Jakupovic penalty heroics bolster Hull’s survival bid
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LDIN Jakupovic’s late penalty save handed Hull another boost in their Premier League survival fight — and condemned Sunderland to relegation. Jakupovic palmed away Dusan Tadic’s late spot kick as the visitors held out grittily for a potentially priceless point that edged closer to safety — they are three points ahead of 18th-placed Swansea, who visit Manchester United tomorrow.
Just as a low-quality affair at St Mary’s appeared to be petering out to a dull finish, Alfred N’Diaye hauled down Maya Yoshida in the box. Tadic lined up the penalty, only for Jakupovic to guess right, and palm the ball to safety.
Marco Silva has now guided Hull to 21 points from his 15 league games at the helm. Hull now host Sunderland next weekend.
A listless first-half ended devoid of goals, chances or excitement. Southampton were booed off.
After the break, Sofiane Boufal tried to tiptoe through traffic rather than blast in a half-volley, and paid the price when Harry Maguire intercepted. Tadic saw a shot deflected when he ought to have laid off to the lurking Boufal.
Desperate Saints boss Claude Puel clutched at the straws of substitutions, only to be booed by his own fans for hooking Manolo Gabbiadini just shy of the hour. Shane Long should have pulled the trigger when through on goal, but his flick again allowed Maguire to come to Hull’s rescue. Hull’s indomitable centre-half produced yet another telling challenge when sliding in to ensure Redmond’s low cross could not reach Tadic.
Oumar Niasse wasted a rare opening for Hull as the game drifted towards the close — only for a madcap final few minutes that left Saints frustrated and Hull breathing sighs of relief.