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Manchester City labors past Hull in Premier League

updated 6:26 PM EDT, Sat August 31, 2013
Substitute Alvaro Negredo scored the headed winner for Manchester City against Hull.
Substitute Alvaro Negredo scored the headed winner for Manchester City against Hull.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Manchester City scores two second-half goals to beat Hull in England's Premier League
  • Hull had the better chances in the first half, with Sone Aluko missing when clean through
  • The win for Manchester City comes after a defeat to another promoted team on Sunday
  • Newcastle scores first league goal and collects first win by downing Fulham 1-0

(CNN) -- It was far from convincing but Manchester City beat Hull 2-0 in the English Premier League to bounce back from a defeat against another newly promoted side.

Second-half substitute Alvaro Negredo netted the winner when he beat keeper Allan McGregor in the 65th minute and Yaya Toure made sure of the victory with a stunning free kick in the 90th.

Although still early in the campaign, Manchester City was under pressure following a 3-2 loss at Cardiff City on Sunday after taking the lead.

Read: Cardiff stuns City

Had Hull converted any of its three good chances in the opening half Saturday, the result might have been different and more pressure would have been felt by new City boss Manuel Pellegrini.

"It was hard work," Pellegrini was quoted as saying by the BBC. "Every match is going to be hard work. Hull defended very well.

"We know you have to give 100% to win every match but I think today that we were more concentrated in defense than" against Cardiff.

Manchester City, the champion two seasons ago and expected to contend for the title this campaign with Manchester United and Chelsea, improved to two wins and a loss.

Chelsea has seven points through three games while United faces Liverpool on Sunday after registering a win and draw in its opening two fixtures.

Hull slipped to a win and two losses but manager Steve Bruce must have felt his side deserved better at the Etihad Stadium.

"The way we played, against one of the best teams in Europe, gives us enormous confidence," Bruce was quoted as saying by the BBC. "I think we have proved to a few people that we can play at this level."

Still without injured captain Vincent Kompany, City's defense looked shaky and Hull striker Sone Aluko should have done better when he was in alone on struggling keeper Joe Hart.

He shot wide.

Danny Graham had a goal disallowed for offside after a stunning cross from Robbie Brady and Robert Koren's low drive fizzed a yard wide.

"We cannot come here and have chances like we have had and not take one," said Bruce.

McGregor, meanwhile, tipped over Joleon Lescott's header.

Pellegrini brought on Negredo for Edin Dzeko to start the second and the move paid dividends when the Spanish international headed home Pablo Zabaleta's fine cross.

Kompany's meteoric rise to the top
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City failed to add to the lead until Toure's effort. It was his second goal from a free kick this season following a strike versus Newcastle.

Respite for Pardew

The Magpies scored their first league goal of the season to beat Fulham 1-0. Hatem Ben Arfa's late strike eased some of the pressure on relieved Newcastle boss Alan Pardew.

"You can't predict when you are going to score but what you can predict is your performance and in the second half we were terrific," Pardew was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Cardiff followed up Sunday's victory by holding Everton 0-0, the Toffees' third consecutive draw.

Newly promoted Crystal Palace won its first league game, beating slumping Sunderland 3-1, and Stoke recorded a rare away win, 1-0 at West Ham. Norwich blanked Southampton -- which isn't easy -- 1-0.

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