Premier League: Sunderland 0 Hull City 2
By Football News
Wes Brown was sent off for the third time this season as Hull City beat Sunderland 2-0 on Steve Bruce’s return to the Stadium of Light.
Defender Brown was given his marching orders after only three minutes on Saturday for a professional foul on Shane Long after Phil Bardsley's dreadful pass played the striker in.
Long then scored his second goal in as many games with a first-half header, and strike partner Nikica Jelavic opened his Hull account with a header of his own after the break as Bruce's side secured their first Premier League win of the year.
It was the first time Bruce had been back at Sunderland since being sacked in November 2011, and Hull's victory brought his former club back down to earth following their derby win over Newcastle United last weekend.
Defeat for Sunderland was their first in five top-flight games and it was a miserable day for Brown, who was also sent off against Stoke City and Norwich City - although his red card against Mark Hughes' side was overturned on appeal.
Poyet unsurprisingly named an unchanged side following last Saturday’s 3-0 success at Newcastle, with Liam Bridcutt making his home defeat at the expense of fit-again midfielder Lee Cattermole.
Jake Livermore returned to the Hull starting line-up after being ineligible to face his parent club Tottenham last weekend, with Robbie Brady dropping to the bench.
Sunderland came into the game brimming with confidence after their win at St James’ Park, but their positivity was punctured early on when Brown was dismissed.
Bardsley was the chief culprit as his sloppy pass set Long clear, and Brown upended the striker just outside the penalty area - prompting referee Mike Jones to reach for his red card.
Vito Mannone saved the resulting free-kick from Tom Huddlestone and Poyet reacted to Brown's dismissal by replacing forward Fabio Borini with debutant defender Santiago Vergini.
That change failed to have the desired effect, though, as Hull capitalised on their numerical advantage when Long put them in front 15 minutes in.
Mannone was only able to palm away Huddlestone's corner and the alert Long nodded in from close range after Livermore had helped the ball on.
Hull were in command and ex-Everton striker Jelavic was unfortunate scored his first Hull goal 10 minutes later when his header was clawed out by the agile Mannone, before Long's left-foot strike from outside the area hit the post.
Bruce's side knocked the ball around with confidence at the start of the second half, but they were almost caught out nine minutes after the break when Steve Harper kept out Ki Sung-Yueng's right-foot effort.
Jelavic should have done better two minutes later when he was sent clear, but dragged his tame left-foot finish wide of the far post.
The Croatia international was not to be denied after 63 minutes, though, when Maynor Figueroa's shot struck Vergini and looped into his path and he duly guided his header beyond Mannone.
Mannone then denied Sone Aluko a goal on his return from injury when he palmed away the Nigerian forward's left-foot strike as Hull secured a comfortable win.