Dec 9, 2013, 4:59 PM EDT
Hull City picked up a valuable road point as Swansea’s season of missed opportunities at home continued when the team’s finished level at 1-1 in Monday’s Premier League contest in Wales.
This was just Hull’s fourth road point of the campaign.
Both teams remain solidly mid-pack, not so very far behind decorated Manchester United – but not far beyond the relegation watch list, either. Still, it’s not bad considering Monday’s match was the first Premier League meeting of two clubs that, less than 10 years ago, were meeting up in England’ lowly fourth tier.
Michu returned for Swansea after more than a month out due to injury, manager Michael Laudrup getting his Spanish scorer right back into the starting lineup without benefit of appearances off the bench to re-acclimate.
But it was Hull with the early score, and what a time for Tigers’ striker Danny Graham to break his long, personal scoring drought, one that goes almost a full calendar year, and doing so against his old club. Graham’s previous Premier League strike had come for Swansea last January against Chelsea, with a completely unsuccessful loan to Sunderland into between the career stops.
The gap in minutes between goals had grown to 1,626 in Premier League contests, or about 18 full matches of action.
The early breakthrough came on a sloppy pass out the Swans back line, picked up by Ahmed Elmohamady, Hull’s busy right back, who was his team’s top man once again on Monday, broke forward aggressively. His bright, pinpoint delivery could not have been better, finding Graham at the far post for the tidy put-away, only the 13th goal for Hull this year. Just two PL clubs have scored fewer, in fact.
Hull had a good defensive plan and kept Swansea, troubled this year to get the job done at home, from any real penetration before the break. The Swans had plenty of possession, but little in dangerous areas.
Swansea got itself together and ramped up the pressure after the break, and the equalizer finally arrived after a 60th minute short corner. Jonjo Shelvey banged a ball hard from the left side, one that Hull just couldn’t deal with. It was Chico, Swansea’s Spanish midfielder, credited with the goal, which possibly came off his arm.
Speaking of arms for the home team: the visitors were denied a seemingly obvious penalty kick when Swansea’s Dwight Tiendalli brought his hands together around his chest in the 70th minute, an seriously odd piece of work. Referee Martin Atkinson, who appeared to have a good view of it, declined to call what looked like something so obvious.
Swansea: Tremmel, Tiendalli, Chico, Williams, Davies, Canas, de Guzman, Shelvey, Dyer, Hernandez (Routledge, 67th), Michu
Hull City: McGregor, Figueroa, Bruce, Chester, Davies, Meyler, Huddlestone, Graham (Koren, 65th), Livermore, Sagbo, Elmohamady
Hull City – Graham, 8th minute
Swansea – Chico, 60th minute
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