Hull relegated without throwing a punch in crushing Crystal Palace loss
Twelve months after celebrating promotion in the Championship playoff final, Hull City kissed goodbye to the Premier League with a game still to play, losing 4-0 to Crystal Palace. The crushing defeat hammered the last nails into their coffin and brought a surrender that will lead straight back to the second tier.
Wilfried Zaha's third-minute goal gave them a mountain to climb before Christian Benteke doubled the Eagles' lead before the break. Luka Milivojevic and Patrick Van Aanholt then struck late to compound City's embarrassment.
Beyond being spared a nerve-racking final day, there was nothing for City fans to cling to. Absolutely nothing. A third relegation in the space of eight seasons was no easier to take than the previous two and the club now face an awfully uncertain future. Three of the starting XI are not contracted to the club next year and more will inevitably leave. It will be the likely loss of manager Marco Silva, however, that hurts most. Supporters stayed to chant his name ahead of his contract expiring at the end of the season.
Relegation is never pleasing to behold, but this was horrendous. In a fixture that had to deliver a win, the Tigers served up perhaps the most abject performance of the entire season.
Without mustering a single shot on target, City gift-wrapped a victory for their hosts with a lethargic, aimless display. The defending, in particular, was pathetic. The opening goal will give Andrea Ranocchia nightmares all summer. Relegation cannot be pinned on a 21st defeat of the campaign, but City went down without throwing a punch.
Manager rating out of 10
3 -- Silva had worked wonders to give City hope, but he had to carry the can for a performance as limp as the one served up against Palace. Mistakes were made, such as Harry Maguire at right-back, and they carried a heavy price.
Player ratings (1-10, 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Eldin Jakupovic, 5 -- Shipped four goals, but hard to be too critical of City's keeper when he was left so badly exposed by his defenders. Very little he could do to stop the rot and barely had a save to make past the goals.
DF Harry Maguire, 4 -- Was asked to play at right-back again and guilty of some dreadful marking for Benteke's decisive second from a corner. An injury early in the second half might mean it becomes his final appearance for the club.
DF Andrea Ranocchia, 3 -- Had been the model of consistency since arriving from Inter Milan, but his mis-kick to gift Palace the opener was wretched. Hooked at half-time as things got little better.
DF Michael Dawson, 3 -- City's captain was drafted back into defence for the first time in a month, but he lacked sharpness and pace to deal with Benteke. A late lunge on Jeffrey Schlupp gifted Palace a third from the spot.
DF Andy Robertson, 5 -- Replaced at the break following an injury and he was one of the few to play with any sense of urgency until then. A couple of timely late challenges and an excellent pass to feed Evandro's run.
MF Ahmed Elmohamady, 3 -- Of all the players who have been disappointing this season, he is near the top of the list. Once a dependable and trusted figure, he again flattered to deceive. Ineffective throughout.
MF Alfred N'Diaye, 4 -- A loan spell at the KCOM Stadium is now destined to end in failure and few will miss the midfielder when he returns to Villarreal. Another ponderous and laboured effort in midfield.
MF Sam Clucas, 4 -- One half as a central midfielder and another as a left-back, but he will not remember the game with any great fondness. One excellent cross for Jarrod Bowen's chance was as good as it got.
MF Kamil Grosicki, 3 -- Another fixture that passed the winger by. Showed glimpses of his undoubted talent, but was never able to produce a final ball of true worth. It is unclear if he will have the appetite for a season in the Championship.
MF Evandro, 3 -- Has made a minimal impact since arriving in January and this theme continued here. The man who was supposed to provide guile was anonymous. Not up to the Premier League.
FW Oumar Niasse, 3 -- Any prospect of winning a move to City are now over after a clumsy and impotent display as the team's attacking figurehead. Never once made Palace's defence break out in a sweat.
FW Jarrod Bowen, 5 -- Added some bite to City's attack, but fluffed one of the few chances created.
FW Shaun Maloney, 5 -- Was unable to turn the tide when given a rare opportunity.
DF Curtis Davies, 5 -- The damage was already done in defence before his second-half introduction.