Thursday, 2 February 2017

Match report: United 0-0 Hull City

Hull keeper Eldin Jakupovic made a string of superb saves to frustrate United as the struggling Tigers held on for a draw at Old Trafford. 

Having edged out Marco Silva's rapidly improving outfit over two legs in the EFL Cup, the Reds dominated throughout but were repeatedly denied by an inspired performance from the visitors in-form keeper.

The teams third meeting in 23 days followed a similar pattern to the previous two as United found the stubborn and resilient Tigers a tough nut to crack. 

He saved brilliantly from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, tipped away Paul Pogba's piledriver, thwarted Marcos Rojo and produced one of the saves of the season to somehow keep out Juan Mata.

Hull had chances of their own, however, and came within inches of the ultimate smash-and-grab raid as on loan Liverpool man Lazar Markovic fired against a post late on.

Harry Maguire headed wide when well placed early on, before Jakupovic quickly found himself in the thick of the action.

Ibrahimovic let fly with a 25-yarder which was tipped wide and Pogba was also denied by the Swiss before Marcos Rojo went close with a header after Marcus Rashford had picked him out.

The Reds continued to probe patiently and carved out their best opportunity of the match shortly after the resumption.
Rashford latched on to Pogba's magnificent, defence-splitting pass and burst into the box, but he could only roll his low effort agonisingly wide.

Ibrahimovic then fired wide on the turn after Rashford's flick on from Antonio Valencia's cross.

Mata was then introduced in place of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and the best chance of the game went the way of the Spaniard on 64 minutes.

Fellow substitute Chris Smalling headed back across goal and Mata, unmarked at the back post six yards out, somehow failed to turn the ball home as Jakupovic magnificently saved on the line.

Despite their pressure, the Reds found clear-cut chances hard to come by as Hull continued to hold firm.
Instead, it was the East Yorkshire outfit who almost stole all three points late on.

Markovic's well struck effort from an angle had De Gea beaten but came back off a post, and then Abel Hernandez found himself one on one but could only fire straight at the keeper. 

At the other end, Rojo's looping header and a Pogba curler were kept out by the heroic Jakupovic as the Reds continued to press for a winner.

Despite five minutes of stoppage time, however, United's luck was out and Hull held on for a point. 

Overall team performance: 7/10
United Faithful Man of the Match: Paul Pogba 

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