Football

Easing relegation fears

Niasse is Hull's Silva lining, Bournemouth hail their King

Oumar Niasse proved to be an inspired substitution by Marco Silva, as his second-half double boosted Hull City's hopes of retaining their English 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 on 24 points.

Swansea, who have lost seven of their last 11 games, remain firmly embroiled in the battle for survival just three points clear of Hull.

Silva made the crucial call in the 63rd minute to remove Alfred N'Diaye and send on Niasse largely because the former was close to getting sent off after bringing down Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Within six minutes, the change paid dividends as the Senegal striker 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.

Swansea defender Alfie Mawson's stoppage-time header ensured an anxious finale, but Hull held on to secure their first league win in four matches.

"After 60 minutes, we needed to play with a different system, with a little bit more risk and our two strikers did very well," said Silva.

"We met our obligation. We needed to win this game to make our players more comfortable and give them confidence.

"Now is the time to rest and keep our progress, to keep doing our work and to continue our fight."

Meanwhile, Joshua King scored a hat-trick and missed one of two penalties Bournemouth squandered as they edged a five-goal thriller 3-2 against West Ham to move six points away from Premier League relegation danger on Saturday.

Bournemouth's failure from the spot looked to have cost them two points, when West Ham substitute Andre Ayew pulled the visitors level at 2-2 eight minutes from time, but King capped an action-packed afternoon by lashing home a 90th-minute winner.

A timely first league win in 2017 put Bournemouth, who are 14th, on 30 points.

"It sums up the Premier League really - the ups and downs are extreme, but we played well," Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said.

"It's a demanding league, but I am proud of my players - they never give in and showed that again today."

GOOD CHARACTER

Bournemouth's win was all the more remarkable given they missed two penalties, with King firing wide in the ninth minute before Benik Afobe's weak effort in the 37th minute was saved by Darren Randolph.

"Obviously, I was annoyed that I missed the penalty, but it was early in the game and, as a striker, you need to keep your head cool and I knew there would be more chances in the game - luckily, I got three more," King told the Bournemouth website.

"It was good character to come back and win the game after missing the two penalties.

"We're a team and we're backing one another. I didn't see anyone pulling faces when we missed the penalties.

"I knew I had my teammates behind me, so that was the most important thing." - WIRE SERVICES

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