Ten-man City tame Tigers
Manchester City shrugged off the 10th-minute sending-off of captain Vincent Kompany as they dredged up a 2-0 win at Hull to keep the pressure on leaders Chelsea at the top of the Barclays Premier League.
David Silva struck a superb long-range opener just four minutes after Kompany was shown a straight red card by referee Lee Mason for hauling down Nikica Jelavic who was through on goal.
And after the visitors were forced to withstand fierce second-half pressure including a pair of penalty shouts involving substitute George Boyd, they sealed their return to second place when Silva sent through Edin Dzeko to make it two in the final minute.
It had been a far from straight-forward afternoon for City boss Manuel Pellegrini, who made two changes to the side beaten in Barcelona in midweek, including the expected absence of hamstring injury victim Sergio Aguero.
Heading into the game on the back of two successive defeats, City certainly looked skittish in the early stages, a first-minute Tom Huddlestone free-kick skimming the head of Ahmed Elmohamady in the box, then Jelavic cutting in the box past Martin Demichelis before Gael Clichy booted clear.
It might have got worse for the visitors in the seventh minute, when Long burst clear onto a Jelavic through-ball only to be pegged back for a marginal offside.
And it did get worse three minutes later, when Kompany was dismissed for hauling down Jelavic as the Croatian looked to go clean through on goal.
But the visitors did not take long to respond in style, Yaya Toure feeding Silva who curled his left-foot opener past Allan McGregor with 14 minutes on the clock.
Hull shrugged off the setback and responded well, Long's cross towards Jelavic made safe by a strong intervention from Demichelis, then a ball from the opposite flank by Elmohamady plucked from the air by Hart.
Mindful of their numerical disadvantage City seemed happy to contain their opponents and take their chances on the counter-attack, and it almost led to Pellegrini's men increasing their lead just past the half-hour mark.
Pablo Zabaleta let fly with a rising volley from the right side of the box which hit the underside of McGregor's bar and bounced down not far from the goal-line before being headed away by Tigers captain Curtis Davies.
The home side's frustration was evident in Elmohamady's clumsy high challenge on Silva shortly afterwards, for which the Egyptian deservedly earned a booking from referee Mason, and it could have been more.
David Meyler had the ball in the net in the 36th minute but was ruled offside, then Jake Livermore came close two minutes from the break with a low drive which flashed inches wide of a stretching Hart's right-hand post.
Hull continued to push in the early stages of the second half, a shot on the turn from Long stinging Hart's hands and a free-kick from half-time substitute Sone Aluko wriggling under Toure and giving Jelavic a shooting chance.
Meyler also tested with a header from a Huddlestone free-kick after Zabaleta was booked for a scything challenge on Meyler.
Boyd, a replacement for Meyler, posed the City back-line a few problems and Javier Garcia had to be alert to pluck the substitute's deep cross away from danger in the 67th minute.
Two minutes later Boyd had a big penalty shout waved away by Mason after going through on goal and to appearing to trip over the out-stretched leg of Hart.
As the frustration levels increased, Hart was given a stern telling-off by Mason for his angry reaction and moments later Boyd had another penalty appeal waved away after falling under Fernandinho's challenge in the box.
Fernandinho missed a good chance to double City's lead in the 71st minute and McGregor pulled off a fine save to deny Dzeko three minutes from time.
Dzeko finally got on the scoresheet in the last minute when Silva's neat ball sent him through on goal and the Bosnian calmly slid City's second past McGregor.