Everton 4-0 Hull - Inept City throw it away
Hull City had to change their winning team with Niasse unable to play against his parent club. Silva dropped the erratic Grosicki to the bench bringing in an extra central half in Davies. Clucas was back in the team.
The team looked unbalanced with only one winger and lightweight upfront with Hernandez supported only by Markovic.
Everton had a couple of early forays but City seemed content to absorb the pressure. It backfired badly when Davies fed the youngster Calvin Lewis who gave Jakupovic no chance after only seven minutes to make it 1-0.
City were struggling to deal with Everton's midfield and Ranocchia was lucky to escape a booking for an 18th minute challenge on Lukaku.
Gareth Barry came on for Everton after 30 minutes and a cross from him just two minutes later was headed over by Williams.
Just before halftime Clucas should have scored but blasted over from 14 yards out.
HT Everton 1-0 Hull City
No changes by either side at halftime and City were still in the game.
Everton began to press and Lukaku headed over after 55 minutes.
Jakupovic made a good smothering save on the hour and City kept out the resulting corner. A bad foul by Williams after 65 minutes saw him rightly booked.
Two minutes later Grosicki came on to replace Curtis Davies in an effort to inject some life into an inept attack.
It nearly paid dividends in the 75 minute when a surging run by Robertson saw him hit the side netting.
However it all went wrong for City a minute later when a tackle by Huddlestone was ruled worthy of a red card. It seemed a very harsh decision when a yellow would have been more befitting.
A minute later the dye was cast when Valencia came on and promptly danced through the still reorganising defence to score.
Hernandez looked a dejected figure upfront and was replaced by Diamande on 80 minutes.
Elmohamady replaced Markovic on 85 but to no avail.
City backed off and allowed the ever-willing Lukaku to plunder two late goals. First he slid the ball expertly past Jakupovic and then pounced on a bad back pass to make it 4-0 just before the end.
FT Everton 4-0 Hull City
In truth a point was a bit of a pipe dream but 4-0 defeat was disastrous with our already chronic goal difference. Add to that the sending off of Huddlestone probably banned for three games means City are looking down the barrel. Yes there are 27 points to play for still but with Palace winning and even Sunderland picking up a point things look bleak.
Tony Atkin - 18.03.16