Spurs come from behind to see off Hull
Gaston Ramirez’s soft dismissal turns game in favour of Pochettino’s men
Christian Eriksen scored late on as Spurs came from behind to beat Hull 2-1 at the KC Stadium
Two goals from White Hart Lane youth products featured on the scoresheet of this match but it was the dismissal of Hull’s Gastón Ramírez that had the greatest influence. The hosts simply could not hold on and the creative gem Christian Eriksen picked their pocket at the death.
Tottenham slumbered through the opening period and deservedly trailed to a goal from Jake Livermore, the £7million midfielder they sold this summer. Few could deny that it was the impetuosity of Ramírez that woke them up.
Just five minutes into the second half, the Uruguayan midfielder kicked out at Jan Vertonghen following a challenge between the pair and walked. Suddenly it became an exercise in austerity for Hull and although Spurs did level through England Under-21 striker Harry Kane’s opportunistic effort on the hour they appeared to be heading for a point.
However, Eriksen, whose ability to unearth pockets of space was a feature of the afternoon, did so to devastating effect in the final minute, ghosting across the face of the penalty area before clipping into the far corner.
It proved a stark contrast to the mood at the KC Stadium an hour earlier. Livermore did not manage a single league goal during his six seasons at White Hart Lane but his fourth since joining Hull, initially on loan, proved a dividend for early home dominance.
Seizing on a headed clearance from Federico Fazio, Livermore exploited the reluctance of Ben Davies to close him down as he approached the area and guided a precision effort beyond Hugo Lloris’ dive for the eighth-minute opener.
It could have been worse for Tottenham too as Hull struck a purple patch around the 20-minute mark. Lloris’s uncertainty under the high ball was almost exposed when - under relatively little pressure from Hull captain Curtis Davies - he dropped it at the feet of Ramírez. The Uruguayan steadied himself and took aim only for Fazio to block.
However, Lloris’s quality as a shot-stopper helped him deny Robbie Brady with a save low to his left, following a clever assist from Ramírez. Then, when he failed to hold onto a an angled Ramírez shot, fellow Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa’s profligacy - curling the rebound wide - kept the score at 1-0.
Hull were lambasted by their manager Steve Bruce for the manner of the defeat at Burnley a fortnight ago but there was nothing lackadaisical about their first-half performance here. Evidence of that was provided when Ahmed Elmohamady hared back towards goal to head safely back to goalkeeper Allan McGregor and quell a rare Spurs attack. From another, McGregor, one of five changes made by Bruce, fisted out Érik Lamela’s drive.
The balance of power switched five minutes into the second period when Ramírez - called in late due to Hull top scorer Mohamed Diamé suffering a bout of tendinitis in his knee - petulantly kicked out at Vertonghen from a floored position amongst a tangle of legs.
Referee Craig Pawson missed the incident but produced the red card following consultation with his linesman.
Within 10 minutes Tottenham had made their numerical advantage count: Eriksen’s free-kick hit a post and was re-directed into the path of Kane by McGregor’s sprawling body. He could not miss. Cruelly for the hosts, neither did Eriksen from 20 yards out as the clock ticked onto the 90-minute mark.