SWANSEA, United Kingdom (AFP) - Late goals by Shaun Maloney and Abel Hernandez gave under-strength Hull City a 2-0 win away at Swansea City on Saturday (Aug 20) and a perfect start to their Premier League campaign of two wins from two.
Caretaker manager Mike Phelan, who has been in charge since Steve Bruce resigned shortly before the start of the season, could well see his job made permanent as Hull recorded back-to-back wins at the start of the season for the first time in their history in the top flight.
Swansea's new American owners, who were watching from the stands, will be hoping their players show as much spirit as the 'Tigers', who had only 13 fully-fit first-team players but in Scotland international Robert Snodgrass had the best player on the pitch.
The hosts came rocketing out of the blocks, Icelandic international Gylfi Sigurdsson unleashing a thunderbolt of an effort from the edge of the box only for Hull 'keeper Eldin Jakupovic to somehow get his fingertips to it, enough to tip it against the crossbar and away to safety.
Swansea largely dominated the first half but their Spanish international striker Fernando Llorente has yet to show he has rediscovered his nose for goal, spurning several chances.
The lack of an end product wasted the sterling creative efforts of Gambian Modou Barrow, who caused endless problems for the Hull defence and at one point thought he had won a penalty when he was felled by Andy Robertson only for referee Stuart Attwell to dismissively wave play on.
Hull relied largely on the counter-attack and they might have gone in front on the break when a superb ball from Snodgrass picked out Adama Diomande.
The Norwegian worked himself free in the penalty area but lashed his shot harmlessly wide with only Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to beat.
Hull for their part finished the half feeling aggrieved with Attwell, who turned down appeals for a penalty when Snodgrass was brought down with a scything challenge by Jordi Amat.
Snodgrass, who scored in their surprise opening win over champions Leicester City, then went close to opening the scoring in the second half as his goalbound effort was blocked by Stephen Kingsley.
Hull turned on the pressure in the final quarter of the match with Snodgrass at the hub of everything, a corner of his being met by Curtis Davies, whose header was superbly saved by Fabianski.
However, the visitors were not to be denied and another blissfully-delivered ball by Snodgrass was met by Davies' head and substitute Maloney nipped in to score.
Maloney turned provider in time added on, selflessly passing to Hernandez who slotted the ball home.