For match photos, scroll to PHOTOSTREAM above left; for match stats, click on the stats tab. Manager reaction below
Hull City recorded their biggest ever Barclays Premier League win as they beat Fulham 6-0 at the KC Stadium.
Fulham went into the match looking to secure back-to-back away Barclays Premier League wins for only the second time since May 2011, but instead fell to their heaviest defeat in the top flight.
After a goalless first half, Hull were rampant after the break, Ahmed Elmohamady breaking the deadlock three minutes into the second period. Robert Koren fired in the second on the hour mark, before George Boyd added the third just three minutes later as Rene Meulensteen's side wilted.
Tom Huddlestone rounded off an impressive display by netting his first Barclays Premier League goal since April 2011 and second-half substitute Matty Fryatt added number five with 16 minutes left.
Koren knocked a rebound in the closing stages after David Stockdale, who helped Hull to promotion on loan last season, spilled a Danny Graham effort in the six-yard box.
Steve Bruce made three changes from the team that lost to Manchester United and was boosted by Allan McGregor’s inclusion, despite the goalkeeper being forced off against the Baclays Premier League champions through injury.
The away side had won at Norwich City two days previously but Meulensteen named six alterations to that team, with Hugo Rodallega and Bryan Ruiz slotting back into the attack while Scott Parker dropped to the bench.
Bruce's side steadily grew into the game and the Cottagers' were saved by the frame of the goal in the 19th minute as Huddlestone's curling free-kick from the right almost snuck into the bottom corner, with Stockdale keeping Boyd’s close-range effort out soon after.
The home side had the best of the chances, Elmohamady striking down Stockdale’s throat and Yannick Sagbo bending an effort wide, they began the second period in determined fashion. After Huddlestone, Sagbo and Koren all went close, Elmohamady gave Hull a 49th minute lead as he prodded a half-volley into the roof of the net after Fulham failed to clear a corner.
The Tigers doubled their advantage 11 minutes later. Sagbo produced a perfectly-timed delivery into the area from deep and Koren arrived to knock past Stockdale.
Hull stretched their lead in the 63rd minute as Boyd hit a 20-yard left-footed shot into the bottom corner for his first top-flight goal and Huddlestone netted an almost-identical strike just a few moments later to celebrate his 27th birthday in fine style.
Huddlestone was also instrumental in the side's fifth. His 35-yard free-kick was tipped on to the crossbar by Stockdale, but substitute Matty Fryatt was on hand to grab his first Barclays Premier League goal.
With just over five minutes remaining, Stockdale spilled a Graham shot and Koren pounced on the rebound to complete a resounding scoreline that leaves Fulham 18th in the Barclays Premier League with the division's worst goal difference.
Hull manager Steve Bruce: "Tom Huddlestone has been waiting for that goal. I've seen some great individual performances but I've never witnessed something as outstanding as what he produced today. Everyone else fed off that and joined in. Once we scored it gave everyone belief and the floodgates opened and it will live long in the memory."
Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen: "Today was just not good enough. We didn't play particularly well in the first half but were still in the game. The spell from 60 minutes onwards they score three quick goals and it was game over. We couldn't come back from it.
"In hindsight the Christmas period is a busy period and we have to make a few forced injuries but that is why you have a squad. It's my responsibly to make those changes so I take full responsibility."
|01 Jan 2014||v Liverpool (A)|
|11 Jan 2014||v Chelsea (H)|
|18 Jan 2014||v Norwich (A)|
|28 Jan 2014||v Crystal Palace (A)|
|01 Feb 2014||v Spurs (H)|
|08 Feb 2014||v Sunderland (A)|