Premier League - Hull new boys take advantage of early Sunderland red

Premier League, Stadium of Light - Sunderland 0 Hull City 2 (Long 16, Jelavic 62)

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Premier League - Hull new boys take advantage of early Sunderland red
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Nikica Jelavic of Hull City scores his team's second goal (Getty)

Hull secured their first win of 2014 with goals from Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic against a Sunderland side down to 10 men for much of the game.

Wes Brown departed in the fourth minute of a feisty game, bringing down Long on the edge of the box and denying him a clear goalscoring opportunity. Tom Huddlestone took the free-kick, but Vito Mannone, in excellent form, dived low to his left to make the save.

Long made the breakthrough after 16 minutes, grabbing the goal that Brown had denied him 12 minutes earlier by getting his head on the end of Jake Livermore’s volley forward from Huddlestone’s corner.

Mannone will have been disappointed to concede that goal; he looked set to claim the original ball in, but Jozy Altidore, standing just in front of him, got there first and headed it away into Livermore’s path.

Unsurprisingly it was Adam Johnson who had Sunderland’s best chance to respond before half-time, with a lovely volley from the edge of the box, which Steve Harper claimed with authority.

Down to 10 men, however, Sunderland had few real opportunities, and Johnson did not get the best showcase for his skills in front of England manager Roy Hodgson.

The game was beyond Sunderland’s reach when Jelavic ended his goal drought just after the hour, with a fine looping header after a deflected cross in from Maynor Figueroa.

KEY MOMENTS

3’ – RED CARD! Wes Brown brings down Shane Long, right on the edge of the box, and he's off.

5’ – CHANCE! Tom Huddlestone takes the free-kick, through the wall, and Vito Mannone dives low to his left to make the save.

16' – GOAL! Shane Long gets the goal that Wes Brown stopped him from getting 12 minutes ago. Mannone was about to collect the cross in from Huddlestone’s corner, but Jozy Altidore, just in front of him, headed it away, straight into the path of Livermore who played it on to Long.

44’ – CHANCE! Shot from Adam Johnson on the volley on the edge of the box, slapped down and claimed by Steve Harper.

57’ – CHANCE! Great ball in from Meyler to Jelavic, whose first touch is good but his scuffed shot is not.

62’ – GOAL! Nikica Jelavic finally scores! The ball in from Figueroa takes a deflection, and Jelavic does well to head it over Mannone and into the net.

81’ – CLOSE! The returning Sone Aluko's shot bounces up nastily right in front of the diving Mannone, who manages once again to make the save.

KEY STATS

After Wes Brown’s sending-off, there have now been six red cards in six Premier League meetings between these two sides, including two for Sunderland in the reverse fixture earlier this season (Cattermole and Dossena).

This was Hull’s first win in 2014, having previously drawn one and lost four.

Conversely, this was Sunderland’s first loss since New Year’s Day.

Before today, Sunderland had won six of their last seven encounters with Hull City.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

TALKING POINT

Sunderland kill off their chances before the game's hardly begun - Usually such an early red card would prove controversial, but nobody felt inclined to make Wes Brown’s case – a blatant sending-off, and one which made victory for a confident and capable Hull side almost inevitable.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Shane Long, Hull - Looked dangerous throughout. His presence made the difference, luring Wes Brown into the rash challenge that got him sent off, and his header put Hull ahead on 16 minutes.

Sunderland: Mannone 7, Bardsley 5, Alonso 6, Bridcutt 6, O'Shea 5, Brown 1, Ki 6, Colback 6, Johnson 6, Borini 4, Altidore 5. Subs: Gardner 6, Wickham 6, Vergini 5.

Hull: Harper 7, Rosenior 7, Figueroa 7, Davies 7, Meyler 7, Huddlestone 7, Livermore 7, McShane 7, Jelavic 7, Long 8, Elmohamady 7. Subs: Koren 7, Brady 6, Aluko 7.

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