Hull City survive against Canaries
Hull City beat Norwich 1-0 despite playing for 60 minutes with 10-men
Hull City earned their first win of the season with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Norwich City.
In front of their home-crowd for the first time this season, Robbie Brady scored from the penalty spot, before Yannick Sagbo received a red card for a head-butt on Norwich's Russell Martin.
Hull reinforced their midfield following last weekend's defeat to Chelsea, with former Tottenham player Tom Huddlestone and Spurs loanee Jake Livermore making their debuts.
With new additions on both sides the opening exchanges were tentative, with neither team stamping their authority on the match. Norwich edged early proceedings with a close headed effort from debutant Leroy Fer, and impressive play from Nathan Redmond.
But with the Canaries failing to add the finishing touches to Redmond's build-up, in front of a passionate crowd the match was likely to turn only on the slightest of differences.
Referee Michael Jones contentiously turned down a claim by Norwich for a penalty, when Curtis Davies bundled Michael Turner to the ground, before awarding Hull a spot-kick at the other end when former Hull player Turner fouled Yannick Sagbo in the box.
Replays showed that contact from Turner was slight, and both managers agreed after the match that the decision was contentious. Brady had to wait for referee Jones to wave away lengthy protests from the Norwich players, but did well to calmly score his penalty and get Hull's season off to a start.
The controversy was not to end there, with Sagbo disappointingly ending his home debut only half an hour in with a head-butt on Russell Martin in the build up to a Norwich corner, directly in-front of the referee.
This left Hull having to defend their one goal lead with only ten men for over an hour, but their enhanced midfield restricted Norwich to largely speculative efforts from outside the box, with the most noteworthy coming from Jonny Howson.
For Hull, it will be some disappointment that Sagbo will face a three match ban for his red-card, however it is unlikely to dampen the spirits of the players, the manager nor their supporters, of whom a number had protested against plans to rename the club Hull City Tigers.
Manager Steve Bruce will undoubtedly be pleased not only with his side picking up their first points of the campaign, but also building on the strength shown to keep the deficit against Chelsea last weekend to two goals, with a spirited and resolute performance with only ten-men to see out victory.
They will go into next weekend hoping to build further on that strength when they come against Manchester City, while Norwich will look to make amends in a tough fixture against the sharp-looking Southampton.
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