Arsenal 2 Hull City 0: The Tigers Tamed at the Emirates
Emirates Stadium (Premier League)
Arsenal – Bendtner (2′), Ozil (47′)
With the games coming thick and fast, there was no time for the Gunners to revel in their victory over Cardiff as Hull Tigers arrived at the Emirates following their shock win over Liverpool. Arsene Wenger decided to rest five players from the Cardiff game, bringing in the likes of Nacho Monreal, Carl Jenkinson, Mathieu Flamini, Tomas Rosicky and the much-maligned Nicklas Bendtner.
As you expect from the home side, the Gunners began the game at a frantic pace and got the lead when Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey exchanged passes before the Welshman threaded a neat ball to Carl Jenkinson. The fullback swung a brilliant cross that was headed home by Bendtner. His first Arsenal league goal in three years.
Flamini had a shot that was deflected into Bendtner’s path but the Great Dane was offside. Cazorla drifted in a corner that was flicked into the danger area by Per Mertesacker. Laurent Koscielny reacted the quickest to nod the ball but the goalie failed to smother the ball before his defense cleared it to safety.
Ozil received the ball off a short corner and waltzed into the box before blasting the ball that was parried by Allan McGregor but the ball fell kindly to Bendtner who failed to capitalize on the ball. Hull’s first signs of danger appeared when Danny Graham swung in a ball that evaded everyone in the box.
Tom Huddlestone made a foray forward and drilled an inviting ball across the six-yard box but there was no Hull player to capitalize on the ball. Arsenal launched a counter attack through Cazorla that moved with the ball before teeing up Bendtner. The Dane dinked a neat ball to Ozil but the German’s headed effort went wide.
At the start of the second half, Monreal did well to save the ball from going out for a throw-in before feeding Ozil. The German schemer passed the ball and drifted forward but Ramsey showed his class by sending Ozil through with a blind pass. The rest they say was history…
Ozil almost changed from scorer to provider when he drifted inwards and sent a through ball for Ramsey but the Welshman’s shot was saved by McGregor. Cazorla swung in a corner that was headed to the far post by Bendtner but the shot was blocked on the line.
Wenger brought in reinforcements in the forms of Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere for Bendtner and Rosicky. Shortly afterwards, Mikel Arteta replaced Ramsey.
Towards the end of the game, Wilshere made a trademark lung-bursting run before passing the ball to Ozil. The German maestro attacked the ball and was ready to pull the trigger before his chance was blocked.
With Chelsea winning against Sunderland, they still remain four points behind the Gunners, who have an in-form Everton side this weekend. Nicklas Bendtner might have enjoyed today’s game more than anybody in the Arsenal ranks, as he would have been delighted to get on the score sheet to get his enemies off his back.
Arsene Wenger said that he still believes in his abilities and I must say that Bendtner had a good game by his standards. It was also good seeing Giroud get a breather as he had played so much football this season.
The Hull tigers roared loud against Liverpool but they were tamed at the Emirates. They aren’t the first to be tamed, and they certainly won’t be the last.
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