West Brom piled the misery on struggling Hull City as Tony Pulis’ side battled back from a goal down to claim a 3-1 Premier League win at The Hawthorns on Monday.
The Baggies, who came from 1-0 down to beat Southampton 2-1 on Saturday, were on the back foot for much of the first half and fell behind to Robert Snodgrass’ 21st-minute opener.
But the visitors failed to capitalise on an excellent first 45 minutes and their advantage was wiped out early in the second half when the unmarked Chris Brunt headed in from a corner.
West Brom – playing in their 400th Premier League game – then punished Hull’s evident lack of self-belief as Gareth McAuley netted, with referee Mark Clattenburg awarding the goal after a little help from goalline technology.
James Morrison’s effort ensured an eighth straight top-flight loss on the road for Mike Phelan’s embattled side, who remain mired in relegation trouble, in stark contrast to Pulis’ charges, riding high in eighth.
And yet it was a promising start for Hull, with Dieumerci Mbokani firing an ambitious shot into the side netting when he had team-mates awaiting a cross in the box.
Snodgrass – a rare bright spark in Hull’s season – won a free-kick 25 yards out in the 12th minute and the Scot, who scored from a similar range in Friday’s 2-2 draw against Everton, forced a save from Ben Foster.
The Tigers threatened again when Michael Dawson flashed an effort wide from the heart of the area and the lead was theirs two minutes later through talisman Snodgrass.
Ahmed Elmohamady hooked in a cross from the right and Snodgrass slid in for his seventh goal of the league campaign.
There was a further blow for the Baggies on the half-hour mark as Jonny Evans was forced off injured, though Pulis’ side did grow into the game and David Marshall had to be alert to keep out Matt Phillips’ header just before the break.
Having been so impressive in the first half, Hull allowed the hosts back into the match just four minutes into the second – Brunt powering home a close-range header from Phillips’ corner.
And the turnaround was completed just past the hour as McAuley’s header – again from a Phillips cross – beat Sam Clucas, who was stood behind the line in a poor attempt to guard the post.
The pain was not over there for Hull, as Morrison pounced to smash in the third after some abysmal defending in the 73rd minute.
West Brom looked content to sit on that lead for the remainder of the game, affording Phelan the opportunity to reflect on the growing desperation of Hull’s plight, with their focus distracted by consecutive cup games up next – at home to Swansea City in the FA Cup, and away to Manchester United in the EFL Cup.
Key Opta stats:
– Hull City have gone 22 games in all competitions without a clean sheet, their joint-worst run ever (also in 1936 and 1991).
– Robert Snodgrass has been directly involved in nine of Hull’s 17 Premier League goals this season (seven goals, two assists).
– Matt Phillips has been directly involved in 12 goals in his 19 top-flight appearances this season (four goals, eight assists), including four in his last two (one goal, three assists).
– Courtesy of Chris Brunt’s goal, the Baggies became the first side to hit double figures for headed goals in the Premier League this season (10, rising to 11 via Gareth McAuley goal).
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