Aston Villa 1-1 Hull City: Jarrod Bowen strike earns Tigers point
Last Updated: 06/08/17 8:13pm
Jarrod Bowen's first competitive goal earned Hull City an opening-day point against Aston Villa following a 1-1 draw at Villa Park.
The 20-year-old lashed home a left-footed effort in the 62nd minute to cap an improved second-half display by Leonid Slutsky's men, who were outplayed by Villa in the opening period.
The visitors had fallen behind inside seven minutes when Gabriel Agbonlahor, restored to the Villa starting line-up, underlined the hosts' positive start with the opening goal.
But, on a day when new Villa captain John Terry made his debut, both teams failed to take their chances - Villa substitute Andre Green missing a glorious late opportunity - as both had to settle for a point on their Sky Bet Championship opener.
John Terry made his Villa debut alongside fellow summer recruits Glenn Whelan and Ahmed Elmohamady, who lined up against his former club. Leonid Slutsky, meanwhile, handed Hull debuts to summer signings Ola Aina and Michael Hector, Academy product Max Clark and a second debut to Frazier Campbell following his Tigers loan in 2007/08.
Villa began brightly, creating a host of early chances. Henri Lansbury ran between the Hull centre-halves and Neil Taylor's long ball from the left-back position picked him out perfectly. Lansbury controlled the pass on his chest but his shot from the left side of the penalty area went wide of the far post.
Lansbury turned provider shortly afterwards. The danger again came down the left as Agbonlahor was put through on goal, but Allan McGregor did well to come out and smother the ball at Agbonlahor's feet.
The goal came from the opposite side. Ahmed Elmohamady had Alan Hutton on the overlap and his low cross made it all the way to the back post where Agbonlahor steered the ball into the net from six yards out.
Hull managed to settle and stem the flow of Villa attacks and a rare attack of their own almost saw Fraizer Campbell get on the end of a Sam Clucas cross midway through the first half but Sam Johnstone was alert to the danger. The Villa goalkeeper then had to field a Kamil Grosicki shot from the edge of the box.
It was not long until Hull were on the back foot again, though, and McGregor's block denied Scott Hogan the perfect finish to a mazy run inside the penalty area. Hogan was then unable to get a telling touch on Elmohamady's deflected cross and Michael Dawson cleared the ball from just in front of the goal line.
A very comfortable first half for Villa ended with a reminder of just how slim their lead was as Abel Hernandez flashed a shot wide from the edge of the area before Johnstone had to save in quick succession from Campbell and then Grosicki as Hull went into the break with some encouragement.
Slutsky's team carried that momentum into the second half with a sustained period of pressure and they deservedly equalised after 62 minutes when Grosicki took on Taylor and stood up a cross to the far post where Bowen scored with a low volley.
Green should have put Villa back in front with 10 minutes remaining but got his header all wrong from two yards out and directed the ball back across goal.
Aston Villa: Johnstone (8), Hutton (8), Terry (7), Chester (7), Taylor (7), Whelan (6), Lansbury (6), Elmohamady (7), Bacuna (6), Agbonlahor (7), Hogan (6).
Subs: Samba (n/a), Onomah (4), Green (4).
Hull City: McGregor (7), Aina (6), Clark (6), Dawson (6), Hector (6), Henriksen (6), Clucas (5), Bowen (7), Grosicki (6), Campbell (5), Hernandez (6).
Subs: Mazuch (n/a), Meyler (4), Weir (4).
Man of the match: Alan Hutton.
Steve Bruce: "We've created a lot of chances - and some really good opportunities too - and at this level you have to stick them away. It's a problem that blighted us last season and it has raised its head again today. We relied too heavily on Kodj (Jonathan Kodjia) who we don't have at the moment.
"John (Terry) will give us huge experience, he didn't put a foot wrong. That kind of big experience is what's needed at a big club like ours, with the expectation and anxiety around the place at times."
Leonid Slutsky: "We played very bad at the start but in the end I am very proud. It was a difficult time for me and my team, a lot of us are new to the Championship. There were a lot of firsts. Aston Villa is a big team, it was a
full stadium and a very good atmosphere for them at home. It made it difficult for us.
"But we will adapt after more matches. We played very well and created some good chances and in the end I think we deserve this result."
Aston Villa head to Colchester on Wednesday for a Carabao Cup first-round clash, live on Sky Sports, before travelling to Cardiff for their second Sky Bet Championship outing of the new season. Hull, meanwhile, take on Burton in their first home game at the KCOM Stadium.