Replay beckons as Arsenal vs Hull ends goalless!

Saturday’s meeting between the 2013/2014 FA Cup finalists can only be described as the complete antithesis of the cup final meeting. Whilst the FA cup final was filled with the type of drama that you’d most likely find in a work of fiction, the mundane eventless game of yesterday highlighted why football can be so unpredictable. In a game where we had 24 shots we struggled to create quality chances. Hull was happy to sit back and absorb our pressure and although we did a lot of huffing and puffing, ultimately we couldn’t muster up the energy to blow Hull’s house down.

As was expected, we made a number of changes to our starting line-up in preparation for our midweek battle with Barcelona. Out of the players that started against Leicester only Mertesacker and Koscielny remained and if we had suitable backup for our Center Backs they too would have been rested. Hull similarly rested a number of their starting players; as well as having 2 members of their squad (Akpom and Hayden) ineligible due to Arsenal being their parent club.The first half brought very little in the way of goal mouth action. We kept the ball well and prevented Hull from testing our goal however we posed very little threat ourselves. This trend continued throughout the entirety of the game with us struggling to create that clear cut goal scoring opportunity.

handball

The first major talking point of the game came on the seventh minute. An Arsenal corner led to an Elneny shot that appeared to be blocked by Alex Bruce’s left arm. Mike Riley waved away the penalty claims despite Alex Bruce leaning towards the shot with his left arm.

It didn’t take long after that before we created our best opening of the half. On the 12th minute Walcott showed a nice turn of pace to cross, however Welbeck could only muster up a tame header. 4 minutes later Welbeck was in the thick of it again, this time after being put through by Chambers. Welbeck received the ball from Chambers in an acute angle and was only able to strike the ball at the keeper.

The last real chance of the half came in the 28th minute. Walcott brought a Chambers cross down with his chest, swiveled and managed to get a shot off at goal. Like the Welbeck chance however it was taken from an acute angle and was easily saved by Hull’s stand in keeper of the day Eldin Jakupovic.

 

https://i0.wp.com/a248.e.akamai.net/f/1202/1579/4m/i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/02/20/13/1455973607037_lc_galleryImage_Arsenal_v_Hull_City_FA_Cu.JPG?resize=499%2C308&ssl=1

The second half provided more goal mouth action however we were still unable to make a telling breakthrough. We started the half brightly; a Kieran Gibbs overlap produced a wonderful chance for Walcott to get the opening goal however his finish lacked conviction and was straight at the keeper.

Our next chance came soon after. Another foraging run by Chambers caused panic in the Hull City defence, with Meyler appearing to bring him down for what should have been an Arsenal penalty. As expected Mike Riley waived away the penalty claims so Elneny squared the ball to Iwobi who had his shot deflected just wide of the post.

https://i0.wp.com/a248.e.akamai.net/f/1202/1579/4m/i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/02/20/14/316473BF00000578-0-image-a-52_1455977976507.jpg?resize=498%2C299&ssl=1

The remainder of our chances predominantly came from long shots and more speculative efforts. Joel Campbell had a low free kick tipped onto the post by Jakupovic on the 54th minute whilst Welbeck had his deflected shot saved 9 minutes later.

 

Giroud had an effort saved on the 70th minute after muscling his way past a couple of Hull’s defenders. Alexis’ poor form in front of goal also continued with a poor finish on the 78th minute and a tame free kick on the 91st minute.

 

Despite our domination Hull did manage to create a solitary good chance. A Huddlestone cross was met by Aluko however the Nigerian forwards finishing was lacking and his shot was easily saved by Ospina.

 

Yesterday was another worrying demonstration of the poor finishing that has cost us severely in recent times. It may be down to confidence; it may be down to nerves but whatever the reason is we need to find a solution quickly. We’ve now been unable to score in 3 of our last five away games and we haven’t scored in 4 of our last 7 games. Even though yesterday’s result was largely negative we can take the performances of Chambers, Iwobi and Elneny as positives. The team that will lineup against Barcelona is likely to be different so we can’t really use our result yesterday to predict what may happen during the week. It’ll be a big task but i’m sure we can pull it off and beat our Catalan nemesis!!!!!

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *