Hull City vs Crystal Palace highlights.CRYSTAL Palace fell to a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Hull City this afternoon, courtesy of goals from Mo Diame and Nikica Jelavic.
And Jelavic wrapped it up at the end after a mistake from Palace midfielder Joe Ledley allowed the striker to beat Julian Speroni with ease.
Neil Warnock’s unbeaten run in the league is over after five games – and following the international break they face Chelsea in two weeks’ time.
To make matters worse, defender Scott Dann could be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after being stretched off after just 12 minutes with suspected ligament damage to his knee.
Jelavic headed over inside the opening 90 seconds as the hosts looked to start off the brighter.
Palace had a chance at the other end themselves when Mile Jedinak curled narrowly over from a free-kick.
But the Eagles suffered an early blow when centre-back Scott Dann had to be carried off on a stretcher as Hull cranked up the pressure to win a corner.
Adrian Mariappa came on to replace him and Martin Kelly moved inside to partner Damien Delaney in the heart of defence.
Neil Warnock’s men, however, soon got back into the contest and pressed forward, with Mariappa and Puncheon linking up well down the right and Yannick Bolasie teasing James Chester on the left with some close skilful play.
Andy Robertson arrowed an effort just past Julian Speroni’s far post before the chances dried up at both ends.
Both sides enjoyed their fair share of possession but weren’t pushing on as the game became a scrappy affair in and around the half-hour mark.
To Palace’s credit, they were hardly troubled at the back despite losing Dann, but they were nearly caught out when Mo Diame played a one-two and delivered across the six-yard box but no one could connect for the hosts.
As the first half came to a close, Hull were a whisker away from opening the scoring when Robertson cut a low ball back to Abel Hernandez, who curled a first-time shot just wide of the far post.
Puncheon had the first effort of the second period, shooting wildly over after cutting in from the right, before Jedinak went close to getting his head to corner at the near post.
At the other end the Palace wall stood firm twice to block an initial free-kick on the edge of the box and then the follow-up, while Kevin Blackwell came down from the stands to pass on instructions to first team coach Ben Garner.
Delaney nearly sliced into his own net following a ball in from the right and then centre-back Curtis Davies placed well over Speroni’s bar completely unmarked after a decent cut-back.
But on the hour-mark they deservedly took the lead through Mo Diame.
Robertson looked up on the left and delivered superbly for the centre defender to power a header home past Speroni from six yards.
Marouane Chamakh then came on for Campbell to the delight of the Hull fans, who had booed the striker all afternoon for his previous connections with the club.
Shortly afterwards, Dwight Gayle replaced James McArthur as Warnock had no choice but to for it in attack.
But it was Bolasie who nearly dragged the Eagles back into out from range when his piledriver from range was expertly tipped over by veteran Steve Harper.
From the resulting corner, the ball was played back out to Delaney, who whipped a ball into the back post but Puncheon’s header was poor.
The winger wasted another chance with eight minutes remaining, curling over from the edge of the box after Gayle’s shot was charged down into his path.
Speroni was nearly caught out as he went to clear a back-pass when Jelavic charged it down but luckily it went away from goal.
However the striker got the better of the custodian in the last minute when he doubled Hull’s lead to end the game.
Ledley was dispossessed by Livermore down the middle of the park as Palace pressed for an equaliser, and the former Spurs midfielder played a superb ball beyond the outstretched Delaney into the forward’s feet.
Cutting back inside after Martin Kelly had got back to cover, he shot low into the bottom corner to beat Speroni and end the game.
Warnock’s unbeaten run in the league was over.
Palace nearly got a goal back when Delaney’s header was cleared off the line by substitute Liam Rosenior from a corner, before Hull could have added a third at the death only for Tom Huddlestone to see his effort blocked by Mariappa.
Palace: Speroni, Kelly, Dann (Mariappa 12), Delaney, Ward, Jedinak, Ledley, McArthur (Gayle ), Bolasie, Puncheon, Campbell (Chamakh 63).
Subs Not Used: Hennessey, Guedi
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