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Hull City climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time since October as they came from behind to earn a crucial victory against relegation rivals Middlesbrough.
Their win, coupled with Tottenham’s dramatic late turn-around against Swansea, means Marco Silva’s side move to 17th, two points ahead of the Swans.
Alvaro Negredo put Middlesbrough ahead at the KCOM Stadium in just the fifth minute, sliding in to convert Adama Traore’s cross.
But Hull – who were excellent throughout – equalised nine minutes later when Lazar Markovic scrambled the ball home following Andrew Robertson’s deflected cross.
The Tigers were then ahead on the 27th minute when Oumar Niasse coolly finished from Abel Hernandez’s headed knock-down.
Six minutes later Hernandez scored Hull’s third, side-footing home from Kamil Grosicki’s cross before Boro controversially pulled a goal back minutes before half-time.
Ben Gibson directed a corner towards goal and Marten de Roon headed home from an offside position inside the six-yard box.
Hull were not put off however, controlling much of the second half, and scored their fourth when Harry Maguire powerfully headed in a Robertson free-kick.
Defeat for Middlesbrough leaves them 19th seven points from safety with eight games remaining.
Hull were bottom when Marco Silva took over in January but now a fifth win under the Portuguese takes them out of the drop zone.
All five of those wins have come at the KCOM Stadium where Silva has taken 16 points from a possible 18.
The Hull boss also stretched his unbeaten home record to 40 games, a run that includes his time at former clubs Estoril, Sporting Lisbon and Olympiakos.
Hull played fluently throughout, having 17 shots on goal, with Silva labelling it their best performance since his arrival at the club.
The Tigers four-man midfield plus starting strikers Oumar Niasse and Abel Hernandez all impressed while the team also reacted well to Middlesbrough’s two goals – one early and one controversial – when other teams could have crumbled.
Middlesbrough have struggled to score throughout the season on their return to the Premier League and looked to place greater emphasis on attack when Agnew replaced Aitor Karanka as manager last month.
Strikers Rudy Gestede and Alvaro Negredo both started against Hull and Agnew was rewarded with two goals in a game for the first time since December.
However, that resulted in his team being more open at the back.
Ben Gibson has impressed this campaign – recently earning his first England call-up – but was at fault for Hull’s first and second goals after failing to clear.
The Middlesbrough defence was then cut open by just two passes for the home side’s third when Maguire’s pass from deep played in Kamil Grosicki and then the Pole squared for Hernandez to score.
Hull’s fourth was also simple, with Harry Maguire allowed to head home unchallenged from a set piece.
Four goals is the most Boro have conceded this season and stretches their winless run to 13 games.
Hull boss Marco Silva: “We started very well and strong with good intensity which caused problems for the opponents. The first time they attacked they scored and afterwards we reacted fantastic.
“We controlled the game and showed focus in our back line after one bad decision for the second goal. The opponents got back into game, it was not easy for our players, but we then controlled the second half and I don’t remember one shot on our goal.
“When I came things were not good, the atmosphere was not the best and many people don’t believe. If you don’t believe, it is impossible. Today was a good day but nothing is finished today.”
Middlesbrough head coach Steve Agnew: “I am bitterly disappointed and everyone is.
“It is not the result we wanted. To score the goal early on, from that we got carried away with the emotions of the game and we were poor defensively – everyone takes responsibility for that.
“It was a big game and we have got to find a balance between scoring goals and staying solid at the back.
“We had more chances and got goals but we are disappointed, as a team the defensive formation let us down.”
Asked about his team’s survival chances, Agnew said: “We have to be realistic. We have a huge challenge and the players will never give in. We have eight games left.”
Middlesbrough host Burnley in a crucial game on Saturday while Hull travel to Manchester City the same day (both 15:00 BST kick-offs).