Arsenal Roll Hull, One Step Closer to Second


Arsenal traveled up to Hull City hoping to strengthen their hopes of finishing second, while their opposition hopes only to still be in the premier league next year.  The team fielded by Arsene Wenger was unchanged from what has become our ‘normal’ league side.

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As the whistle blew Arsenal really looked like a side that had their eyes on the prize, rather than one that thought they had nothing to play for.  Our midfield in particular was energetic and positive going forward, with Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, and Aaron Ramsey all shining.

The first chance of the match though came on the Arsenal goal.  Around the 20 minute mark Hull City put a dangerous ball into the box from out wide and it fell generously for the head of Hull forward, Sone Aluko.  Aluko managed to get up over his defender, but his headed attempt was particularly terrible and what probably should have been a goal ended up falling safely away from goal.

It didn’t take long for Arsenal to get a chance and they duly took that chance with Alexis opening the scoring in the 28th minute.  Aaron Ramsey was brought down just outside the box near the left corner, in an almost perfect position for a free kick.

There was a little bit of a discussion about who would take the kick, but in the end it was Alexis and in the end the ball was in the back of the net.  Alexis tried to get the ball up and own quickly over the wall, but couldn’t do it by the slightest of margins. The ball ended up hitting Michael Dawson ever so slightly and careening where the Hull keeper, Steve Harper, had absolutely no chance.

From here on out it was all Arsenal as the Gunners started to fire on all cylinders.  Arsenal’s second came in the 33rd from another deflection and the boots of Aaron Ramsey.  Santi Cazorla from midfield put in an absolutely exquisite pass to find Ramsey in the Hull penalty area and Ramsey’s touch was just as wonderful.  Ramsey controlled the pass ever so slightly and tapped the ball around the far shoulder of the defender and took the shot.  His shot did once again take a deflection, but everything about the buildup was superb and a goal was probably deserved.

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Arsenal scored their best just before the half in added time.  The ball was won in their own half and then the counter was on.  The ball went forward to Ozil, who then laid in back for Ramsey.  As this was happening Sanchez was in the middle of a beautiful run from left to right making his way into the box.  Ramsey  found Alexis cleverly with a through ball and Sanchez did the rest.  Sanchez made it look easy as he knocked the ball around the keeper and fired home into an empty net.

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The first two goals from Arsenal certainly involved a bit of good luck, but overall the lead was deserved.  The majority of the half was dominated by the Arsenal attack and the Londoners had several other goal worthy chances saved by quite a good performance from Steve Harper.

Something else that has begun to be the regular is the fading of Arsenal in the 2nd half.  Now, this time a point could be made for just sitting on the lead and not doing anything stupid. Regardless there really wasn’t much from an Arsenal point of view in the 2nd half.  For Hull though, a consolation did come in the 57th.

As Hull came forward, Ahmed Elmohamady found himself with the ball about 25 yards out as Stephen Quinn was on a forward run.  The home side put in another dangerous ball and this one again found the head of a Hull player.  This time though the header was better and found its way past David Ospina and into the back of the net.

“Of course we want to win the title next year, but second place this season is for now the most important thing,”-Santi Cazorla

From this point on Arsenal seemed content to sit on their lead and why not?  There was a bit of action as Jack Wilshere made his way back on the pitch.  The Englishman was a revelation once he came on.  He was Arsenal’s only point of attack going forward at times in the 2nd half and he certainly did enough to give the boss something to think about.  The commentators were right in saying that at 2 points towards the end of the match Wilshere had 2 penalties not given, one for a foul and one on a pretty clear handball and neither seemed to bother him. The handball definitely kept Wilshere from scoring and after the foul there was zero protest from Jack. They noted he looked like a man who was just so happy to be back out on the pitch he didn’t really care.  It was a great thing to see.

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In the end it was just the type of response you would have liked to see after the result against Chelsea last week.  The players definitely seem to still be focused on 2nd place and it has begun to feel like it will be ours.  Until next time, #COYG

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