Alvaro Negredo came off the bench and scored for the second English Premier League game running as Manchester City edged promoted Hull City 2-0 yesterday.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side was laboring in the sunshine at the Etihad Stadium and had to endure several nervous moments before the former Sevilla striker made the breakthrough 20 minutes into the second half.
A sumptuous last-minute free-kick from Yaya Toure settled matters, but after its shock 2-3 loss at promoted Cardiff City last weekend, City once again showed there was plenty of room for improvement.
“It was hard work. Every match is going to be hard work,” said City manager Pellegrini.
“Hull defended very well. We know you have to give 100 percent to win every match, but I think today that we were more concentrated in defense than the last game against Cardiff.”
With the rather undeserved victory City, with six points, rose to second in the fledgling table, a point behind Chelsea. Hull has four points.
Third-placed Liverpool was taking on Manchester United at Anfield today when fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur was traveling to Arsenal in the North London derby.
Elsewhere yesterday, it was an uneventful day, with only three goals scored in the four mid-afternoon matches.
Unsettled Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye made his return as a second-half substitute against Fulham at St James’ Park but it was another Frenchman, Hatem Ben Arfa, who scored in the 86th minute to give Alan Pardew’s side a first win of the season, .
Visiting Stoke City also left it late before inflicting a first defeat of the season upon West Ham United at Upton Park, with Jermaine Pennant scoring the game’s only goal from an 82nd-minute free-kick.
New signing Nathan Redmond earned Norwich City a 1-0 win over Southampton, cutting in from the left and drilling a low shot into the bottom-left corner mid-way through the second half at Carrow Road.
Cardiff, meanwhile, followed up its shock win over City with a 0-0 draw at home to Everton, the Toffees’ third straight draw.