Grant McCann told his Hull City side he would not entertain “hard luck stories” after they conceded twice late on to lose 2-0 away to Leeds United.
A gallant show of resistance saw the Tigers hold out admirably against an opponent that eventually moved top of the Championship, but fortune was not on their side as Leeds snatched a seventh consecutive win.
Jordy de Wijs’ own goal in the 73rd minute was a cruel way to go behind before Ezgjan Alioski then killed off City in the closing stages.
Chances came and went for City to punish their in-form hosts and a galling defeat has again left McCann’s side five points adrift of the top six.
“I’m not interested in hard luck stories or unlucky Hull, you’ve done all right,” said McCann.
“We’ve got zero points. I was pleased with the performance. I thought we played well for large periods of the game. What we’d worked on had worked well.”
Jordy de Wijs
Sold himself down the river when left behind by Bamford early on but he recovered to produce a stoic defensive effort. One block to deny Harrison summed up his value but his own goal eventually defined the contest. 6
Not an easy evening up against the tricky Costa, who managed to get in behind the full-back. Showed moments coming forward but did not heed the lesson as City were undone down his flank. 6
Leonardo Da Silva Lopes (starman)
Covered a huge amount of ground in his diligent protection of City’s back four and played as well as anyone in amber. Becoming a real asset for the Tigers in Stewart’s absence and continues to grow in stature. 8
It was a frustrating evening for Hull City at Elland Road.
Let’s start the morning by looking back at some of the reaction.
The Championship table might not depict Hull City among the most obvious candidates for promotion this season but scratch below the surface and the case for Grant McCann’s side challenging in 2020 holds water.
Four of the current top seven have already been beaten this season and another point – or more – was so very nearly taken from a fifth.
Leeds United might have made it seven straight wins to reclaim top spot ahead of West Brom but they were made to sweat up against a well-drilled and spirited City side.
The Tigers, in fact, came so very close to repeating another upset at Elland Road to rival that of last December. Tom Eaves twice had chances to add the gloss to a disciplined performance until all the good work in subduing Marcelo Bielsa’s side was cruelly undone with 15 minutes to play.
Jordy de Wijs’ own goal, deflecting Helda Costa’s cross past the wrong-footed George Long, was the sucker punch that sucked the life from City, before substitute Ezgjan Alioski made sure of another Leeds win in the 82nd minute.
City’s resilience had warranted more but there was no shame in losing to a Leeds side that now sits 11 points clear of third-placed Fulham. Plenty have done so already this season and you suspect many more will in the weeks and months to come.