James Chester scored at both ends against his old club as Manchester United recovered from 2-0 down to win 3-2
Well that was an excellent start to the Boxing Day football. AND TO THINK SOME POINDEXTERS IN BRUSSELS, OR WHEVER THE EU IS, WANT TO STOP US HAVING OUR CHRISTMAS FUN. United were 2-0 down after 13 minutes and defending like a pub team but the never-say-die spirit instilled by Sir Alex Ferguson lives on and back they came to win 3-2. The introduction of Adnan Januzaj inspired them, Wayne Rooney took control and David De Gea saved them after Antonio Valencia's moment of madness. That's a ballsy victory and they're up to sixth place for the time being. Hull stay 12th. Poor James Chester. Thanks for reading. Bye.
90 min+4: One last chance for Hull! The ball is headed down in the United area and they're basically queuing up to hit it - and Bruce screws wide from the edge of the area!
90 min+3: 10-man United are rocking and Chester should equalise for Hull! He should have his second goal and Hull should be level at the death! He was found in space on the left of the area by a magnificent pass from Boyd but a poor first touch allowed De Gea to come out and close down the angle, the Spaniard deflecting Chester's effort behind! He should have had a hat-trick. Sort of. De Gea punches the corner away.
90 min+1: Three minutes of stoppage time. And Hull are pressing.
90 min: United are down to 10 men! Valencia fouled Huddlestone in a harmless position on the right but then kicked the ball away petulantly, giving Michael Oliver no choice but to show him a second yellow card! What rank stupidity. David Moyes doesn't even look at him as he walks down the tunnel.
88 min: That chance seems to have given Hull a second wind and they're soon attacking again and United are causing problems for themselves again. De Gea comes to collect a high ball, only to flap it straight to the feet of a Hull attacker. Huddlestone and Graham both try to make something of it with the United goalkeeper stranded but neither can get the ball out from under their feet and De Gea is eventually able to deny Graham with, er, a perfectly time tackle.
87 min: Was this the chance for Hull? Sagbo won a 50-50 with Evra, who looks shot to be honest, and chips a fine cross to the far post, where Graham is unmarked. But he's backpedalling and, as such, is unable to achieve any power with his header, instead directing it straight at a grateful De Gea.
86 min: The camera just picked up what I think was David Moyes telling Danny Welbeck to come off "if you're struggling Danny". Or he could have been telling Welbeck to target a Hull defender who's struggling.
84 min: Huddlestone chips a diagonal ball into the area and Chester heads back across goal from the left but into De Gea's hands. Hull are offering little.
81 min: The game has drifted a bit since United took the lead. Hull haven't done much that suggests they're going to find a third goal and an equaliser. But you never know what can happen in this great game we call football.
78 min: Michael Carrick replaces Ashley Young. "Strange thesis from Gary Naylor," says Ronan Fitzgerald. "City have scored almost twice as many goals as Man United, Liverpool have a dozen more, United have less than Chelsea, Arsenal etc. So I'm not sure where this idea that they are on course for the top two with City could come from, but who knows, perhaps next year will be their year."
77 min: Elmohamady heads Young's cross behind for a corner on the left, but not before Alex Bruce runs into the post. Ouch. He's got a bloody nose. Where or where could he have got that from?
74 min: George Boyd is on for Hull, replacing Figueroa.
73 min: Rooney steps up but curls his free-kick wide, before unleashing a spittled stream of invective at Michael Oliver for not awarding him a corner. Instead he is awarded a yellow card for saying eff and cee.
72 min: Bruce, who proved he is a football man with two of the most British challenges of all time in the first half, is penalised for a foul on Welbeck on the edge of the area. This is a good position for United.
71 min: Januzaj's burst through the middle ends with Davies conceding a corner on the left as he looks to cut out a pass intended for Welbeck. United take it short. Nothing of any importance occurs.
68 min: United appeal for a penalty as Elmohamady appears to bring down Evra in the area but a goal-kick is awarded. Moyes is fuming. Feel the rage, David.
