Match ends, Sunderland 0, Hull City 1.
Hull go sixth as Carvalho seals win at Sunderland19 January 2024
Fabio Carvalho struck a second-half winner as Hull City moved up into the Championship play-off spots with a narrow victory at fellow top-six contenders Sunderland.
In a poor game, the on-loan Liverpool forward produced the decisive moment in the 71st minute when his volley took a big deflection off the head of Dan Neil and wrong-footed goalkeeper Anthony Patterson for his first Hull goal.
There were few real chances - Trai Hume had Sunderland's best effort when his piledriver was pushed over by Ryan Allsop.
But after a run of four defeats in five games, the victory moves the Tigers up to sixth, while the Black Cats drop a place to eighth as they were booed off at full-time.
However, both sides could slip down a tight table on Saturday depending on the results of teams in and around them, with just three points separating seventh from 13th spot.
This was Sunderland's first home game since their FA Cup defeat by bitter rivals Newcastle United.
It was an occasion most Black Cats fans are keen to forget after public relations mistakes in the lead-up, being outclassed on the pitch and watching their Tyneside opponents then celebrate at length afterwards.
But they have now followed it up with two losses in the league.
Michael Beale, who replaced the popular Tony Mowbray in December, has yet to win over supporters and indifferent form since has not helped to bring them on side.
The first half did little to change that mood as the hosts managed only one shot on target - a tame one from Alex Pritchard - and struggled to put Hull under too much pressure.
Not that the Tigers were particularly threatening either, with Lewie Coyle's shot when he came up from right-back, comfortably saved by Patterson, their best moment.
More notable was the fact that five Hull players had been booked by regular Premier League referee Rob Jones before the interval, the most in the first half for any Championship side this season.
First goal for 13 months
It was not until past the hour mark that a goalkeeper was properly extended when Allsop had to tip over defender Hume's powerful drive from outside the area.
But that did not bother the visitors as they found the way to goal thanks to 21-year-old Carvalho.
When fellow Liverpool loanee Tyler Morton picked him out after a corner was only half cleared, the Portugal Under-21 forward returned it with the help of a deflection.
It was his first goal since December 2022 when he scored for Liverpool against Manchester City in an EFL Cup tie, a run of 21 games which also included a spell on loan in Germany before Christmas with RB Leipzig.
That goal, followed by Beale's decision to replace Nazariy Rusyn with fellow striker Hemir when they had to score was greeted with chants of 'sacked in the morning' from sections of the Stadium of Light.
The home side had a flurry of corners and a several blocked shots as they chased an equaliser, but they did not attack with any conviction as they suffered a third home defeat out of four on Beale's watch, with fans again venting their frustrations at the final whistle.
But thanks to a first clean sheet in eight games, Hull and head coach Liam Rosenior can look to compete for that play-off spot over the remaining 18 matches.
Sunderland head coach Michael Beale told BBC Radio Newcastle:
"We were the more dominant team, but we lacked a cutting edge in the final third for all our possession.
"The more attempts we had, we should do better but that's on me as coach to find solutions for that.
"I get the fans' frustrations but they can see the effort on the park from the players.
"But any little help they can give the players would be a help. They have to understand the strength of help they can give to the team."
Hull City head coach Liam Rosenior told BBC Radio Humberside:
"This feels great. We've been up against it the last few weeks, it's the first time we've felt things going a little bit against us.
"So to put in such a committed performance, full of belief, hard work and endeavour, I couldn't be prouder of the players tonight.
"But we've got to keep that going for the rest of the season."
- 23SeeltSubstituted forPembéléat 81'minutes
- 39EkwahBooked at 48minsSubstituted forBaat 81'minutes
- 20ClarkeBooked at 90mins
- 15RusynSubstituted forSilva Semedoat 72'minutes
- 9Silva Semedo
- 17AllsopBooked at 83mins
- 2CoyleBooked at 32mins
- 29JacobBooked at 89mins
- 8DochertyBooked at 30mins
- 15MortonBooked at 40mins
- 27SlaterBooked at 43mins
- 22LokiloSubstituted forSayyadmaneshat 88'minutes
- 45CarvalhoSubstituted forMcLoughlinat 83'minutes
- 7TufanBooked at 17minsSubstituted forSharpat 66'minutes
- Robert Jones
Second Half ends, Sunderland 0, Hull City 1.