Hull 1-1 Spurs
Report from the KC
01 February 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
A goal from Paulinho secured a share of the spoils at the KC Stadium as the team had to come from behind after an early strike from Shane Long on Saturday.
It was probably a game that should have been won, but some fine moves lacked a final ball or were thwarted by last-ditch defending and Stephen Harper in the Hull goal was perhaps not given enough work to do.
There were welcome returns for Jan Vertonghen and Paulinho to the starting line-up after injury, while Roberto Soldado was restored in attack.
Soldado turned provider in the opening stages, with the Spaniard measuring a cross that Emmanuel Adebayor was able to volley goalwards, only to be denied by a tip over from Harper.
In the next move of the game on 11 minutes, Nikica Jelavic flicked on a clearance into the path of Long, who scuttled forward and shot past the advancing Hugo Lloris to open the scoring.
A period of establishing some authority on the pitch followed, with neat interchanges coming close to unlocking the defensive gate on a few occasions, with only the final pass failing to be decisive.
Soldado stole in behind an unaware Maynor Figueroa on 34 minutes, claiming a foul when the Honduran awoke to his presence, but referee Mr Taylor pointed for a corner, which was a teaser from Eriksen, but was ultimately smashed over by Soldado at the far post.
Jelavic struck a free-kick narrowly wide as half-time neared after Michael Dawson was adjudged to have upended Long, but clearly felt it was a case of ball first.
Eriksen let fly with a rasping shot after a mazy run evaded his markers and the whistle then soon sounded to mark the halfway point and a big improvement was called for.
It was, however, Hull that started the second half on the front foot, pressing high and causing a few defensive alarms early on.
Harper denied Soldado after a Paulinho attempt was deflected into his path as the team clicked up a gear after the sluggish start to the half.
David Meyler was fortunate to escape punishment for a dangerous lunge on Bentaleb, but the resulting free-kick paid dividends.
Danny Rose shot from distance but his effort flew into the feet of Paulinho, who spun and dispatched high into the net past Harper to level the score.
There was then a brilliant move involving Walker and Soldado, that led to the ball being zapped into the feet of Adebayor in front of goal, but the defender read the striker's next move and blocked his road to goal.
Jelavic hit the post after Long flung in a hopeful cross before Adebayor was denied in front of goal after Paulinho forced his way along the goal line.
Dawson was required to clear lines after Jelavic stole in behind and rounded Lloris with 20 minutes left on the clock and the game wide open.
Bentaleb shot narrowly wide at the other end and Lloris got down well to his left to deny Jelavic, the final chance of the afternoon.
Spurs: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose; Lennon, Bentaleb, Paulinho, Eriksen; Adebayor (Kane, 90), Soldado. Unused subs: Friedel, Kaboul, Naughton, Capoue, Chadli, Sigurdsson.
Hull City: Harper; Elmohamady (Boyd, 70), Rosenior, Davies, McShane, Figueroa; Huddlestone, Meyler, Brady (Koren, 70); Jelavic (Sagbo, 88), Long. Unused subs: Jakupovic, Bruce, Fryatt, Quinn.
Goals: Hull - Long (12). Spurs - Paulinho (61).
Yellow card: Spurs - Soldado.
Referee: Mr A Taylor.