Leicester become first defending champions to lose their opening game

Leicester become first defending champions to lose their opening game

Hull 2 Leicester 1

Managerless Hull handed champions Leicester a taste of their own medicine on the opening afternoon of the Premier League season, emerging from their chaotic summer to take all three points at the KCOM Stadium.

Leicester became masters of upsetting the odds en route to the title last term but became the first defending champions to lose their opening game as this time it was Hull who sprang the surprise.

Adama Diomande's overhead kick and Robert Snodgrass' clinical finish sealed a 2-1 win either side of Riyad Mahrez's penalty.

Leicester become first defending champions to lose their opening game

Hull's preparations for their top-flight return have been nightmarish, with Steve Bruce walking out and his assistant Mike Phelan left in caretaker charge of a squad consisting just 13 fit first-teamers, supplemented here by five academy prospects on the bench.

Revolt was in the air before kick-off too, with fans protesting outside the ground against the Allam regime and calling for Bruce's return as manager.

Songs were sung, signs distributed and many seats left unclaimed but those who did attend did get behind their side, who rallied manfully to the cause.

Leicester, heavy favourites here, handed debuts to Ahmed Musa and Luis Hernandez.

The game began sloppily, with the Foxes handing over possession on several occasions as Hull pressed high.

There were half-chances at either end, Demarai Gray's deflected effort looping over and Curtis Davies heading Snodgrass' corner wide, before Leicester eventually found some rhythm.

Jamie Vardy, so lethal last season, had three wonderful chances to open his 2016-17 account but erred on each occasion.

First he produced an air shot when teed up by Musa and later he skied a side-footer over after another cross from the same source.

In between he was denied by a superb sliding challenge from makeshift centre-half Jake Livermore with the goal at his mercy.

The latter effort came after a flowing move from Leicester, during which Christian Fuchs and Mahrez might easily have scored too.

But it was Hull who took the half-time lead, Davies beating Wes Morgan to a Snodgrass corner and forcing Kasper Schmeichel into a parry which bounced invitingly at the far post.

Abel Hernandez and Diomande both had the same idea, producing synchronised bicycle kicks which each connected to produce a breathtakingly unlikely goal.

Diomande's touch came fractionally later but Hernandez was well within his rights to celebrate his part.

It took Leicester less than two minutes of the second half to draw level, Tom Huddlestone raking Gray marginally outside the area but conceding a penalty anyway.

Mahrez made no mistake from the spot and it once again looked a long road for the Tigers to travel.

Leicester become first defending champions to lose their opening game

But instead they came again, Ahmed Elmohamady's cross only half-cleared by Danny Simpson and landing nicely for Snodgrass.

The winger did not need asking twice as he buried a first-time effort from the edge of the area.

Claudio Ranieri raided his bench for Daniel Amartey, Shinji Okazaki and Leonardo Ulloa but Danny Drinkwater's snatched drive in injury time, well covered by Eldin Jakupovic, was as close as they came.


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