Hull began life after Shota Arveladze in a familiar manner as they were beaten 2-0 by Luton at the MKM Stadium – their fifth Championship defeat in succession.
The Georgian – who was appointed in January – was dismissed by chairman Acun Ilicali just eight hours before kick-off in East Yorkshire. “It became clear our views weren’t aligned,” a statement on the club’s official website read.
Both of the Hatters’ goals came in the first half; Alfie Jones’ unfortunate own goal provided the dream start for the visitors, with Henri Lansbury ending a near four-and-a-half-year goal drought with a stunner from distance to, ultimately, seal the victory.
Luton move up to fifth ahead of the remainder of the weekend’s matches as a result, with Hull – who have now conceded the second-most goals of any team in the top four divisions of English football (23) – still in 20th with 11 points from 11 games.
How the Tigers were tamed once again
Few could have expected Hull to produce a confident victory immediately after the departure of Arveladze, but there will certainly have been an expectation for the Tigers to show some early fight. Yet only six minutes had elapsed when there was a familiar feeling of despair at the MKM.
The unfortunate Alfie Jones was in the wrong place at the wrong time, after a well-worked corner routine by the visitors
Lansbury would have expected more from his own corner delivery, but it mattered little when it found the unmarked Elijah Adebayo, whose fierce shot struck the crossbar and bounced onto the feet of Jones; the unfortunate defender had no time to hook the ball away and prevent it from crossing the line.
In fairness, the response was inspired as Hull took overwhelming control of possession and forced Luton back into their own half. Ryan Longman sent a shot whistling inches over, before Regan Slater’s shot from deep took a deflection and rattled the underside of the bar and bounced to safety.
Henri Lansbury was in an entertaining mood with and without the ball against Hull on Friday
Tigers goalkeeper Nathan Baxter then pushed a Carlton Morris header round the post, before pushing away a shot from Jordan Clark. But mere seconds after the latter, he was beaten for a second time when Lansbury sweetly struck a bouncing ball into the bottom right corner – his first goal since April 21 2018.
With just over an hour gone, Luton appealed for a penalty when Morris went to ground after Jacob Greaves had grabbed a fistful of his opponent’s shirt, but referee James Linington was not interested.
In the end, though, it had no bearing on the result. Hull cranked up the pressure as the second half wore on, but other than half-chances for Ozan Tufan and Cyrus Christie – and with just 16 touches for top scorer Oscar Estupinan – the clean sheet was seldom in doubt.
Player of the match – Henri Lansbury
Luton Town players Henri Lansbury and Carlton Morris reflect on the game against Hull City and the goalscorer’s great techniques.
Luton are back in action at 7.45pm on Tuesday October 5, when they welcome Huddersfield to Kenilworth Road, with Hull hosting Wigan at the MKM Stadium at 7.45pm the following evening. Both matches are available to watch on Sky Sports Football Red Button.