Robert Snodgrass scored the winning goal for Hull City to stun Premier League Champions by 2-1.
Despite having just won their promotion to the English top flight, Hull City were already the bookkeeper’s relegation favourites. Not only did they have no transfer activity over the summer, the club was left without a manager after Steve Bruce parted from the club due to frustration with his higher-ups.
As caretaker manager Mike Phelan went into the match against the Foxes with just 13 senior players, Hull inadvertently took the lead when Adama Diomande and Abel Hernandez combined acrobatically to slot in a loose ball Kasper Schmeichel failed to gather. Diomande was awarded the goal later.
An underperforming Leicester managed to reply through Riyad Mahrez spot kick almost right at the start of the second half, after Demarai Gray had been fouled.
But Robert Snodgrass, who had been having a good match the entire afternoon, pounced on Danny Simpson’s failed clearance to drill home.
It was telling of the situation that on half time, a perplexed Phelan scratched his head, while Jamie Vardy slapped himself hard across the face.
Claudio Ranieri’s successful campaign last season had been built on a firm defense, but without regular starter Robert Huth, they seemed vulnerable as Hull weave in and around their back four.
“They were smarter than us,” the nice Italian had to concede. “We didn’t play like a team. We were 70%.”
On the other hand, Phelan, whose bench were filled youth players, were forced to make no substitutions due to the clear risk of inexperience. And as the final whistle sounded, he could not quite find the right words in his post-match interview.
“My emotions? Relieved, thrilled,” he said. “The players showed courage, stopped Leicester counterattacking. What’s happening has galvanised them.”
However, Phelan’s joy could prove to be short-lived as he will be informed if he will stay in charge beyond Monday, as Chinese investors looked to maneuver a takeover.
“It might be a big week for this club,” he said, and then added with a jab of pointed cynicism on the club’s previously mooted takeover plans: “But there’s been talk of it being taken over for eight to 12 months now.”