Hull 0 Burnley 1: While it was a decisive day for Burnley in their failed attempt to survive in the Premier League, this also felt pivotal for Hull.
Sean Dyche and his team started the match knowing their season was likely to end in relegation and their second win on the road this season was not enough to prolong the adventure.
It was a more damaging defeat for Hull, though. One that meant the hosts are increasingly likely to join the Clarets in the Championship next season. The Tigers are two points adrift of safety and face Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in their remaining games.
Did you know?
OMINOUS: Hull have never won a Premier League game in May.
Here, as manager Steve Bruce, put it, they “froze”.
“It was a massive game for us,” Paul McShane, Hull’s Republic of Ireland defender said. “They were there for the taking. We’ve performed much better this season and we just didn’t turn up. That’s the bottom line.
“In the dressing room there was devastation. I think the lads will try and pick themselves back up on Monday and start again. That’s all we can do.
“Time is running out and we need to pick up points.”
The tension surrounding the fixture did not help the quality on the pitch as both sides struggled to find rhythm. Robbie Brady had Hull’s best chances, hitting the crossbar twice from free-kicks but the Ireland winger was culpable when Burnley took the lead.
He attempted to control the ball on his chest in a crowded area but his touch was poor and Danny Ings lashed a low finish beyond Steve Harper.
Dyche has performed minor miracles since taking over of Burnley in October 2012. He oversaw promotion from the Championsip last season and has won many admirers for the way Burnley have gone about things this season, not least because he has spent less than £12m on players. Compare that, for example, with the £42m spent by Hull.
“There are no guarantees even when you put money into a club,” Dyche said.
“I would just say it is helpful if you have funding available and at this level I would say it is very, very difficult.”
HULL CITY (3-5-2):
Harper 6; Chester 5, Dawson 6, McShane 5 (Jelavic, 57, 5); Elmohamady 6, Livermore 5 (Meyler, 57, 6), Huddlestone 4, Quinn 5, Brady 6; Aluko 5 (Hernandez, 66, 6), N’Doye 5.
Heaton 6; Trippier 6, Duff 7, Shackell 7, Mee 6; Boyd 6, Jones 6, Arfield 6, Taylor 6 (Ward, 76); Barnes 6, Ings 7 (Keane, 88).
Martin Atkinson 7
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