Premier League: Hull City hammer Fulham 6-0 at the KC Stadium
Last Updated: 28/12/13 6:16pm
Hull City brought the curtain down on 2013 in style as they routed lowly Fulham 6-0 at the KC Stadium.
It looked like being a frustrating afternoon for the hosts as they bossed the first half but entered the interval without troubling the scorers.
Best of the match
- Man of the match: Tom Huddlestone. Ran the show and netted a deserved goal.
- Goal of the match: Yannick Sagbo provided the perfect weighted cross for Robert Koren to net his first of the afternoon.
- Moment of the match: Once Ahmed Elmohamady opened the scoring, Fulham crumbled and the floodgates opened.
- Talking point: Can Hull City finish in the top-half of the table? Can Fulham recover from this and steer clear of trouble?
The floodgates were soon to open, though, with Ahmed Elmohamady breaking the deadlock four minutes after the re-start after Fulham allowed him too much space at a corner.
Three further goals then followed in a whirlwind six-minute spell around the hour mark, with Robert Koren netting his first of the afternoon, George Boyd drilling low into the bottom corner and the impressive Tom Huddlestone firing in a deserved 25-yard drive.
A 40-yard free-kick from Huddlestone was then touched onto the crossbar for substitute Matty Fryatt to bundle in the rebound and Koren wrapped things up six minutes from time as he ensured that the most porous defence in the Premier League endured another afternoon to forget and one which keeps Fulham firmly wedged into the relegation zone.
After a dull first half, the battering Hull inflicted on their hapless visitors took on a slightly surreal air and they might easily have reached double figures.
Hull are not a prolific side and to sustain such a comprehensive hammering, their worst of the Premier League era, must leave Fulham psychologically scarred in their relegation battle.
The man who was at the coal face of this humbling was goalkeeper David Stockdale, who spent the second half of last season on loan at the KC Stadium and shared in the club's promotion success.
Huddlestone soon established himself as Stockdale's chief adversary, working him with a skiddy free-kick from the left and then rattling the post from a similar position on the opposite flank.
Hull were starting to assert themselves by now and moments after hitting the woodwork Boyd met Elmohamady's cross from six yards. The midfielder did not get the cleanest connection but his effort would still have crept under the crossbar had Stockdale not got a hand to it.
Fulham managed to push their hosts a little deeper as the match progressed and by the time referee Robert Madley blew for half-time all semblance of intensity had seeped out of the game.
The Tigers immediately poured forward after the re-start, Huddlestone dragging a 20-yard effort fractionally wide before Stockdale made a fine double save to deny Yannick Sagbo and Koren.
It was a brave intervention but it merely served to delay the inevitable.
From the resulting corner Elmohamady managed to bring the bouncing ball under control and lashed into the top corner on the turn.
Fulham suddenly lost their shape and it was no surprise when Koren bagged Hull's second on the hour. Sagbo, increasingly influential, played provider with a pinpoint cross from the right with captain Koren providing the finishing touch for his first of the season.
Just three minutes later Boyd was joining the fun, collecting Jake Livermore's through ball and twisting into space as defenders inexplicably backed away from him. He took aim for the bottom corner and found it with aplomb.
Hull were eager to cash in and it was with a sense of inevitability that Huddlestone tried his luck from 25 yards after Maynor Figueroa's drive was charged down.
After a season of trying and failing to find the net, his radar finally came good, and he immediately headed to the sidelines where physio Rob Price was waiting to trim his trademark locks.
With Fulham now looking likely to concede from every attack, Huddlestone almost scored a spectacular second - but Fryatt was on hand to tap home after his long-distance free-kick effort came back off the woodwork.
Fulham's ragged back-line yawned open one final time to allow Koren a simple second from close range, completing the rout.
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Hull City v Fulham
Rene Meulensteen says Fulham must focus on repairing their confidence following the 6-0 hammering by Hull on Saturday.
Steve Bruce admits Hull City enjoyed an 'incredible' afternoon as they hammered Fulham 6-0 at the KC Stadium.
Steve Sidwell admits he is very shocked by how poor Fulham were against Hull considering their recent good form.