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Ranocchia boosts Hull’s survival prospects

Kingston upon Hull (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Hull’s bid for Premier League survival received a huge boost as Andrea Ranocchia’s late header clinched a dramatic 2-1 victory against West Ham on Saturday.

Marco Silva’s team trailed to Andy Carroll’s 50th Premier League goal early in the first half at the KCOM Stadium.

But Andy Robertson levelled after the interval and Ranocchia completed Hull’s spirited fightback with the winner five minutes from full-time.

Third bottom Hull are now level on points with 17th-placed Swansea, who play their game in hand against Middlesbrough on Sunday.

West Ham have lost their last four games and are on a six-match winless run dating back to February 4.

Robert Snodgrass is still Hull’s top league scorer with seven goals despite joining West Ham in January, and the Scottish midfielder was jeered by his old club’s fans whenever he had possession.

Snodgrass almost silenced the taunts when he rose to meet a cross in the opening moments, and although his header was straight at Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic, West Ham’s pressure was rewarded in the 18th minute.

Aaron Cresswell’s cross was misjudged by Hull defender Curtis Davies and Carroll controlled on his chest before slotting home from close-range.

Manuel Lanzini came close to doubling West Ham’s lead when he cut inside from the left and drilled a powerful effort that Jakupovic pushed away.

Hull were woeful in the first half and Tigers boss Marco Silva sent on Kamil Grosicki for Davies at the interval.

It was an inspired move as Grosicki set up Robertson’s 53rd minute equaliser with a clever pass to the Scottish defender, who surged clear to fire past Darren Randolph for the first Premier League goal of his career.

Silva’s side poured forward in search of a second goal, which should have arrived when Alfred N’Diaye shot against a post from eight yards before Grosicki blasted wide from the rebound.

The Tigers kept pressing and in the 85th minute they were rewarded when Grosicki’s corner found Ranocchia and the Italy defender guided his header into the far corner to spark wild celebrations.

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