Hull City 0 Leicester City 0: match report
Hull City have been held to a goalless draw by Nigel Pearson's Leicester in the Boxing Day fixture.
Jay Simpson saw a shot cleared off the line by Richie De Laet - and could have won it at the end - but Pearson engineered an effective rearguard to frustrate his former employers.
Simpson turned a weak side-footed shot wide when well-placed before Paul Konchesky was forced into an awkward headed clearance inside his own six-yard box.
Leicester found their feet with David Nugent playing on his own in front of a five-man midfield, they began to settle into a period of possession.
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It prompted the Foxes’ best spell and midfielder Anthony Knockaert should have rewarded them, only to waste a hat-trick of chances inside a 10-minute period midway through the first half.
The Frenchman twice shot wide of the left-hand post before spurning the best of his opportunities with a scuffed effort after Konchesky pulled a cross back to the penalty spot.
City goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic then needed a strong arm to keep out Danny Drinkwater, after Knockaert this time opted to pass, but the away side’s attacking vigour soon subsided.
Sone Aluko, back in the starting 11, became an increasing threat as he began to busy himself in the hole behind the striker.
After Abdoulaye Faye headed a cross at the back post into the side netting, Aluko jinked his way into space only for Kasper Schmeichel to expertly tip away his low shot.
Aluko set up the best chance of the first 45 minutes moments later when he snuck a pass behind the defence for Simpson. The striker looked certain to score when he rounded Schmeichel but Richie De Laet was alive to the danger and got back to clear off the line.
It was De Laet’s last major involvement as he was replaced at the break by Liam Moore who survived a nervous moment shortly after as appeals for handball were waved away.
Leicester almost stole ahead against the run of play on the hour when Faye sliced an attempted clearance just wide of his own goal.
Chances were at a premium in the second half, though, as the match deteriorated in driving rain.
Ben Marshall almost fooled Jakupovic on 72 minutes with a well-hit 20-yarder before the keeper made heavy work of keeping out Paul Gallagher’s deflected free-kick.
The Tigers made a late push for the points and Simpson could have won it with moments remaining, only to head straight into Schmeichel's arms at close quarters.
The result means the Tigers stay in second, now five points behind leaders Cardiff and one ahead of Middlesbrough.
Match report to follow.