Kingston upon Hull (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Oumar Niasse proved an inspired substitution by Marco Silva as his second-half double boosted Hull’s hopes of retaining their Premier League status with a 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Swansea on Saturday.
Niasse, on loan from Everton, struck in the 69th and 78th minutes to give Hull their third win over Swansea this season — their other win coming in the FA Cup — and saw them rise to third from bottom just a point off Crystal Palace, although the latter have a game in hand.
Swansea — who have lost seven of their last 11 games — remain firmly embroiled in the battle for survival just three points clear of Hull.
Chances were few and far between in a tight opening half hour with just one piece of creative wizardry by Swansea’s playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson teeing up Wayne Routledge, whose shot was on target but well saved by Eldin Jakupovic.
The visitors dominated the match even though they created little in the way of scoring opportunities — Fernando Llorente being well-marshalled by the Hull defence — but their rhythm was disrupted when Angel Rangel had to go off injured to be replaced by Jordi Amat.
Even worse for the Swans was the sight of Llorente trudging off injured just before the break after coming off worse in a collision with Tom Huddlestone.
Huddlestone scuffed a great chance to give the hosts the lead shortly after the restart, Lukasz Fabianski getting down well to save.
Routledge had Swansea manager Paul Clement wringing his hands in despair as shortly afterwards he skied over the bar from close range with Jakupovic out of position.
Silva then made the crucial call to remove Alfred N’Diaye and send on Niasse largely because the former was close to getting sent off after bringing down Sigurdsson.
Within minutes the change had paid dividends as the Senegalese striker, on loan from Everton, was fed by Abel Hernandez and he slotted home.
Niasse looked a different player from the one who failed abysmally at Everton and doubled his tally with a superb effort 12 minutes from time.
There was just enough time for Swansea defender Alfie Mawson to grab a consolation goal.