Arsenal FC v Hull City –
Final Score/Result: Arsenal 2-0 Hull
Man Of The Match: Aaron Ramsey
Arsenal had 67% of the possession along with 20 shots on goal – that is how dominant they were in this match. Arsene Wenger will be pleased about the fact that his side could manage this perform chance despite a lot of players being rested for this game. Nicklas Bendtner got a rare start and he scored an even rarer goal for the club to provide them with a brilliant start and the Gunners didn’t look back since. Arsenal still hold a four points advantage over Chelsea in the points table and this was their fourth win in a row after the loss at Old Trafford. This win has provided them with a good cushion before they head into a tough fixture list. Arsenal’s next four opponents are Everton, Napoli, Manchester City and Chelsea and this period could prove to be decisive for their title ambitions.
Hull City dropped down to 12th in the table after this loss. But the fact that they have managed to grab three points against two back to back matches against Liverpool and Arsenal will come as a bonus. They now travel to face Swansea in their next game as they look to stop a run of four consecutive defeats on the road in the league.
It took only two minutes for Arsenal to stamp their authority on the match as Nicklas Bendtner scored his first goal since 2011 for the club. It was a wonderful move which saw Rosicky, Ramsey and Jenkinson exchange passes on the right before the right back, who replaced the injured Sagna, put in a wonderful cross into the box. Bendtner timed his run perfectly and finished the move with a powerful header. The forward received mixed reception from the fans at the start of the match, but he did make a point with that goal.
Arsenal dominated possession and the match from that point and Hull City barely managed to keep the score tied at 1-0. The movement and interchange of passes between the Arsenal midfielders was irresistible at times and Hull City defenders could do nothing to stop it. Arsenal created a lot of chances to extend the lead, first with Koscielny’s header, which was saved by McGregor from a corner, while the goalkeeper was called into action from a Mesut Ozil shot from another set-piece. Aaron Ramsey was also denied a penalty after Figueroa seemed to have brought down the Welshman inside the box. Hull were happy to have gone into the half-time break with a 1-0 scoreline.
But two minutes into the second half, Arsenal finally doubled their lead with another wonderful team goal. Nacho Monreal did well to keep the ball in play on the left before passing it to Ozil. Then the exchange of passes between Ramsey and Ozil was breath taking. Ramsey set through the German international with a lovely reverse pass and Ozil scored his fourth goal of the season for the Gunners. That goal sealed the match and it turned out to be a comfortable outing for the home side against a team which defeated Liverpool at the weekend.
Arsene Wenger praised Bendtner for his performance and insisted that the forward can compete with anyone if he remains committed and maintains his fitness.
“It was a good performance from Nicklas. He has come back and worked hard in training. I know he has the qualities to play for us and he showed that tonight.
“When he has that type of attitude and commitment it shows that he has the qualities. Much depends on his commitment and fitness. He has worked hard recently but when he is physically sharp he can compete with anybody.” – The Arsenal manager said.
Wenger was pleased with the result and the performance, but felt that his side should have scored more. The score line doesn’t reflect the dominance of his side in the game.
“We were in control yes and showed good technical quality and very good attitude. We never gave up. What I like less is that we could not take all our chances and there was room to score more.
“We score some goals that show real quality in our passing and movement; some was outstanding. Let’s just keep our attitude, desire and togetherness.
“I have a squad that is broad with quality and with fantastic spirit.” – Wenger added.
The Frenchman also insisted that his side maintain this momentum and spirit and not be concerned about results elsewhere, after he was asked about United’s defeat at the hands of Everton.
“It is a surprising defeat [to Everton], but it is still early. We have seen that before, 12 points, only on us.
“We have just to keep winning to have a chance, and not worry too much about the others.
“We have a very heavy schedule, that’s why as well I had to rest some players today and to rotate.
“There is little distance between Everton and [the Napoli game]. We play Wednesday night in Naples and Saturday morning at Man City, so for us it is a very, very heavy schedule.”
“It is not fair or unfair, it is just no co-ordination between the television choices because you would say that we could have played on Saturday against Everton and we could play Sunday or Monday against Man City.
“It looks strange that we play Saturday morning and our next game after that is Monday night against Chelsea nine days later.
“Especially when there is little time between a decisive Champions League game on Wednesday night and Saturday 12.45pm.” – He explained.
Arsenal v Hull City – Statistics
Aaron Ramsey once again produced a wonderful performance for the Gunners. We are already running short of superlatives to describe the Welshman’s brilliance this season. Ramsey set up the first goal with a wonderful reverse pass to Jenkinson, a pre-assist which won’t be added to his impressive statistics. But his assist for the second was a thing of beauty. The reverse pass to set up Ozil had the right pace on it for the German international to strike the ball without breaking his stride and Ramsey delivered that pass while looking elsewhere. It was his fifth assist of the season along with the eight goals he has scored in the league. The above map depicts his influence on the match all through-out the pitch.