West Brom 3-1 Hull City post-match analysis: Aerial problems again for Hull

West Brom 3-1 Hull City post-match analysis: Aerial problems again for Hull

The Tigers dropped back to bottom of the table after a 3-1 defeat to West Brom.

Chris Lincoln

It was a case of deja-vu for Premier League strugglers Hull City, as they gifted West Brom three points after a promising start to the contest.

Promising start for the visitors

The Tigers certainly started the game with a bite to their play and a point to prove following eight top flight games without a victory. In previous weeks Hull fans were becoming accustomed to seeing just one or two players make strides into the penalty area. Yet a more direct Adama Diomande joined Dieumerci Mbokani in a two-pronged attack, whilst Robert Snodgrass supported as they went forward and Jake Livermore made runs from midfield.

Behind the more adventurous quartet was Tom Huddlestone who was starting to rekindle the influence that he showed with his passing ability as a Tottenham Hotspur player. As Andrew Robertson and Ahmed Elmohamady hugged the touchlines, Huddlestone utilised numerous pinpoint diagonal passes to set the wide players on their way. When Snodgrass opened the scoring as West Brom failed to pick up his movement into the penalty area, it was no less than Hull deserved.

In previous matches Hull have been guilty of sitting too deep straight after taking the lead, but they continued to look adventuorus after the opener. Diomande was only thwarted from adding a second by a last-ditch sliding tackle by Gareth McAuley.

Huddlestone dictated play in the first half (photo: Getty Images)
Huddlestone dictated play in the first half (photo: Getty Images)

Familiar problems in defence

However, warning signs were still evident for Hull in another area they have failed to be effective. Defending aerial crosses has been problematic for the Tigers all season and they nearly conceded when Matt Phillips was afforded a free header towards the end of the first-half.

Hull failed to heed the earlier warnings and eventually West Brom made them pay, as you would expect from the highest scorers of headers in the Premier League. Chris Brunt, an unlikely source from a team of aerial threats, was allowed the freedom of the Hull penalty area as Harry Maguire inadvertently blocked Brunt's marker Mbokani from a corner.

Even then the Tigers failed to respond and just minutes later McAuley was granted the same time and space. This time it was Livermore who lost his man before the ball was adjudged to have crossed the line, with Sam Clucas inexplicably attempting to block the ball from behind the goal-line.

It was at that point that the energy had clearly been sapped from the visitors. West brom players continuously skipped past their fatigued opponents and eventually it was no surprise to see James Morrison react quicker than Elmohamady to net a third. Unfortunately for Hull it was to mark the end of Mike Phelan's short reign as manager.