After The Whistle : Hull City 1–4 Arsenal
“We still tried to have a go but Arsenal’s quality came out in the end and they deserved the victory”
— Mike Phelan
Hull City hosted Arsenal on Saturday, and The Gunners were hoping to banish any hangover from their midweek escapades in Paris. The Tigers manager Mike Phelan was coming into the game with uncertainty surrounding his long term future. Phelan criticized the club’s owner for the terms of the permanent contract he was offered last week.
Wenger looked like he had a point to prove, and stuck with Alexis Sanchez upfront, flanked by Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott. The problem the Gunners faced midweek against PSG was Alexis’ instinct to drop deep, leaving no one upfront. Against Hull however, Theo proved to be a willing runner and made some incisive runs into the Hull penalty area early on. Arsenal took the lead when Walcott’s effort at goal initially stopped by Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic, fell kindly to Iwobi who’s shot took a deflection off Alexis Sanchez (the goal was credited to Sanchez). Arsenal had a chance to double their lead but Mesut Özil blazed the ball over the bar following a fine save by Jakupovic.
Hull failed to trouble the Arsenal defence for much of the opening minutes of the game, but a long ball over the top which was misjudged by Mustafi gave Abel Hernandez a sniff at goal. Arsenal were awarded a penalty after Francis Coquelin’s effort at goal was handled by James Livermore, who was sent off as a result. Alexis Sanchez decided to take the spot kick (instead of first choice Santi Cazorla), and his tame effort was saved by Jakupovic.
"It was important to regain confidence after Liverpool. We won in Brugge, we won today and now we're ready for Chelsea…thegoldcoastreport.com
Walcott doubled the lead for the gunners finishing off a great back heel pass from Alex Iwobi. Iwobi is justifying Wenger’s trust in him over Oxlade-Chamberlain with his impressive displays (three assists in two starts this season). A lapse in concentration from the Arsenal defence, led to substitute Dieumerci Mbokani racing through on goal and forcing Petr Cech to bring him down. In a bizarre turn of events. the referee initially waved play on, but awarded the penalty seconds later upon the advise of his assistant. Snodgrass tucked away a brilliant penalty into the top left corner. Arsenal were rocking for a but Alexis made sure all three points were in the bag blasting Walcott’s saved effort into the top corner.
There was still time for the moment of the match two minutes into stoppage time when new boy Granit Xhaka scored a peach of goal from 30 yards. With no one closing him down, he strolled casually in the Hull half before unleashing the fine effort. Much was made about Wenger under utilizing his summer recruit, and he certainly made his cameo a memorable one.
It was a relatively straight forward victory for Arsenal who were playing more than half of the game against ten men. Arsenal fans will not take this victory for granted as they have laboured to celebrate away wins after a midweek European fixture. Hull will hope to reorganize themselves quickly as they face Liverpool in Chelsea in the next two weeks.