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African Sport

Hull City Stun Champions Leicester in EPL Opener

Hull City
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Newly Promoted Hull City made Leicester City the first reigning Premier League champions to begin their title defence with a defeat after beating them 2-1 at the KC Stadium.

Robert Snodgrass thumped home a left-footed winner in the 57th minute after Leicester, who lost only three games last season, failed to clear their lines. A second-half penalty by Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez had earlier cancelled out Adama Diomande’s acrobatic overhead kick.

“They played better,” Leicester coach Claudio Ranieri told Sky Sports. “We tried to do our best, our effort was amazing but it was individual, not as a team.”

Hull City came into Saturday’s game with an injury crisis to cause an upset on the opening day of the new season in addition to not having a permanent manager after Steve Bruce quit last month.

The Tigers, who were promoted through the second-tier playoffs last season started this season as one the favourites for relegation.

They however took the lead, against the run of play in the first minute of first-half stoppage time when Diomande leapt in tandem with Abel Hernandez to meet Kasper Schmeichel’s punched clearance from a Curtis Davies header.

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“We tried to win but sometimes it’s not possible,” Ranieri added. “We made some mistakes and have to think about where we made them.”

Mahrez scored from the penalty spot two minutes into the second half after Tom Huddlestone had clipped Demarai Gray on the edge of the area, before Snodgrass slammed home the winner, providing some respite for Hull, who had only 13 fit senior players available.

“Leicester knew the togetherness, the mentality and the character we showed (last season),” said Snodgrass, “and I think that’s what got us through in the end.”

Hull’s interim coach Mike Phelan said: “It was great to see everyone pulled together and we got a result that surprised a few people.”

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