Hull City 1-3 Sheffield United: Tigers finally score but still blunted by Blades
Photo: Ed Sykes for Getty Images/CameraSport

Sheffield United heaped misery on Hull City and Grant McCann as the Tigers were beaten 1-3 at the MKM Stadium.

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Billy Sharp scored after 17 minutes with an easy header, but the striker missed a penalty just before half time with Matt Ingram saving well to his right. However, John Egan scored two goals in 11 second half minutes to put the game beyond the Tigers who did finally score after six games without netting. Keane Lewis-Potter finished off a nice move on 74 minutes to give McCann's side some credibility but Hull now haven't won since the opening day of the season.

  • Story of the match

First Half

Sheffield United got the game underway and tried to get the ball forward at the first opportunity, but Lewie Coyle won the first free kick of the game, taking the pressure of the Tigers defence. City won the first corner of the game - poorly taken by George Moncur - but after winning back possession, Matt Smith had the first shot of the game that went high and wide.

United had a bit of pressure on the home defence on eight minutes, but the ball eventually went out for a Hull goal kick and allowed them to get it forward quickly with Keane Lewis-Potter winning a corner on nine minutes. A short corner routine from Callum Elder and Moncur allowed for a number of crossing opportunities, but the United defence cleared their lines easily each time. Good defending from Jacob Greaves at the other end stopped a shooting opportunity for Rhian Brewster, starting for Sander Berge who was injured in the warm up.

City had a shout for a penalty on 14 minutes when Lewis-Potter went down, but the referee waved play on quickly. On 17 minutes, United scored with their first real chance of the game. Billy Sharp headed in from Morgan Gibbs-White's crossed to give the Blades the lead.

The home side looked shell-shocked after their visitors scored with their only real chance of the game, and there were a few misplaced passes starting to creep into their game. Elder's long throw was a tactic used by the Tigers that almost paid off when Greaves' header was cleared on 23 minutes. Good work from Mallik Wilks soon after put in Josh Magennis, but his cross just didn't quite reach Lewis-Potter as the Blades cleared.

To be fair to the home side, they did try get the ball forward and wide where they could. United's defense just looked to have the edge at the Tigers tried to find a way through their back line. Richie Smallwood's drive from range tested Robin Olsen diving low to his left on 34 minutes. City continued to try push and won another corner on 39 minutes - with the referee constantly having to remind the visitors about their physical approach to the game. Di-Shon Bernard went close from range but his header didn't trouble Olsen. 

Elder put Lewis-Potter in behind and the young winger won yet another corner on 41 minutes but this time Moncur floated it to the edge of the area where Lewie Coyle got his shot all wrong, sending the ball high into the North Stand.

Then the controversy hit just before half time. Jacob Greaves appeared to win the ball from Billy Sharp who was in behind the defence, but the referee gave a spot kick and booked Greaves. The Tigers deservedly got justice though, with Matt Ingram superbly saving the spot kick that should never have been diving to his right to keep Sharp's spot kick out.

After two minutes of added time, the first half came to a close with the Tigers having it all to do in the second period.

Second Half

Grant McCann made two substitutions at half time, with Andy Cannon and George Honeyman coming on for Matt Smith and Josh Magennis respectively. Honeyman was making his first appearance of the season, and it didn't take him long to get in the thick of the action and in the referee's notebook - only two minutes into the half and jhis was already cautioned. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they went 0-2 down on 49 minutes when John Egan headed in from close range following a corner.

Brewster won a free kick on 56 minutes when he was wrestled to the floor by Smallwood, but the Tigers cleared their lines this time. Gibbs-White tested Ingram from the edge of the area soon after with the City keeper at full stretch to put the ball behind for a corner. From the resulting corner, Egan struck again to make it 0-3. 

Wilks and Lewis-Potter combined to fashion a chance for Moncur on 63 minutes but his shot was blocked by the Blades defense. McCann threw on Tyler Smith to try make the Tigers more threatening going forward and Hull were denied yet another penalty when Wilks looked to be tripped in the area,  but the referee ignored it - as he did with the clear trip on Tyler Smith when he was in behind the defense.

Hull finally broke their six-match duck on 74 minutes when Honeyman played in Smith and he squared the ball across the area for Lewis-Potter to finally give the Tigers faithful something to cheer. Tyler Smith had the ball in the net on 77 minutes but the lineman's flag harshly went up and may have been different had VAR been an option in the Championship.

The game petered out rather in the last ten minutes or so with neither side really threatening either goal. McCann's men competed for much of the match, but gave sloppy goals away at crucial times and it was another harsh reminder - not that they needed one - that teams in the Championship will punish you given half a chance.

  • Takeaways from the match

Hull City finally score, but problems remain

Keane Lewis-Potter did net for the Tigers - as did Tyler Smith before being harshly ruled out for offside - but the Tigers look a shadow of the team that trounced Preston North End 4-1 on the opening day of the season. McCann has much work to do if he is to stop the rot, with the Tigers scoring only five league goals this season so far.

Blades punish naive Tigers

Sheffield United were not at their best in the first half, but showed the Tigers how it should be done - particularly from set pieces. John Egan was a huge threat and netted a brace in a win the Blades will feel they richly deserved.

  • Stand-out players

John Egan was excellent for the visitors, as was Morgan Gibbs-White. The Blades looked comfortable for most of the game and despite conceding three goals, Matt Ingram was one of the stand-out players for the Tigers. He saved a first half penalty and made some important stops to keep the score down to three. George Honeyman made a difference going forward for the Tigers, as did Tyler Smith - and both of those will surely be pushing for a start next game.

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