Oh dear. James Chester scores for the second time at the same end but this time it's for his old club and United, who were 2-0 down after 13 minutes, have the lead. It's a poor goal for Hull to concede. First Figueroa sold himself needlessly trying to cut out a pass from Welbeck to Young, but he missed it, allowing the United winger to get away from him. Young clipped a cross towards Rooney but the ball never reached him - instead there was Chester, rising imperiously, to head the ball emphatically past Harper from close range. Great finish. But probably not what Hull required.
63 min: Alex Bruce hits the bar for Hull! He met Huddlestone's corner from the right, beating his marker to the cross, and battered a header against the face of the bar, De Gea not bothering to move an inch. He really should have scored. What a let-off for United, whose defending has been so poor.
62 min: Javier Hernandez on, Darren Fletcher off. Rooney will presumably drop back. Once that substitution has been completed, a loose ball drops to Huddlestone 20 yards from goal but his piledriver is deflected wide by Evra for a corner on the right. No haircut for T-Hud!
60 min: Valencia suddenly gets himself in a tangle trying to deal with a long ball over the top but ends up clumsily bringing down Sagbo, who was threatening to get away from him and set off on a run towards goal. Valencia is booked and will miss United's next game.
58 min: Fletcher shoots from 25 yards out but there is no fairytale, Harper not troubled by a shot travelling at a leisurely pace, a shot which failed to realise the severity of the situation and will never be spoken of again.
57 min: Play is delayed while Michael Oliver demands to have a chat with Jake Livermore. Perhaps he wants to ask him whether he got an Xbox 1 yesterday.
54 min: Hull are starting to find their feet again and perhaps should have regained their lead. Davies attacks a Huddlestone corner, racing in front of Evra, but the ball skims off the top of his head and flashes wide. He probably should have scored.
53 min: Hang on, here come Hull. Elmohamady and Graham combine to set up a shooting opportunity for Sagbo inside the D. From a standing start, Sagbo swivels and pummels a shot on target but straight at De Gea, who deigns the ball to be travelling at such speed that he'd better punch it away.
50 min: It's been all United at the start of the second half. Hull could be in for a long 40 minutes plus Moyesie Time.
48 min: United look like they're going nowhere on the right as Januzaj touches a pass inside to Rooney. He has his back to goal but returns the ball to Januzaj with a glorious backheel only for the young Belgian/Albanian/future king of England to take a heavy touch when he was clear in the Hull area, meaning the opportunity was lost.
47 min: Ashley Young crosses from the left. The ball still hasn't landed.
46 min: Hull have made two substitutions at half-time, Steve Harper replacing Allen McGregor and Robert Koren on for David Meyler. United, kicking from right to left, get the game going again.
"It used to be the case that keeping the back door closed was the first line on the trophy-winning recipe," says Gary Naylor. "With the rules and refereeing these days, maybe the first line is to keep kicking the door in at the other end. So, both Manchester clubs for the top two?"
Perhaps. But look at how Mourinho, who appears to be gunning for Arsenal now, set up Chelsea at the Emirates on Monday night. A good defence still has its value, but no one has found the balance between the two yet.
Manchester United were 2-0 down after 13 minutes. They're not 2-0 down now.
45 min+3: Januzaj turns sharply on the right and rattles a shot goalwards. But not past Davies's knee.
45 min+1: Who wants three minutes of stoppage time? Michael Oliver.
45 min: Nothing much has happened for the last few minutes. Everyone's still on an Alex Bruce comedown. Those tackles might have been the best moment in the history of English football. "Is Rooney's blackened hair a portent of an Elvis '68 Comeback Special-type revival?" says Justin Kavanagh. "In which case it won't be long before the Vegas years of cheeseburgers and forgettable performances kick in."
43 min: If Tom Huddlestone scores an own goal, does he cut his hair? Asking for a friend.
41 min: Alex Bruce gets the crowd roaring with two crunching but fair challenges on Welbeck and then Fletcher, the ball breaking to Danny Graham, who runs at the United defence before his shot takes a deflection off Evans and loops over De Gea and, fortunately for the visitors, the angle of post and bar. Huddlestone's corner is cleared.
