Championship
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Hull City 0-1 Luton Town: Grant McCann praying for 'miracle' after Kazenga LuaLua boosts Hatters' chances

Hull boss Grant McCann
Grant McCann was appointed Hull boss in June 2019

Manager Grant McCann says Hull City "haven't been good enough" and need a "miracle" to avoid relegation from the Championship after a 1-0 loss to fellow strugglers Luton Town left them relying on other teams slipping up.

The Hatters boosted their own chances thanks to Kazenga LuaLua's late 20-yard strike.

The result leaves Hull three points adrift of both Luton and Charlton Athletic, although the relegation picture is further complicated by the Latics' possible 12-point deduction for going into administration.

Wigan, who are 13th after drawing against the Addicks earlier on Saturday, would drop down to League One as it stands because they are only 10 points above Luton and Charlton.

Hull have a vastly inferior goal difference to Charlton but are only two goals worse off than Luton prior to facing Cardiff City in their final game on Wednesday.

And, if Wigan beat Fulham, McCann's side cannot go above the Latics - even with a 12-point deduction for Paul Cook's side.

"We are on the brink," said McCann. "We need a miracle. We need to win at Cardiff and hope results elsewhere go our way.

"It's a slight chance we have got. First and foremost we have got to win and judging by our form since the middle of January, everyone will tell you we have zero chance.

"We have to keep that belief but we are still relying on others. For the first time this season it isn't in our hands and that is our own fault.

"We just haven't been good enough on the pitch. We are just not winning games. From the end of January onwards, we have been really poor in every single performance.

"I can only focus on my job. There is a bigger picture here and a bigger plan. Until I am told otherwise, I am focused on trying to regroup my thoughts."

Graphic

Bottom side Barnsley could also yet stay up, although they must win both of their remaining fixtures - starting against Nottingham Forest on Sunday - and hope other results go their way.

If the Tykes are able to beat promotion hopefuls Forest, it means all three relegation spots will need to be decided on the final day, with eight teams still not yet certain of survival.

But, of the eight, Huddersfield's vastly superior goal difference means they are all but safe.

Hatters hit improved Hull's hopes

McCann responded to Tuesday's 8-0 demolition by Wigan Athletic - during which they conceded seven first-half goals - by making six changes, including dropping goalkeeper George Long.

It did appear to have some impact during the first period against Luton, as a more direct approach saw them create the better of the chances, albeit none that seriously troubled keeper Simon Sluga.

After the break, however, Luton took control and looked by far the more likely to find a winner.

Kazenga LuaLua
Kazenga LuaLua capped a dominant second-half display from Luton with an 85th-minute winner

James Collins and Danny Hylton both missed good opportunities as the visitors poured forward, while Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu curled an effort narrowly wide of the post.

They eventually found a way through with five minutes left, however, when LuaLua fired a fizzing strike into the bottom corner from outside the box.

It means Luton, who have lost just two of their past 14 games, are now unbeaten in four going into Wednesday's vital game against Blackburn Rovers.

Championship confusion

Luton could stay in the second tier even if they lose their final game, yet the Hatters could go down even if they win - such is the complicated nature of the final day of fixtures.

They will finish above Charlton if they better the Addicks' result. But if both Wigan and Hull lose on Wednesday then they will be assured of a second season in the Championship.

"We have got one massive game to go," said boss Nathan Jones, whose side face Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday. "Who knows what is going to happen - if someone is going to get deducted then deduct.

"At the minute we know that we need something from the last game. It's a good feeling.

"To get it where we are now shows this group have given everything. They have given me absolutely everything. Now we have to try to fnish the job.

"I thought we were outstanding, to come away with the importance of the game, it is trapdoor time, I just thought they were outstanding.

"They are amazing, they are immense, I love working with them and I am so proud of them."

Line-ups

Hull

  • 13Ingram
  • 37Da Silva LopesBooked at 60mins
  • 15MacDonald
  • 3Tafazolli
  • 26Elder
  • 8BattySubstituted forLewis-Potterat 88'minutes
  • 6Stewart
  • 43Wilks
  • 18Honeyman
  • 27Magennis
  • 9EavesSubstituted forScottat 76'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Long
  • 4de Wijs
  • 5Burke
  • 10Toral
  • 31Lewis-Potter
  • 38Bonds
  • 42Samuelsen
  • 44Scott
  • 46Jones

Luton

  • 12Sluga
  • 26Bree
  • 18Carter-Vickers
  • 5Bradley
  • 2CranieSubstituted forKiosoat 90+6'minutes
  • 16ReaBooked at 73mins
  • 17Mpanzu
  • 14CornickSubstituted forLuaLuaat 70'minutes
  • 8Berry
  • 10LeeSubstituted forMoncurat 79'minutes
  • 19CollinsBooked at 56minsSubstituted forHyltonat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Tunnicliffe
  • 7McManaman
  • 9Hylton
  • 11Shinnie
  • 20Moncur
  • 25LuaLua
  • 29Butterfield
  • 30Kioso
  • 36Shea
Referee:
Robert Jones

Match Stats

Home TeamHullAway TeamLuton
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home8
Away16
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home3
Away6
Fouls
Home25
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hull City 0, Luton Town 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Hull City 0, Luton Town 1.

  3. Post update

    Glen Rea (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Josh Magennis (Hull City).

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Luton Town. Peter Kioso replaces Martin Cranie.

  6. Post update

    Offside, Hull City. Callum Elder tries a through ball, but Mallik Wilks is caught offside.

  7. Post update

    Danny Hylton (Luton Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Leonardo Da Silva Lopes (Hull City).

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Danny Hylton (Luton Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu.

  10. Post update

    Luke Berry (Luton Town) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Callum Elder (Hull City).

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. George Moncur (Luton Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kazenga LuaLua.

  13. Post update

    Danny Hylton (Luton Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by George Honeyman (Hull City).

  15. Post update

    Corner, Luton Town. Conceded by George Honeyman.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Hull City. Keane Lewis-Potter replaces Daniel Batty.

  17. Post update

    Danny Hylton (Luton Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Angus MacDonald (Hull City).

  19. Goal!

    Goal! Hull City 0, Luton Town 1. Kazenga LuaLua (Luton Town) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Cameron Carter-Vickers.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. George Moncur (Luton Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kazenga LuaLua.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds44269970343687
2West Brom452216775433282
3Brentford452491279364381
4Fulham4523111163471680
5Nottm Forest4418161057451270
6Cardiff451816116558770
7Swansea451716125852667
8Preston451811165853565
9Millwall451617125350365
10Blackburn451712166460463
11Bristol City451711175964-562
12Derby441613155860-261
13Wigan451513175655158
14QPR45169206574-957
15Reading451511195854456
16Sheff Wed451511195764-756
17Stoke45158225867-953
18Huddersfield451312205166-1551
19Middlesbrough451214194660-1450
20Birmingham451214195372-1950
21Charlton451212215061-1148
22Luton45139235180-2948
23Hull45129245784-2745
24Barnsley441013214668-2243
View full Championship table

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