EPL: Negredo scores as Manchester City labour to beat Hull 2-0

Manchester: Manchester City avoided another slip-up against a Premier League newcomer by beating Hull 2-0 on Saturday, a week after losing at Cardiff.

City's second-half goals came from substitute Alvaro Negredo, who headed in Pablo Zabaleta's cross, and Yaya Toure's curled free kick. City, hoping to repeat its 2012 title triumph, has six points from a possible nine.

Alvaro Negredo scores past Hull keeper Allan McGregor. AP

Alvaro Negredo scores past Hull keeper Allan McGregor. AP

Hull has lost twice and won once in its three matches since gaining promotion to the topflight, but looked resilient at the Etihad Stadium.

City's defense had a more solid look about it, with Matija Nastasic fit again to play alongside Joleon Lescott.

But City started slowly and Hull frustrated the hosts with strong defending and by chasing everything. City fans made their irritation known.

City goalkeeper Joe Hart, under scrutiny for making several mistakes this season, seemed uncertain as Hull made an early move into the box, but Pablo Zabaleta cleared the danger.

Hull should have claimed the lead in the seventh minute when Danny Graham's ball took a fortunate ricochet off Nastasic and sent Sone Aluko clear. But Aluko squandered a glorious opportunity as he scuffed a low shot wide after reaching the edge of the area unchallenged.

It sparked a lively passage of play, including a Hull goal that was ruled offside. Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor also made a number of fine saves.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini substituted Edin Dzeko for new signing Negredo at the start of the second half. Negredo's first contribution was to head wide from Silva's cross three minutes after coming on.

It was a while before the next chance materialized as Hull continued to battle and City struggled to piece together meaningful attacks.

City finally produced some quality to break the deadlock with a good attack down the right flank in the 64th minute.

Zabaleta got behind the defense and whipped an inviting cross for Negredo, who moved into space and leapt high to plant a firm header past McGregor.

And the victory was secured in the 90th minute when substitute Samir Nasri was fouled on the edge of the box, and Toure stepped up to take the free kick, which landed in the net.

AP

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