39 min: United's Real Madrid kit has inspired their fans to start singing about Cristiano Ronaldo. If only, eh.
37 min: McGregor still appears to be feeling that earlier blow he took from Chopper Young and Hull's reserve keeper, Steve Harper, is warming up. The camera swings to McGregor, who lets out a well-timed puff of the cheeks, from which we are to interpret he's got a boo-boo.
35 min: Huddlestone's powerful free-kick, driven firmly from the right, is headed away. So's his second cross.
34 min: Hull turn up in United's half for the first time and Elmohamady drives down the right, where Januzaj shows his inexperience by sliding in and bringing the Egyptian down when he wasn't really going anywhere. He picks up his second booking in as many matches.
33 min: "It would appear that Hull are finding out that when you kick a Rottweiler twice it will turn round and bite you, hard. Insert mauling joke here," says Phil Withall.
32 min: United have asserted control now. They're happy enough keeping the ball for the time being, taunting Hull. When the home side do get the ball back, they're giving it back in no time at all with some desperately careless passing.
31 min: Just so we're clear, only one team's winning this. Because it would be impossible for both to win.
29 min: United are all over Hull, who haven't been allowed out of their half since their second goal. Rooney works some space on the left but his cross towards Young is headed away by a stern Davies.
I say! I say, I say, I say! I really do. This is brilliant from Wayne Rooney and from two goals down, Manchester United are level. Is that a surprise? It's probably not a surprise. This came from nothing, though. Welbeck thighs down a high ball to Rooney. He was 25 yards out but he controlled the ball with one touch and then, as it sat up invitingly, absolutely creamed a right-footed volley into the top-right corner, the ball looping agonisingly past McGregor's right hand. Rooney celebrates with a contemplation of the nothingness of our existence and some moody nodding. He's changed.
22 min: Another corner to United, then, the greedy sods. It finds its way to the far post, where Rooney's awkward, acrobatic volley flies miles over. He's no Mark Hughes.
21 min: United are cooking now! Welbeck, invisible so far, springs into action, gliding through the middle and going down under a challenge, winning a free-kick. It's slightly to the left but Rooney is in charge again. His cross is headed just wide by Welbeck, via a deflection off a Hull defender. Close. Corner to United. It's half-cleared but only as far as Cleverley, waiting on the left of the area. He opens up his body and curls one through every other body, McGregor denying him with a fine save to his left.
It's basically a repeat of Turin in 1999. Sort of. Manchester United are back in this and you write them off at your peril. Wayne Rooney curled the free-kick into the area, where Smalling rose above Davies to head into the right corner from eight yards out. What a game we've got on our hands here. A Boxing Day classic.
19 min: Januzaj is involved straight away, spinning away from Figueroa, who can only tug him back, picking up a booking in the process. Rooney will take the free-kick.
18 min: Rafael swings in a cross from the right and Valencia glances a header not too far wide of the far post. But wide, nonetheless. That's Rafael's last contribution. He looks like he's done his groin and on comes Januzaj to replace him. Valencia has gone to right-back.
16 min: Rafael is also struggling for United. Too much turkey, no doubt. He won't be on for much longer.
14 min: Hull have a problem with McGregor though. He's still feeling the effects of that clash with Young.
What on earth is going on? I'll tell you what's going on, all right! Manchester United are all over the place and Hull lead the champions by two goals to nil! The state of this goal, though. Dear lord, what risible defending from United. They are struggling to cope with Hull's energy from midfield and the impressive Meyler broke away from Cleverley and Fletcher, before lobbing the ball over the United defence and through to Sagbo. He was just forced wide before he could shoot but he managed to turn the ball into the area, where Livermore made a nuisance of himself. The ball fell to Meyler on the left and he turned it towards the far post, only for Evans to knock it straight back to him. Meyler, sensing his chance, shot from the left but didn't catch it properly - the ball was dribbling towards De Gea at the rate of 2mph, at least until Evans stuck out a foot and diverted it past the United keeper and into the bottom-right corner, the ball dribbling in at the rate of 3mph.
