Hull City 0 – Birmingham City 2
Sunday 15 October 2022
Blues had what turned out to be a comfortable afternoon in Hull, winning their second game in a row and pushing on into the top half of the table.
While the first half was even, a poor Hull side had little to offer after Juninho Bacuna’s rocket just after half time doubled the lead. In the second period Blues were able to keep the home side at arm’s length with ease, to the extent that Hull didn’t manage a shot on target after the break.
Two changes to the side that won equally empathically against Bristol City last week. Deeney came back into the side in place of young George Hall and, somewhat surprisingly, Bacuna replaced the banned Sanderson, coming in at right wing-back with Max again shuffling across to right centre-back.
But before the game could kick off, we had the bizarre spectacle of the ground staff trimming one of the goals after the officials had spotted that it was two inches too big to conform to regulations. Impromptu carpentry delayed the start of the game by 25 minutes.
Hull started the game better and it was against the run of play when Blues took the lead on 14 minutes. The ref saw something I didn’t in the box from a corner and gave a spot kick for a bit of wrestling on Bielik which ended with the Pole going to ground. Deeney’s effort from 12 yards could best be described as emphatic, as the ball crashed past the Hull keeper before he had the chance to move.
In the first half, the Blues defence looked wobblier than of late from set pieces and following one Ruddy had to make a fine save from Christie to preserve Blues’ lead.
Likewise, the team wasn’t showing the fluidity going forward that they’d managed against Bristol City. However, Hanibal was displaying the tenacity and energy of the previous week and Bielek was once again running the show.
The game swung conclusively in Blues favour just after the break thanks to Bacuna’s first of the season – and what a way to get off the mark.
After a raking crossfield pass from Chong, Bacuna picked up the ball not far in Hull’s half, advanced with the ball, stepped inside the full-back and let fly from a good thirty yards with his left foot. For the second time in the game, Baxter was rooted to the spot as the ball flew past him at a rate of knots.
“Deeney hadn’t launched his second penalty into the stratosphere”
After the second goal. Blues were in cruise control as they dealt with the very little that Hull had to throw at them and looked as if they could add to their total. And they should have if Deeney hadn’t launched his second penalty into the stratosphere after Chong had been upended by the keeper following a wayward Hull back pass.
A comfortable win in the end, but only as a result of a hardworking, well organised performance, with Colin, Bielik and Hanibal the stand out individuals.
Now on to a real test, with the visit of one of the best sides in the division, Burnley, on Wednesday.