Tottenham 2 Hull 0: What a difference a year makes. This time 12 months ago Hull City were competing in their first FA Cup final at Wembley.
This defeat at White Hart Lane has provided Steve Bruce’s side with another cup final, except this time the prize on offer is not the FA Cup but Premier League survival.
Even a victory over Manchester United on Sunday would not necessarily hoist them out of the bottom three, with Bruce’s side also relying on Newcastle and Sunderland failures.
Yet for 54 minutes against Tottenham, Hull looked as though they could be on the path to safety. The visitors were arguably the better side as Nikica Jelavic struck the post and crosses flashed across the penalty area.
But then Spurs showed why they are chasing European football and Hull are fighting for survival. Two moments of quality, two goals. First Erik Lamela slid in Nacer Chadli for his 11th league goal and then Ryan Mason’s chipped pass allowed Danny Rose to fire home.
“The reason why we are in the bottom three is pretty evident today,” said Bruce.
“We have played well enough, we have had five or six really glorious opportunities, and at this level you have got to take them.”
For Bruce, one of the biggest weeks in the Hull’s history will be made even harder by the attention surrounding Jake Livermore. The midfielder missed Saturday’s defeat after being suspended by the FA and his club after testing positive for cocaine.
Further investigations are due to take place but Bruce admits that Livermore, who joined from Tottenham last summer, has let the club and himself down.
“I think I’m within my right to express my huge disappointment, frustration and anger at the whole situation,” said Bruce. “Jake knows that he has let everybody down.”
Lloris 6; Dier 5, Fazio 4, Vertonghen 5, Rose 6; Bentaleb 5, Mason 6 (Stambouli 79, 4); Chadli 7, Eriksen 6 (Dembele 58, 6), Lamela 7; Kane 5 (Soldado 90, 5).
Harper 4; Chester 5, Dawson 4, McShane 4; Elmohamady 4, Meyler 4, Huddlestone 5 (Robertson 71, 4), Quinn 5, Brady 6; Jelavic 3 (Hernandez 62, 3), N’Doye 4.
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