Match ends, Hull City 3, Birmingham City 0.
Hull City gave some festive cheer to their fans with a thumping win against Birmingham City that puts them in the pack of Championship play-off chasers going into the Christmas period.
After a slow start, it looked as though the first half would finish level but Tom Eaves, back in the side following concussion, steered in a header in first-half stoppage time for the opener.
Kamil Grosicki added a second in the second period, latching on to a beauty of a through-ball from Jarrod Bowen and coolly lofting the ball over Connal Trueman.
Substitute Keane Lewis-Potter came on and added a late third to boost the Tigers' goal difference, and leave them just four points off the top six.
Birmingham have now lost three games in a row for the second time this season and are 15th in the table, nine points adrift of the top six.
However, such form was put into perspective by head coach Pep Clotet in his post-match press conference when he confirmed assistant Paco Herrera would not be returning to the club in the immediate future, as he spends time with his family on compassionate leave.
The home side - who are at home to Nottingham Forest next - already had a hoodoo over the Blues in East Yorkshire with five straight home wins, and extended that run to six to lie 11th.
They have also now recorded wins in five of the past nine, with the impressive Bowen again showing his value with a key assist for the Grosicki goal.
Clotet's Blues now have just one win from their last nine before their Boxing Day visit to Blackburn Rovers.
Hull boss Grant McCan told BBC Radio Humberside:
"It was nice to get that goal right on the stroke of half-time and that gave us a bit of belief.
"It was nice to see young Keane [Lewis-Potter] come on and do what he does best, we've seen that every day in training and it was nice for him to get that goal in front of the Hull fans.
"Defensively we did what we need to do more of this season. When we lost the ball we sprinted, we've worked a lot this week on recoveries and that's something the best teams have in this league, we're nearly there."
Birmingham City head coach Pep Clotet told BBC WM:
"I'm disappointed [with the] result, especially as we were on a good run away from home. Unfortunately we made a mistake giving them the corner and that goal before half-time made it very difficult for us.
"We go back tomorrow at the training ground and we'll get everyone's head right and bounce back.
"We all know we need to improve and we need to put it right. We were half a yard off everything, we didn't look comfortable in our game."
- 5BurkeBooked at 51mins
- 4de Wijs
- 36IrvineBooked at 28mins
- 37Da Silva Lopes
- 19BowlerSubstituted forBattyat 63'minutes
- 11GrosickiSubstituted forHoneymanat 81'minutes
- 9EavesSubstituted forLewis-Potterat 76'minutes
- 16McEachranBooked at 64minsSubstituted forCrowleyat 69'minutesBooked at 85mins
- 17Villalba RodrigoSubstituted forMonteroat 63'minutes
- 22BellinghamSubstituted forGiménezat 54'minutes
- Anthony Backhouse
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Hull City 3, Birmingham City 0.
Attempt missed. Jérémie Bela (Birmingham City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Kristian Pedersen.
Offside, Hull City. Callum Elder tries a through ball, but Jarrod Bowen is caught offside.
Goal! Hull City 3, Birmingham City 0. Keane Lewis-Potter (Hull City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Eric Lichaj with a through ball.
Foul by Reece Burke (Hull City).
Harlee Dean (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Daniel Crowley (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Jarrod Bowen (Hull City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Daniel Crowley (Birmingham City).
Substitution, Hull City. George Honeyman replaces Kamil Grosicki.
Attempt missed. Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Jefferson Montero with a cross.
Attempt saved. Jarrod Bowen (Hull City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jackson Irvine.
Substitution, Hull City. Keane Lewis-Potter replaces Tom Eaves.
Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by Reece Burke.
Attempt missed. Álvaro Giménez (Birmingham City) header from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Jefferson Montero with a cross.
Hand ball by Jarrod Bowen (Hull City).
Corner, Birmingham City. Conceded by George Long.
Substitution, Birmingham City. Daniel Crowley replaces Josh McEachran.
Attempt blocked. Jarrod Bowen (Hull City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.