Whether in so doing he kept his manager Nigel Pearson in a job seems unlikely. The three points moved the Foxes up to seventh but even so the rumours regarding the club's Thai owners' unhappiness about the inconsistent start to the season – the Foxes have lost all three of their away games – illustrated the pressure faced by many managers in the Championship this season.
His opposite number, Steve Bruce, demonstrated as much. The Hull manager's tirade at an assistant referee resulted in him being sent to the stands and a humiliating delay when he was unable to find a seat.
Bruce was at least able to shake his head at his idiocy. "Sometimes you do some stupid things. At my age especially, I shouldn't go on like a raving lunatic and I've been in to the referee and apologised."
Just to add to his embarrassment, he then extended the apology to "the people of Sunderland" – the club he managed before Hull.
It was a bad day all round for Hull. Although Jay Simpson equalised Nugent's early left-foot strike, they conceded a second to the former England striker – a header – just before the break and rarely looked like equalising before Ahmed Elmohamady's late header was cleared off the line and from the resulting break, Nugent made it three with a composed right-foot finish, a perfect hat-trick.
"It was a long time coming but my 100th league goal on Wednesday and now first hat-trick, so not a bad week," he said.
Both Nugent and Pearson had a word for the young French midfielder Anthony Knockaert, who was a creative threat throughout and was in the right place to clear from Elmohamady.
Thirteen points from their opening six games meant Hull came into the game having made their best start to a season for 20 years but they were immediately put on the back foot. There was an element of luck about the opening goal in that the rebound from Ben Marshall's blocked shot fell nicely into the path of Nugent but the angled finish had a certainty which reminded one why Nugent has an England appearance to his name.
In the next few minutes Jamie Vardy twice went close to doubling Leicester's lead, first being denied by a fine save by Ben Amos and then by a remarkable goalline clearance by Sone Aluko.
One of the advantages of a genuine 3-5-2, however, is the opportunities it affords to get numbers forward quickly and shortly before the half hour Hull illustrated the point. Robert Koren's clever touch created space in the middle, the ball was quickly funnelled right to Aluko, and although his driven ball across the area looked more like a shot than a cross, a stretching Simpson was on hand to turn the ball home.
However, it was Leicester who went in at half-time ahead. Ben Marshall's shot was cleared off the line but the ball was turned back across goal by Knockaert for Nugent to head beyond Amos.
Leicester continued to dominate possession, but the game, played in steady rain, became increasingly scrappy. Knockaert drew another save from Amos but until added time the chief incident came when Bruce, despite Pearson's attempts to calm the situation, lost his temper and paid the price.
Man of the match David Nugent (Leicester City)
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