9 min: Here come United again, showing off with some flicks and tricks outside the Hull area. The ball squirts up to Welbeck, who cleverly nods the ball through to Young, running inside from the left, but McGregor is out quickly to smother, only to feel the full force of the United winger's studs in his chest as he dived down low to gather. There was no intent from Young, who had every right to go for the ball, but that looked painful. He's ok eventually, though.
8 min: There's a great atmosphere inside the KC Stadium, which isn't always the case for lunchtime kick-offs. United look rattled by Hull's fast start. Valencia tries to do something about that, zipping away from Figueroa on the right, but his cross is easily dealt with.
5 min: Manchester United won't be too happy once they see a replay of the move which led to the corner, for the ball did not come off Tom Cleverley - instead it was shanked straight out of play by Elmohamady, though the Egyptian was clattered by Cleverley as he crossed, so it could have been a free-kick anyway.
3 min: Hull have started brightly, and here's Elmohamady charging up the right, winning a corner too, the ball flying into the United fans, from where it is not returned. So we wait for a new ball before Huddlestone can take it. And when he does...
2 min: Huddlestone's inswinger is headed away comfortably enough, allowing
Leeds Real Madrid United to counter. But not much comes from it.
Peep! And off we go! But before kick-off, the camera focuses on Wayne Rooney, who's only gone and dyed his hair a special Christmas hue of black. He looks like an emo. Hull are swiftly on the attack and win a free-kick on the left. Huddlestone will take it.
Here come the teams. Hull are in black tracksuit tops, for no reason whatsoever. Manchester United are in no-nonsense all-white kits. They look like Real Madrid. Or Leeds.
The reason for Phil Jones's absence is a knee injury. He will be out for a couple of weeks.
There's not a great deal of history between Hull and Manchester United. But there was once a man called Phil, who sang a song and had a beard.
It's worth remembering that Hull's manager, Steve Bruce, has never beaten United as a manager. Not got the best record against his old club. Why, it would be a Festivus miracle if he gets a win today!
Manchester United haven't had the best preparation - their coach got stuck in traffic on the way to the stadium and Moyes had to phone through to confirm his team. Not ideal. But they're here and Darren Fletcher makes his first start since 1 December 2012. The newly prolific Danny Welbeck is also fit to start despite picking up a knock against West Ham but Adnan Januzaj is on the bench - and so is Michael Carrick.
Hull: McGregor; Bruce, Chester, Davies; Elmohamady, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Figueroa; Graham, Sagbo. Subs: Harper, Rosenior, Faye, McShane, Koren, Boyd, Fryatt.
Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Cleverley, Fletcher, Young; Rooney, Welbeck. Subs: Lindegaard, Vidic, Carrick, Fabio, Kagawa, Januzaj, Hernandez.
Referee: Michael Oliver.
David Moyes might just be getting the hang of things at Manchester United. It's been a difficult start. It's taken a while. But he's done it. He's finally made like Fergie and banned a reporter for absolutely nothing – looking at him funny or sneezing in a manner that appeared critical of his decision to spend £27m on a limp-wristed midfield destroyer who's mainly been destroying United's moves. Something like that. This is how it starts. Make no mistake, we'll look back at this moment as a turning point in 20 years. Ain't no messing with Moyesie.
Actually that's not strictly true in the factual sense. There's been plenty of messing with Moyesie this season. Manchester City have messed with Moyesie big time - they properly flushed his head down the toilet, kicked him in the groin and nicked his lunch money - and so have Everton, Liverpool, Newcastle and West Brom. United are eighth. Eighth! And yet, they're only eight points off the leaders. And the leaders are Liverpool and Arsenal. And they're Manchester United. You see where I'm going with this. Victory here and it will be three league wins on the bounce for United, though two of those were against Aston Villa and West Ham, so, y'know.
This is bound to be a difficult game, though. While they haven't exactly smashed all those gloomy pre-season predictions to smithereens, Hull have done well, especially at home, where they beat Liverpool 3-1 not so long ago. But that was a rare moment of excitement at the KC Stadium, with goals usually in short supply. Hull's last home match was a 0-0 draw with Stoke and they have only scored 14 times in 17 league matches. Excitement awaits.