- POSTED: 27 Dec 2013 00:01
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Manchester United doggedly overturned a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 against Hull City at the KC Stadium on Thursday and clamber into the Premier League's top six.
KINGSTON UPON HULL: An own goal from former player James Chester helped Manchester United register their third consecutive Premier League victory with a 3-2 win at Hull City on Thursday.
Hull led 2-0 after 13 minutes thanks to goals from Chester and David Meyler, but a header from Chris Smalling and a brilliant Wayne Rooney volley made it 2-2 before half an hour had been played.
The decisive blow came in the 66th minute at the KC Stadium when Chester headed Ashley Young's cross into his own net.
United ended the match with 10 men after Antonio Valencia was sent off for a second booking after kicking the ball away in stoppage time.
It was an escape for United, whose attacking prowess made up for their defensive shortcomings.
Amid British media reports that his United career is coming to an end, Rio Ferdinand was left out of the visitors' squad by manager David Moyes, but the champions' defending still left much to be desired.
Hull were 2-0 up after only 13 minutes and it was an advantage the hosts earned by taking the game to their illustrious opponents.
Tom Huddlestone's fourth-minute corner was headed down by Alex Bruce and Chester powered the ball into the roof of the net from inside the six-yard box after slipping away from Rooney.
It was a sweet moment for the Hull defender, who was a boyhood Manchester United fan and spent 13 years at Old Trafford as a trainee.
Nine minutes later it got even better for Hull as United made another hash of clearing a ball into the box.
Jonny Evans's attempted clearance fell straight to Meyler and the Ireland midfielder's weak shot hit Evans and trickled across the line with goalkeeper David de Gea wrong-footed.
Moyes introduced Adnan Januzaj in place of the injured Rafael da Silva and the 18-year-old winger made an instant impression, luring Maynor Figueroa into conceding a free-kick, from which United's first goal stemmed.
Rooney's ball in was met by Smalling and the England defender guided his header wide of Allan McGregor and into the net.
Hull were still reeling when United struck again to make it 2-2.
There looked to be no danger as Curtis Davies nudged the ball away from Danny Welbeck, but the loose ball found its way to Rooney, who lashed in a fierce volley from 25 yards.
It was a classic Rooney strike, befitting of his 150th Premier League goal for the club.
United finally looked settled and Darren Fletcher, making his first start since December 2012 after a chronic bowel problem, was a steadying influence in midfield before being replaced after 61 minutes.
After surrendering their lead, Hull looked in danger of being blown away but, to their credit, they rallied and created more chances.
Yannick Sagbo's shot was punched away by De Gea after Danny Graham's neat square pass on the edge of the area and Huddlestone's low drive from the corner of the box was deflected wide.
United got an almighty scare from the resulting corner when Bruce, unmarked again, crashed a header off the top of the post.
Just as United were starting to look vulnerable again, they were gifted the lead when Chester headed into his own net from Young's cross.
It was cruel on the 24-year-old defender, who was forced to intervene, with Rooney waiting to pounce.
Still, Hull had their chances as Valencia's dismissal forced United onto the back foot.
Graham headed tamely at De Gea from Sagbo's cross and Chester was denied by the Spanish goalkeeper, who pushed his low shot behind for a corner in injury time.