As the Manchester City defender erred and a Hull City striker missed, it was a moment that provided a microcosm of Manuel Pellegrini's and Steve Bruce's priorities in the remainder of the transfer window. Out of position and out of sorts as Vincent Kompany's deputy, Joleon Lescott illustrated why Manchester City have signed Martín Demichelis, a right-sided and right-footed centre-back. As Sone Aluko scuffed his shot wide, it highlighted Hull's desperate need for a goalscorer.

The panacea for Pellegrini was swifter and simpler. Demichelis' long-awaited switch from Atlético Madrid was completed on Sunday night, the Argentinian signing a two-year contract after a £3.5m move. The former Bayern Munich defender, who played for Pellegrini at Málaga, is his fifth summer signing, swelling City's summer spending past the £90m mark.

Satisfaction seemed less likely for a downbeat Bruce. Nicklas Bendtner, a player he has borrowed in the past for Birmingham and Sunderland, is his prime target. Whether Hull can afford the Dane's £50,000-a-week wage is one issue; whether Bendtner will trade the chance of Champions League football for Arsenal, who may require him should they fail to sign a striker, for a side who were recently in the Championship, is another.

Hull, Bruce realises, is not the most appealing of destinations. "Where am I going to get a proven player who can score 12 or 15 goals in the Premier League? Even if I had the Humber Bridge to play with, can I get him here to Hull?" he asked. Having jokingly offered east Yorkshire's most famous landmark to José Mourinho in exchange for Frank Lampard's services, Bruce is clearly increasingly impatient to find ways of staying in the top flight for a second season.

As it is, Danny Graham is his only striker with a Premier League goal to his name, and his last came on 1 January. Aluko, Nick Proschwitz, Matty Fryatt and the suspended Yannick Sagbo are waiting to break their respective ducks. Meanwhile a former Hull target left Bruce wondering how he can find a finisher of similar ability for a fraction of the cost.

Phil Brown's bid for Alvaro Negredo four years ago remains one of the stranger incidents in Hull's history. It seems all the odder now he has commanded a £20m fee. A scorer 31 times for Sevilla last season, Negredo has now found the net on each of his three Manchester City appearances, even if the first was wrongly disallowed.

It is all the more impressive as he has been confined to cameos. Indeed, no sooner had the role as City's specialist substitute become vacant than the ideal applicant presented a compelling case. Negredo is the perfect candidate in every respect bar one: like Edin Dzeko before him he would rather be the leading man than restricted to walk-on parts.

Rather than replacing the Bosnian part way through the game, as he has done when scoring in the last two matches, the Spaniard would prefer to take over from his fellow forward in the starting line-up. "I will never get used to being on the bench," Negredo said. Once again plan B hopes to become plan A.

Perhaps his contributions are counterproductive: the more he excels as a substitute, the greater the temptation to afford others the start. So far Pellegrini has been honouring his pre-season pledge that Dzeko, so long the bit-part player, would be his first-choice forward.

Negredo has not received an explanation but nor is there dissent at the manager's decision. "He's not said anything at all to me," the summer signing said. "He's just said that Edin is playing from the start, so all I can do to try to change that is to keep on working in training and be ready whenever he calls on me from the bench."

When Pellegrini has called, Negredo has responded. Headers against Cardiff and Hull were testament to the import's aerial ability. He is one Spaniard who is more hustle and bustle than tiki-taka. "You have to run and run – we call it 'running streets' in Spanish – at those times when the opposition have the ball and there's lots of changes of possession and it's very intense," Negredo said, relishing the high-energy imperfections of the English game. "It's to my taste."

Street-runner turned match-winner, Negredo unlocked an obdurate defence, meeting Pablo Zabaleta's cross, before Yaya Touré's second with a free-kick. So while Lescott's fallibility did not cost Manchester City, the otherwise impressive Aluko's profligacy harmed Hull's chances.

Man of the match Tom Huddlestone (Hull City)