The Tigers travel to Aston Villa on Saturday for their first game of the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship campaign - and ahead of the trip to Villa Park, we look back at some of our more memorable recent opening dayÂ victories.
2-1 vs Leicester City | 13th August 2016 | Premier League
The Tigers kicked off the 2016/17 Premier League season in record breaking fashion by becoming the first side to beat the reigning champions on the opening day of the season with an impressive victory over Leicester City at the KCOM Stadium.
The Foxes wasted two decent opportunities to open the scoring in the first 45 minutes as Christian Fuchs was denied by Eldin Jakupovi? and Jamie Vardy’s follow-up thwarted by a saving block by Jake Livermore. In the visitors’ next attack Vardy blazed over from close range after being picked out by Ahmed Musa’s centre.
But, the Tigers punished their opponents for their wastefulness in front of goal on the stroke of half time. Kasper Schmeichel pushed away Curtis Davies’ header from a corner, only to be beaten by an overhead kick by Adama Diomande who kicked the ball fractionally after team-mate Abel Hernandez, with a similar acrobatic strike.
Mahrez equalised two minutes into the second period after Demarai Gray had been felled by Tom Huddlestone. But Robert Snodgrass earned the Tigers all three points shortly before the hour mark. Danny Simpson’s clearance from Ahmed Elmohamady’s ball into the area only found Snodgrass on the edge of the box, who found the back of the net with a low, drilled effort that gave Schmeichel no chance.
Leicester pushed in search of an equaliser but the closest they came was when Danny Drinkwater’s shot which was easily saved by Jakupovi? and Mike Phelan’s Tigers held on to secure a memorable win, inflicting defeat on the reigning English champions on the opening day of a new season for the first time since 1989.
Starting XI: Jakupovi?, Elmohamady, Livermore, Davies, Robertson, Meyler, Huddlestone, Clucas, Snodgrass, Hernández, Diomande.
Subs Not Used: Kuciak, Clackstone, Tymon, Olley, Maloney, Bowen, Luer.
The Promised Land
2-1 vs Fulham | 16th August 2008 | Premier League
The Tigers marked their first-ever appearance in English football’s top-flight in style by coming from behind to beat Fulham on home soil.
A full house at the KCOM greeted the Barclays Premier League newcomers with a rapturous reception but it took just eight minutes for Fulham to burst the bubble of euphoria as Seol Ki-Hyeon glanced a header past Boaz Myhill into the bottom right-hand corner from Jimmy Bullard’s cross.
The visitors wasted a number of decent opportunities to extend their lead and were made to pay for their slack finishing when City hit back with a stunning equaliser from Geovanni midway through the first half, with the Brazilian beating Mark Schwarzer from distance to find the bottom corner.
Both sides had chances to take the lead after the break with Zolten Gera off target for the visitors whilst Michael Turner and Nick Barmby both went close for Phil Brown’s men.
Substitute Caleb Folan was the Tigers’ hero though as his late winner with just eight minutes remaining ensured it was a day to remember for everyone connected with the Club. Fellow sub Craig Fagan caught Paul Konchesky in possession and crossed for Folan, who kept his cool to slide the ball past Aaron Hughes on the line and send the home crowd into raptures.
Starting XI: Myhill, Ricketts, Turner, Anthony Gardner, Dawson, Garcia (Fagan 74), Ashbee, Boateng, Barmby (Halmosi 62), Geovanni, King (Folan 70).
Subs Not Used: Duke, Windass, Mendy, Marney.
2-0 vs Huddersfield Town | 8th August 2015 | Championship
Sam Clucas and Chuba Akpom got the Tigers’ 2015/16 Championship campaign off to a strong start with debut goals to see off Huddersfield.
Steve Bruce’s Tigers fully deserved the win after a dominant display, but it took until the end of the first half to finally break the Terriers down when Clucas netted from Ahmed Elmohamady’s cross. The winger was unmarked running in at the far post and when his first close range effort came back off Alex Smithies he followed up to slot the ball into the roof of the net.
The Terriers played some neat football but were unable to create any clear chances to trouble the home side with Michael Dawson and Curtis Davies in complete control at the back. Akpom became the second debutant to score as he fired high into the Huddersfield goal from the right side of the area 19 minutes from time as the Tigers made their dominance pay.
Starting XI: McGregor, Taylor (Aluko 65), Dawson, Davies, Robertson, Elmohamady, Hayden, Huddlestone, Clucas, Akpom (Luer 83), Jelavi? (Meyler 76).
Subs Not Used: Jakupovi?, Maguire, Dixon, Jahraldo-Martin.
Bostock’s Debut Delight
2-0 vs Swansea City | 7th August 2010 | Championship
John Bostock’s wonder goal on his debut appearance in a black and amber shirt set the Tigers on their way to a convincing home win over Swansea City on the opening day of the 2010/11 campaign.
The Tottenham loanee, who signed just 24 hours earlier, put Nigel Pearson’s side ahead with a 30-yard drive into the top right-hand corner. Having almost broken the deadlock on 17 minutes with a stunning low drive from distance which fizzed just past the foot of Dorus De Vries’s left-hand post, Bostock left the custodian grasping thin air six minutes later, as his stunning 35-yard strike flew into the top corner.
The Tigers went close to doubling their advantage five minutes later, but Anthony Gardner’s bullet header flashed just over the bar. But the second goal did eventually come five minutes into the second half when fit-again Ian Ashbee guaranteed himself a fairytale return to action after a 15-month absence, pouncing on De Vries’ mistake to fire home from inside the box.
Starting XI: Duke, Zayatte, Dawson, Gardner, Ashbee, Kilbane, Bostock (Barmby 83), Cairney, Atkinson (Devitt 69), Solano, Garcia (Cullen 77).
Subs Not Used: Oxley, McShane, Olofinjana, Cousin.
The Journey Begins
4-1 vs Darlington | 9th August 2003 | Division Three
The Tigers lived up to their billing as promotion favourites to kick off the 2003/04 campaign with a crushing victory over Darlington.
In what was the Tigers’ highest attendance for the first home game of a season since 1977, over 14,500 supporters turned up to see Peter Taylor’s new look side in action and they all went away more than happy with what they saw.
Ben Burgess was the star of the show for City with an impeccable performance up front and it was the big striker who opened the scoring with a close-range header midway through the first half. The Quakers went into the half time break on level terms though thanks to Barry Conlon’s neat finish from six yards.
The Tigers stepped up a gear in the second 45 minutes and really went to town on Darlington who simply had no answer to the onslaught. Two goals in as many second-half minutes, from Jason Price and Alton Thelwell, gave Taylor’s men a two-goal cushion before Danny Allsopp rounded off a convincing win, drilling the ball into the bottom corner from 12 yards.
Starting XI: Fettis, Thelwell, Delaney, Joseph, Hinds (Whittle 53), Ashbee, Green, Price Elliott (Keates 80), Burgess, Allsopp (Forrester 83).
Subs Not Used: Musselwhite, Appleby.