Match Analysis: Hull City 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Shane Long of Hull City celebrates his debut goal with team-mate Robbie Brady during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Tottenham Hotspur at KC Stadium on February 01, 2014
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Sports Mole analyses the 1-1 draw between Hull City and Tottenham Hotspur at the KC Stadium.

Shane Long ended Hull City's four-game goal drought by opening his account for the club to earn them a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at the KC Stadium.

The £7m-signing from West Bromwich Albion sprinted onto a flick from Nikica Jelavic to lift the ball over Hugo Lloris and give the Tigers a 12th-minute lead.

Paulinho, making his first start in a month, equalised for Spurs with a powerful shot on the turn on 61 minutes, but the hosts stood firm to claim their first point of 2014 and halt their five-match losing run.

Below, Sports Mole analyses whether the result was reflective of the action on Humberside.

Match statistics

Hull:
Shots: 8
On target: 3
Possession: 39%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 12

Tottenham:
Shots: 19
On target: 3
Possession: 61%
Corners: 10
Fouls: 9

Was the result fair?

Hull were thoroughly deserving of their point. Despite their considerably superior possession stats, Spurs were never creative enough to launch the bombardment of attacks that the hosts may have been expecting after the Lillywhites drew level. In fact, if any side feel that they should have pinched this game, then it will be the Tigers, who struck the post through Jelavic in the second period.

Hull's performance

The first thing that Steve Bruce's men should be commended for is their fantastic work rate, which existed from front to back. Their constant pressing of Tottenham did not allow the visitors to get into a passing rhythm and Spurs had 61% of possession throughout, so that is a lot of chasing down! Long led this effort, but the Irishman showed that he is more than a willing runner with his cool finish for Hull's goal, and his encouraging link up play with new strike partner Jelavic. A Hull defence which were put under some, but not severe pressure from Spurs in the latter stages, were compact and comfortably stood firm. Three or four more games into his Tigers career and a rusty Jelavic may have won them the game, but he hit the foot of the woodwork from a tight angle and saw Lloris save well from his late shot across goal.

Tottenham's performance

This display will come as a major disappointment to Tim Sherwood, who had called on his side to respond to another drubbing by Manchester City. An early defensive mistake from Michael Dawson, who charged across the pitch to leave a huge gap for an unchecked Long to run into, was not the start that he was hoping for. Christian Eriksen appeared to be the bright spark who could convert Tottenham's dominance in possession into chances on goal and find them a route back into the game. However, the Dane was not utilised anywhere near often enough. Other forward options who saw more of the ball, such as Roberto Soldado and Aaron Lennon, did very little with it. Spurs fans must be pining for the return of Andros Townsend, someone who has a desire to make things happen. Sherwood's reluctance to play a genuine holding midfielder may have prevented Tottenham's attacking full-backs from galloping forward as they can do so effectively, depriving them of an attacking option. Positives - Jan Vertonghen and Paulinho returning from injury, and the Brazilian's finish for the equaliser was a fine strike indeed.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Shane Long: The Irishman scored for the first time in Tigers colours in the 12th minute, showing his under-appreciated pace to get clear of Kyle Walker and then exhibiting great composure to lift over Lloris. It was his all-round play, though, that endeared him to the KC Stadium crowd on his home debut, as he illustrated tireless running to lead Hull's relentless pressing of Spurs when they had possession. A clever dink to the back post nearly provided Jelavic with a winning goal as well, as signs of a promising strike partnership were on display.

Biggest gaffe

Lloris is known for being very quick when coming off his line, but, today, the French sweeper-keeper's judgement was slightly awry. Twice he charged out to try and thwart a Hull forward, and on neither occasion did he get to the ball first. He was fortunate that these rushes of blood did not cost Spurs on the scoresheet. A retreating Dawson cleared a goal-bound Jelavic shot and spared his blushes on one occasion.

Referee performance

Anthony Taylor had a good game, correctly turning down a couple of penalty shouts from Spurs after Danny Rose and Soldado hit the ground in each half. David Meyler, though, perhaps should have been punished for a late tackle on Nabil Bentaleb, which caught the teenage midfielder on the ankle.

What next?

Hull: Bruce takes the Tigers to the Stadium of Light to face one of his former clubs Sunderland, whose two straight wins have seen them move level on points with Hull in the Premier League table.

Tottenham: Spurs could be five points adrift of fourth-place Liverpool when they host their Merseyside rivals, and another contenders for Champions League qualification, Everton, next Saturday.

Paulinho of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring a goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Tottenham Hotspur at KC Stadium on February 1, 2014
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