Wayne Rooney scored his 150th Premier League goal for Manchester United as the champions came from two down to secure a vastly-entertaining Boxing Day triumph at the KC Stadium.
Having arrived late to the venue due to traffic congestion, the Reds made a poor start and conceded after just four minutes when ex-United player James Chester latched onto Alex Bruce’s header to score Hull City’s opener from close-range – although replays showed the corner that led to the goal should not have been given. Things then went from bad to worse as Jonny Evans diverted David Meyler’s weak shot past a helpless David De Gea.
With backs against the wall, United reacted quickly as Adnan Januzaj (on for the injured Rafael) won a free kick on the right wing, teeing up Chris Smalling to score from an expertly delivered Rooney setpiece. The latter then restored parity himself with a brilliantly taken half-volley that comfortably beat goalkeeper Allan McGregor from around 25 yards.
Hull’s manager, the United legend Steve Bruce, made two enforced changes at the break – replacing goalkeeper McGregor with deputy Steve Harper and sending on Robert Koren in Meyler’s place. His side restarted brightly, almost taking the lead on 52 minutes when Yannick Sagbo’s powerful drive forced a decent save from De Gea. Bruce’s son Alex then struck the bar with a thumping header on the hour.
Thankfully, the Reds were relieved moments later when Ashley Young’s cross was headed into his own net by Chester. The latter’s 66th-minute error ultimately sealed a terrific win, although the Reds were also grateful to De Gea for denying Danny Graham with a crucial block in injury time. The victory lifted United up to sixth place in the Barclays Premier League before the other Boxing Day matches kicked off.
Merry Christmas lads!
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