Daily Archives: March 9, 2016
Hull 0-4 Arsenal
With the Gunners failing to do the job at home, they were afforded another chance to make things right against Hull and with the team such in a wretched run of form, it was a welcome game. Arsene Wenger had confirmed that he would rotate his squad and he was true to his word with the likes of Calum Chambers, Mathieu Flamini, Alex Iwobi, Joel Campbell, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud all returning to the side. Many believed that it was a game for Giroud and Walcott to make their marks because from the look of things, they have been usurped from the center forward berth by Danny Welbeck.
The game had a dull feel early with David Ospina showing good reactions to make a double save to spark the game into life. However, Arsenal suffered their first casualty of the night when Per Mertesacker and Nick Powell clashed heads and the BFG came out second best, suffering a laceration on his eye. A couple of treatment from Gary O’Driscoll, the captain signaled to the bench that his time was up and he was replaced by Nacho Monreal, a player just returning from a knock of his own.
The match opener arrived when Giroud latched onto a mistake by David Meyler and he did well to send the ball through Eldin Jakupovic’s legs to put the Gunners ahead. It was also a personal milestone for the French striker that had been in a lengthy goal drought but he was motivated by the birth of his son, Evan.
At the start of the second half it was business as usual but there was another cause for concern when Gabriel Paulista suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury, forcing the manager to summon Aaron Ramsey. With Ramsey arriving on the pitch, Chambers was drafted back to his favored enter back role, with Flamini playing as an auxiliary right back. Arsenal’s second goal was scored by another player in dire need of them and the Walcott of old was on show as he kept his composure to receive Campbell’s brilliant pass before side footing the ball home.
After spending just 16 minutes on the pitch, Ramsey signified to the bench that he had suffered an injury too, forcing Wenger to make the final substitution of the night, as Jeff Reine-Adelaide made a cameo appearance. Arsenal scored their third when Giroud reacted quickly to Walcott’s cross and he used his right foot to flash the ball past Jakupovic to put the game beyond doubt. Walcott added the icing on the cake when a shot that beat the goalie in his near post.
After his goalkeeping heroics at the Emirates, Jakupovic was brought back down to Earth as he was on the end of some battering by Arsene Wenger’s men. The gaffer provided some updates on the injury-stricken players in his press conference,
“Mertesacker is just a cut on his eye and looks to be very short. Gabriel is a hamstring and Ramsey is a thigh problem. To me, the most serious looks to be Ramsey. He has a thigh problem, I think it is a thigh strain.”
With a cut on his eye, Mertesacker can be patched up and ready to lead the team out on Sunday when the Gunners host Watford but Gabriel’s hamstring injury can see him sidelined for a couple of weeks. Ramsey’s thigh strain is a problem because I remember how it kept him out for close to four months in the 2013/14 season. Injuries always pave the way for other to make their marks and with Laurent Koscielny still struggling for fitness, I expect Chambers to play alongside the BFG on Sunday while the medical team would be sweating to get the French defender fit for the Barcelona game. Ramsey’s injury will afford Mohamed Elneny a chance to get an extended run-out in the team and I’m hoping these injuries come to a halt.
It was a wonderful win for the team but it came at a great cost.
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