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September 27, 2014

HULL, England (AP) — Manchester City threw away an early two-goal lead before recovering to beat Hull 4-2 Saturday for its first win in four Premier League matches.

Edin Dzeko scored twice and Frank Lampard grabbed his fourth goal in three games.

City looked to have sealed the points early on at the KC Stadium as Sergio Aguero and Dzeko both found the net inside 11 minutes, with Dzeko hitting a stunning strike from the edge of the penalty area.

But City let Hull back into the match after center back Eliaquim Mangala headed an own-goal past Willy Cabellero, who replaced the dropped Joe Hart, in the 21st.

Abel Hernandez then converted a penalty kick in the 32nd after being recklessly tackled high by Mangala.

But Manuel Pellegrini's visiting side regained control after the interval and sealed victory through Dzeko's clinical finish and a trademark strike from Lampard.

For Pellegrini the win will be a relief, but there was plenty of room for improvement. Gael Clichy was a near liability at left back and the expensively assembled midfield pairing of Yaya Toure and Fernandinho was frequently cowed by Mohamed Diame.

The game began at a furious pace, Aguero charging at goal and testing Allan McGregor at the near post with just 40 seconds on the clock. Hull wasted little time making inroads of its own, Jake Livermore sending a tricky cross into the six-yard box where Nikica Jelavic just failed to make contact having slipped between Vincent Kompany and Mangala.

It took just seven minutes for the opener to arrive, Hull having twice failed to get the ball clear. They left Aguero criminally unmarked as Pablo Zabaleta fought hard to head back into the danger zone. Aguero needed just one touch to shoot across McGregor and into the corner.

Four minutes later Dzeko lashed in the second, collecting David Silva's pass and turning Liam Rosenior before expertly finding the top corner.

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Hull's response was impressive as the hosts hit back in the 21st. Ahmed Elmohamady linked well with Rosenior before the latter breezed past Clichy and crossed from the right.

There were plenty of blue shirts on hand but the first, Mangala, lost his bearings completely as he sent an unstoppable header arrowing into his own net.

Aguero nearly dampened the celebrations when he went straight up the pitch and slotted an inch or two wide on the counter but Hull was not finished either. Diame began to boss the midfield, Toure and Fernandinho dropping deeper and deeper, while Elmohamady and Rosenior continued their assault on Clichy.

The reward came in the 32nd minute, Diame chipping to Hernandez only for the striker to be taken out by Mangala's wild high-footed challenge. The Uruguayan sent Caballero the wrong way and the champions were glad to hear the half-time whistle.

But the second half went City's way after the ineffective Fernandinho gave way for Jesus Navas for the last 25 minutes.

It was a risky switch that left Manchester City light on ball-winners but it regained the lead in a matter of minutes.Silva was the driver, cutting inside and riding Diame's challenge before freeing Dzeko on the left.

The striker finished clinically, sliding his shot past the outstretched McGregor and in at the far post in the 68th.

There was just enough time for Lampard to add to his remarkable scoring sequence, arriving with a typical late run to convert Zabaleta's cut-back with three minutes left.

City has 11 points from six games, five points behind league leaders Chelsea.