First-half goals from Chris Wood and Tom Adeyemi claim the win at Elland Road...
UNITED 2 (Wood 30, Adeyemi), HULL 1 (Elmohamady 51)
United team: Silvestri, Wootton, Bellusci, Cooper, Taylor, Dallas (Murphy 80), Adeyemi, Cook, Bridcutt, Mowatt (Byram 73), Wood (Doukara 90+2). Subs: Peacock-Farrell, Botaka, Erwin, Antenucci.
Hull team: McGregor, Odubajo, Bruce (Davies 20), Huddlestone, Clucas, Maguire (Akpom 71), Livermore, Diame, Aluko (Snodgrass 81), Robertson, Elmohamady. Subs: Jakupovic, Taylor, Hayden, Luer.
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Booked: Cook, Adeyemi, Silvestri (United)
Attendance: 24,962 (2,591 Hull)
The visit of Hull City saw United head coach Steve Evans make just the one change from the previous weekend's defeat at QPR, replacing Mirco Antenucci with Tom Adeyemi in a slight shift in formation at Elland Road. On-loan midfielder Liam Bridcutt maintained his place in the starting line-up to make his home debut, while captain Sol Bamba remained sidelined with a fractured toe.
Hull were the first to threaten during a lively start to proceedings, with former United defender Alex Bruce forcing Marco Silvestri to beat away his half-volley after a third-minute corner had found its way into his path at the back post.
Stuart Dallas then had United’s first effort on goal on the 11th-minute mark, latching onto Chris Wood’s knockdown before unleashing a swerving strike well wide of Allan McGregor’s far post.
McGregor comfortably held a speculative free-kick from Giuseppe Bellusci moments later, but clear-cut chances were at a premium during the early exchanges.
Hull were forced into an early chance as Bruce pulled up with injury – Curtis Davies replacing him in defence – but Leeds were growing into the game and Adeyemi was slotted through on goal by Lewis Cook on 25 minutes, only for McGregor to smother his effort from a tight angle.
The visitors threatened at the opposite end as Tom Huddlestone’s low strike glanced the side-netting after a corner was cleared into his path, before Leeds broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark.
A flowing move down the right saw Cook thread Dallas into space, allowing the winger to pick out an inch-perfect cross for Wood to sweep beyond McGregor in front of the South Stand for his seventh goal of the season.
And the lead could have been doubled just four minutes later as Alex Mowatt stole the ball from the toes of Harry Maguire on the edge of the area before rattling the crossbar with McGregor rooted to the spot.
But a second United goal was to come on the stroke of half-time, Adeyemi slamming the ball home from inside the area after Cook’s volley was pushed into his path by McGregor following a corner. It gave Evans’ side a deserved two-goal lead going into the break on the back of a strong first-half showing against the promotion hopefuls.
The two sides re-emerged from the interval unchanged and Hull looked to mount a response during a lively start to the second half from Steve Bruce’s side.
And they managed to find a way back into the game within just six minutes of the restart, Ahmed Elmohamady turning home a left-wing cross from close-range to reduce the deficit.
Hull were forcing United to defend deep and Silvestri was called upon to hold Jake Livermore’s effort from range and to claw away Mohamed Diame’s curling attempt from the edge of the area with a superb, one-handed save.
The United keeper then palmed away a low strike from Sam Clucas at his near-post, before both teams took turns to introduce fresh legs. Hull were first, replacing Maguire with Chuba Akpom, while United brought Sam Byram on for Mowatt with just over 20 minutes remaining.
Hull soon introduced former United winger Robert Snodgrass and the visitors continued to press, with Elmohamady towering a back-post header inches away from Silvestri’s post.
Akpom then passed up a golden opportunity as the game entered added time, heading wide from little more than six yards out after being found unmarked by Snodgrass, but United held firm in the closing minutes to see out a much-needed win.