Hull hover above drop zone with Sunderland loss

Hull lose against Sunderland

Billy Jones netted only his second goal in Sunderland colours

Hull suffered a first home defeat under Marco Silva at the most inopportune moment as their survival bid was hampered by relegated Sunderland.

The hosts created several chances, only for Lazar Markovic and Abel Hernandez – most notably – to be denied by impressive away keeper Jordan Pickford.

Sunderland took advantage to go ahead through Billy Jones’ close-range diving header after John O’Shea’s flick-on from a corner.

And the Black Cats sealed their first win in 11 league matches when Jermain Defoe converted from close range.

The Tigers remain two points ahead of third-bottom Swansea, who play later on Saturday against Everton.

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Relive Hull v Sunderland

Hull’s survival hopes dented by Black Cats

The turnaround in Hull’s fortunes since the arrival of former Olympiakos boss Silva has been quite remarkable, giving them more than a fighting chance to retain their top-flight status.

The Tigers had taken 19 points from a possible 21 in the Portuguese boss’ seven previous matches at the KCOM Stadium and had identified this game as one which they must win.

The home side worked hard, as you would expect, but lacked confidence and ingenuity in the final third.

And when they did manage to find the target, they were denied by the excellent Pickford.

On-loan Liverpool midfielder Markovic saw a thumping header tipped over by the England Under-21 international, who then stopped Hernandez’s sweeping shot from Andrew Robertson’s left-wing cross at his near post.

The nervy home crowd provided an atmosphere more of hope rather than expectation from almost the first whistle, and that pretty much turned to resignation after Jones put Sunderland ahead.

Now Silva and his team need Everton to do them a big favour when they visit Swansea in Saturday’s 17:30 BST kick-off.

Premier League bottom six<!–

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