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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
12:11 19th October 2014

For a long period in the second half, it looked like being a repeat of 2008. Hull City had battled back from a goal down to lead 2-1 against Arsenal at the Emirates.

Some heroic defending had kept it that way after goals from Mohamed Diame, his fourth in five games, and Abel Hernandez, his third in five, had propelled City in front after Alexis Sanchez had given Arsenal an early lead.

However, as the clock ticked over into added time, the Tigers eventually cracked as Danny Welbeck struck from close range to see the points shared.

But where there had been disappointment in late surrenders on the road to Newcastle and West Brom in recent weeks, make no mistake this was a tremendous point for the Tigers in the face of adversity.

The Arsenal injury ‘crisis’ may have dominated pre-match headlines, but it was City’s plans that were dealt the real blows as they lost Nikica Jelavic, Steve Harper and Michael Dawson to injury at various stages of the afternoon.

Jelavic bowed out before the game had even kicked off, injured in the warm up and replaced by Hernandez, who had initially dropped to the bench for Hatem Ben Arfa to make his first league start for the club.

As you would expect, Arsenal controlled the early possession and created the first chance when a Sanchez cross from the right picked out Jack Wilshere who headed wide when perhaps he should have done better.

City responded with Dawson heading a Tom Huddlestone free kick straight at Wojciech Szczesny before Harper was forced to make a fine double save to keep out Welbeck and then Sanchez.

Arsenal were pushing hard for an early goal and only a tremendous save from Harper kept Santi Cazorla’s curler from finding the top corner.

The goal did eventually arrive on 13 minutes. After City had turned over possession out wide, Sanchez moved in from the right and danced past Curtis Davies before shooting low across Harper and into the far corner of the net.

Davies produced a goal-saving block to deny Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain four minutes later, a moment that instigated a Tigers equaliser. Moving the ball forward, Diame took possession and powered his way through the Arsenal back line and into the box before delightfully dinking the ball over the on-rushing Szczesny and into the net. The home side complained of a foul in the build up. The referee wasn’t prepared to listen.

It was the foothold in the game that City needed and brought about their best at the back as they frustrated the home side for the remainder of the half.

Harper got down well to save from Cazorla while the same Arsenal player then saw a free kick deflect wide off the Tigers’ defensive wall.

City suffered their second injury blow of the afternoon three minutes before the break as Harper was forced off after damaging his arm when innocuously rolling the ball out to a team-mate. Eldin Jakupovic was his replacement.

James Chester picked up a late booking for upending Cazorla on the touchline.

Half Time: Arsenal 1-1 Hull City

The Tigers caught Arsenal cold in the opening minute of the second half to take the lead and stun the Emirates. Huddlestone’s delicious cross from the right provoked some clever movement from Hernandez as he got the better of his marker to power home a fine header.

It was now all about whether City could hold out against an Arsenal onslaught. Dawson made a wonderful tackle to prevent Welbeck from going through on goal and the centre back went on to make heroic blocks from Cazorla and Welbeck, but it came at a cost as the former Tottenham man twisted his ankle and had to be replaced late on by Alex Bruce.

Yellow cards were exchanged between Huddlestone and Wilshere as the half ticked on, with City passing up a couple of good counter-attacking opportunities with a final killer ball lacking.

City were hanging on desperately by the time Jakupovic turned a Sanchez header over the bar in the 87th minute, and the defence was eventually breached as the game moved into six minutes of added time.

Sanchez managed to weave his way to the edge of the area before slipping a clever pass to Welbeck inside the box, and he provided a precise finish to give Jakupovic little chance.

Arsenal went all out for a winner with Jakupovic having to make saves from Cazorla and Oxlade-Chamberlain as the Tigers held out for a good point.


Hull City: Steve Harper (Eldin Jakupovic 42), James Chester, Curtis Davies, Tom Huddlestone, Abel Hernandez (Gaston Ramirez 63), Jake Livermore, Mohamed Diame, Michael Dawson (Alex Bruce 84), Andrew Robertson, Ahmed Elmohamady, Hatem Ben Arfa.

Subs Not Used: Liam Rosenior, Robbie Brady, Stephen Quinn.

Arsenal: Wojciech Szczesny, Kieran Gibbs, Per Mertesacker, Jack Wilshere (Joel Campbell 69), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis Sanchez, Nacho Monreal, Santi Cazorla, Mathieu Flamini (Aaron Ramsey 63), Danny Welbeck, Hector Bellerin.

Subs Not Used: Emiliano Martinez, Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta, Francis Coquelin, Semi Ajayi.

Referee: Mr R. East.

Attendance: 60,004.