Manchester United ended the 2014/15 season in disappointing fashion at the KC Stadium – with ten men and a goalless draw against Hull City, who were subsequently relegated from the Barclays Premier League after Newcastle claimed the victory they needed to send the Tigers down.
Steve Bruce’s men had the better of the chances in a lacklustre 90 minutes and while the home side rightly had two goals disallowed for offside, they were also denied by a couple of excellent saves from Victor Valdes, who made his first start for the Reds in place of the injured David De Gea. A frustrating afternoon for United was capped by Marouane Fellaini’s red card for a studs-up challenge on ex-Red Paul McShane.
Despite there being little riding on the game for United, Louis van Gaal stayed true to his word and fielded a strong side, featuring fit-again captain Wayne Rooney and Angel Di Maria, who made his first start since the FA Cup defeat to Arsenal at the start of March. The Argentinian took up a spot on the left wing, with Juan Mata on the right and Ashley Young behind Rooney. There was no Radamel Falcao after he picked up a knock in training, while Robin van Persie was named on the bench.
United legend and Hull boss Bruce, who has never tasted victory over his former club as a manager, fielded an unchanged team which included three ex-Reds – Robbie Brady, James Chester and McShane. The Tigers knew only a win would do to give them any chance of staying up – they also had to rely on events at St James’ Park to go in their favour – and the home side were at it from the off with Dame N’Doye testing Valdes with an early header. A minute later Rooney, a man with seven goals in five appearances against Hull, clipped the top of the bar from 20 yards, but the opening part of the game belonged to Bruce’s men.