Hull enjoyed a dream return to the Premier League, as they started the new season by producing a courageous performance to surprisingly defeat reigning champions Leicester.
Hull overcome adversity to secure win
Despite being managerless and having only 13 senior players available, Hull defied their current problems to record an unlikely but deserved victory over an uncharacteristically lacklustre Leicester, who became the first team to begin a Premier League title defence with a defeat, since Arsenal did so in 1989, when the Gunners lost to Manchester United.
In stoppage time at the end of an evenly contested first half, Adama Diomande acrobatically gave Hull the lead, as the 26-year-old Norwegian internationalist striker marked his Premier League debut with a goal.
Just as the opening period closed amidst a flurry of activity, the second half began in similarly entertaining fashion, as Riyadh Mahrez equalised from the penalty spot.
Snodgrass a source of inspiration for under-strength Hull
However Hull superbly responded to that setback to earn all three points through Robert Snodgrass’ fine finish from the edge of Leicester’s box.
The match winning moment was all the more euphoric and special for Snodgrass, since during his last and only other appearance in the Premier League, which was also his Hull debut against QPR on the first day of the 2014-2015 season, the 28-year-old suffered a horrific knee injury which kept him out of action for 15 months.
Subsequently Snodgrass has shown a wealth of determination, resolve and strength to regain full fitness, with the 17-times capped Scottish internationalist possesses the potential to play a key role for Hull throughout the forthcoming season.
Ultimately the Tigers primary goal for that is to avoid relegation, which will be extremely difficult for them to accomplish, particularly if they are unable to strengthen their squad and continue to be without key senior players for any great length of time.
Nevertheless the positive manner in which Hull played against Leicester, whereby they attacked menacingly and purposefully, whilst defending solidly, suggests that their caretaker manager Mike Phelan has expertly prepared his team to handle the demands of playing in the Premier League.
Leicester make inauspicious start to title defence
Last season, Leicester did that better than any other team, however the Foxes produced an entirely unimpressive performance at the KCOM Stadium, whereby as well as being defensively vulnerable, they were guilty of wasteful finishing.
After scoring 24 Premier League goals last season, Jamie Vardy was unable to open his goal scoring account for the new season, despite being presented with several good opportunities to do so by Leicester record signing Ahmed Musa.
Therefore whilst Leicester’s title defence starting inauspiciously, Hull began the new season in far more promising form, which Phelan will aim to mastermind a continuation of when they play Swansea at the Liberty Stadium next Saturday. On that same day, Leicester will host Arsenal at the King Power Stadium. Ahead of that Ranieri will require to galvanise his players so that their play carries the effervesce and vibrancy, which it did last season.