Abel Hernandez, Tom Huddlestone on song as Hull City pip the Cherries

The biggest win of Hull City's season, bar none.

Despite trailing inside three minutes through Junior Stanislas' penalty and threatening to go under during a first quarter dominated by Bournemouth, the Tigers found the resolve and ruthlessness to turn a game on its head.

Abel Hernandez's well-taken brace put City in front before Tom Huddlestone's strike took a fortuitous deflection off Tyrone Mings to earn Marco Silva a winning start to life in the Premier League. Things will get more difficult very quickly, beginning away to Chelsea next weekend, but this win puts City firmly back in the hunt for survival.


For all City had performed manfully during the closing weeks of Mike Phelan's reign, the suspicion was that they'd become a team accustomed to falling short. Silva has not changed things enormously in his first 10 days as head coach but there is a sense of renewed belief that can follow a new man in through the door. Plenty are performing well under Silva but Hernandez's rebirth has been most encouraging. The striker who scored 23 goals last season has come back with a bang since the turn of the year. At last City have an attacking edge again.


Finding cause for disappointment was difficult inside a jubilant KCOM Stadium on Saturday, but even though injuries have eased and both Evandro and Oumar Niasse have arrived, there is still a pressing need to do business this month. At right-back especially. The absence of David Meyler, himself a central midfielder by trade, forced Harry Maguire to move across from the centre of defence and concede Bournemouth's early penalty. It is remarkable that a Premier League team is still not able to call upon a single right-back midway through the transfer window.

Manager rating out of 10

8 -- City supporters have been quick to warm to Silva and he set up a team that eventually got to grips with Bournemouth and never looked back. An eagerness to see his side press refused the visitors time to dictate play.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Eldin Jakupovic, 7 -- This game could have been very different had he not stopped Benik Afobe when clear through on goal with Bournemouth already 1-0 up. Saved smartly to keep out Jack Wilshere in a display that justified his spot.

DF Harry Maguire, 6 -- A central defender filling a hole at right-back and at times it showed. None more so than when he was lured into a needless challenge on Ryan Fraser. Plugged away but never quite convincing.

DF Michael Dawson, 7 -- A hairy moment when his hesitation let in Afobe to shoot straight at Jakupovic but recovered well to lead a steady defence. The captain was missed at Manchester United in midweek.

DF Curtis Davies, 7 -- Reunited with his partner of last season, the experienced pair worked well together to give City a steel rarely seen of late. Much improved from the uncertain display at West Brom last time out.

DF Andy Robertson, 8 -- There will not be a better cross in the Premier League all weekend than the one that picked out Hernandez for the opening goal. The direct left-back was a nuisance to Bournemouth all afternoon.

MF Adama Diomande, 6 -- Another square peg in a round hole on the right flank and another area Silva will look to address in the transfer market. Credit went to Diomande for his application and endeavour in an unfamiliar role.

MF Tom Huddlestone, 8 -- Once Bournemouth were subdued after the opening 25 minutes, the former England international really came into his own. Fine passing range and playing as well as any in City colours right now.

MF Ryan Mason, 7 -- The midfielder will not have enjoyed seeing Phelan sacked but it looks like being a blessing in disguise. Much improved in a central role under Silva and always looked to bring his side forward.

MF Sam Clucas, 6 -- Mason's re-emergence as a central midfielder has pushed Clucas out to the left and this wasn't his most influential performance. Left a minimal impression on the game despite his best efforts.

FW Robert Snodgrass, 7 -- The man who continues to court attention from around the Premier League again showed his value. A danger when dropping off between the liens and always a threat from dead balls.

FW Abel Hernandez, 8 -- You wonder where City and Phelan would be had Hernandez been fit for the last two months of 2016. One predatory finish and then a superb drilled effort to win his side three points. Huge impact.


MF Evandro, n/a -- The signing from Porto struggled to make his mark as Bournemouth pressed late on.

FW Oumar Niasse, n/a -- Will need time to sharpen up after an Everton nightmare.

MF Jake Livermore, n/a -- Last week's illness prevented the midfielder from keeping his place.