in a victory that Hull boss, Steve Bruce, described as their best performance of the season, a quote he would repeat the following Saturday as his side brushed aside Birmingham City, recording a 2-0 win at home to a side who up until that fixture had remained unbeaten on the road all season, as well as winning their previous four league games.
Bruce seems to have found the winning formula at Hull and he will be hoping his side can continue in this vein of form on Saturday, as the 2nd placed Tigers travel to 21st placed MK Dons.
2. Steve Bruce is a record breaker
Hull City fans had high hopes when Steve Bruce took charge of the East Yorkshire club in 2012, but they would not have dreamed of the achievements the former Manchester United defender has made in such a short period of time.
Bruce guided the Tigers back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, and secured Hull City’s highest ever league finish in their first season back, finishing 16th in the top flight, whilst Bruce also guided Hull to their first ever FA Cup final during the same campaign, in which the Tigers saw an early 2-0 lead slip and fall to a 3-2 defeat to Arsenal in extra time.
Tuesday night’s victory on penalties saw Bruce’s latest feat in charge of Hull City, as the club reached the League Cup quarter finals for the first time in their 111 year history.
Bruce is the most successful manager in the club’s history and he will be hoping he can continue his success and guide the Tigers back to the Premier League this season, after the disappointment of relegation last term.
3. Hull City have arguably the strongest squad in the Championship
Hull made eight changes from the side that put Birmingham City to the sword last Saturday, for the visit of Leicester City.
Stars such as Tom Huddlestone and Mo Diame have found themselves demoted to the bench in the past week, due to the in form pairing of Jake Livermore and David Meyler in the centre of midfield, but Steve Bruce brought in messieurs Huddlestone and Diame for the Capital One Cup tie on Tuesday night and may well have given himself a selection headache for Saturday’s trip to MK Dons, with Huddlestone picking up the man of the match award, and reminding Bruce of the ability the one time club record signing possesses.
Bruce managed to keep hold of a core of his Premier League talent this summer following their disappointing relegation last season, and confidence is starting to flow through his squad, particularly in the case of Abel Hernandez who cost the Tigers a whopping £10 million the previous summer and didn’t look anywhere near justifying the price tag, but the Uruguayan international has been in fine form for Hull City this term, netting his eighth of the season on Tuesday night.
Should Bruce’s side remain injury free, and in their current vein of form, their is no reason that the Tigers cannot mount a serious challenge for automatic promotion, and Hull City still have the injured Robert Snodgrass and summer signing Adama Diomande yet to return from injury and make their first appearances of the campaign.