Hull were cruelly beaten by a late Marcus Rashford goal at the KCOM Stadium in Saturday’s late kick-off against Manchester United.
Here are five talking points from the match, a heartbreak for Hull City…
Remember that feeling
If you’d told Hull four weeks ago they’d only lose 1-0 to Manchester United, they would have been delighted.
If you’d told them that four days ago, they would have been pleased.
If you’d told them that with four minutes left on the clock, they’d have been devastated. And they were.
No one gave Hull a hope to stay up this year. It’s always tough for the new boys, and with Hull’s much-documented troubles, it would arguably be a bigger achievement than Leicester winning the title last year.
But if they are to stay up, they’ll need to remember this feeling – what it feels like to come so close to a point, or even three, before having it taken away from you.
Last year Aston Villa basically gave up. Players admitted that relegation was a weight off their back. But not for Hull. They’ve got the fight in them to stay.
Hull City could have beaten Manchester United today
Marcus Rashford may be taking all the plaudits now, but in a parallel universe David Meyler is on his way to the cheapest Hull night-out known to man.
Only 30 seconds before Rashford’s winner, Meyler had shot just over in a Hull counter-attack as they lay on the canvas from wave after wave of red shirts. (Sea boxing? Too many analogies.)
Earlier in the second-half, Tom Huddlestone’s shot was deflected and could have easily gone in, but as it was it went just wide.
They almost won you know, and no one could have begrudged them of it.
Curtis Davies for England? They could do worse
Why not? He may be 31 years of age, but if you’re good enough, you’re young enough.
Davies was most people’s man of the match, putting in 15 clearances and six blocks in an heroic rearguard effort that so nearly paid off.
England aren’t exactly blessed with options in defence (or anywhere for that matter), so if Davies keeps calm and carries on, he could upgrade his three U21 caps for the whole shebang and it would be the least he deserves.
Jake Livermore does an uncanny impression of a defender
He’s not bad for a midfielder.
Livermore was outstanding in defence alongside his inspirational captain, and the pair of them did more than anyone to take Hull to within a whisker of a draw.
The 26-year-old Londoner has received a lot of praise this week for his emotional Football Focus interview discussing his historic cocaine use, but today he let his playing do the talking as he embodied the fighting spirit on display from Hull.
Mike Phelan can keep Hull up
Phelan has been there and done it alongside the best managers in football.
He hasn’t hidden the fact that he hoped to be Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor having fulfilled the role of assistant manager for five years, and who’s to bet against him being a future candidate for the role? We’ve learnt not to bet against things by now, surely…
Phelan has worked wonders with this Hull side in 270 minutes of Premier League football. Many predicted they’d struggle to reach Derby’s points total of 11 from the 2007/08 campaign, but with two wins and today’s Dunkirkian performance under their belt, they’re more than halfway there with 35 games still to play.
It’s time that Hull’s board (whoever that may soon be) gives the keys to the caretaker, and entrusts Phelan with manning the hull.