By Walter Broeckx
Only a few changes to the starting XI for this match after the midweek match against PSG.
One of them being Cech back in goal and in attack we had Theo taking the place from The Ox who dropped to the bench. No place for Giroud who had a little problem that was mentioned by Wenger and I wonder if Wenger wasn’t too pleased with the double yellow card he got at PSG. But that is just my opinion and how I would react to getting send off in a rather stupid way.
Team at the start in full: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Cazorla, Coquelin, Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi, Alexis.
On the beach: Ospina, Holding, Gibbs, Elneny, Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lucas.
A rather instable stream so lots of stops and go on my side of the cable and it looked liked that in the opening minutes on the field also like that. Neither team creating any clear cut chances. Cech racing out of his penalty area to clear a ball behind the Arsenal defence after 10 minutes was the first thing that looked a bit dangerous to me. Theo with a low pass to Alexis but he couldn’t keep his effort from around the penalty spot down and the ball flew over. No score and nothing real to mention from the opening 15 minutes.
My stream going down and when I found another one Arsenal was 0-1 in front! GOAL! Have yet to find out who scored and how. The match commentator probably saying who but my Russian isn’t that good to be honest…
Özil with a low cross to Theo but his shot was straight at the keeper. Arsenal in control and then a blurred replay showing that Theo first hit the keeper with a shot-cross and then Iwobi turning the ball in for Arsenal for the first goal. Another great attack on the right flank this time with a low cross to Iwobi but a great save from the keeper and Özil misses the rebound and shoots over. A clash of heads between Mustafi and a Hull player results in a short stoppage but both players can continue with half an hour played.
Cazorla getting in the book for a needless challenge on the side line in the Hull half. No need to go in like that over there. Hull with a dangerous looking attack that ends with a low shot from Snoddgrass but Cech can stop the ball in two times. Hull looking a bit more going forward now. Theo with a low ball to Coquelin whose shot was going in but Livermore stuck out his hand and Arsenal got the penalty and Livermore a red card. Alexis with a low shot but the keeper saved it. Why not Santi people will ask. So do I to be honest. But then again Alexis won a Coppa America with taking the ultimate penalty for Chili so he knows how to take one.
From the resulting corner Arsenal almost score but the keeper again with a great save and then in the follow up another shot from Iwobi is blocked. Very open play in the last minutes but Alexis just couldn’t beat the last defender after Hull got a corner. Cazorla then being punished after playing the ball and a Hull player running up against him… the Hull crowd even calling for a yellow card… not much people who know the laws in the crowd. 0-1 for Arsenal at half time but it should have been more.
Mustafie with an excellent tackle winning the ball back when Hull looked to be able to break as Arsenal was a bit caught in two minds it looked: go full for the second goal or stay calm and composed. Some wasteful passing in attack when in promising position but then finally a good ball. Walcott getting the ball in the middle playing the ball to Iwobi who backheeled it to Theo who lobbed it past the keeper. GOAL! 0-2 to The Arsenal after 55 minutes. A defender was on the ball when it went over the line but it would have gone in anyway so I give the goal to Theo. It will probably go down as an own goal from Maguire for the PL but who cares. But what a backheel pass from Iwobi…
Cazorla with a low shot but he dragged it wide. Theo almost feeding it to Özil on the break but a Hull defender could get in the way. Hull with a dangerous attack then but Mustafi with a good clearing header. Then Hull got a free kick when Maguire just fell over but luckily the wall blocked the ref’s present and in the follow up they hit the crossbar but being meters offside.
After 65 minutes the already booked Santi left the field and Xhaka came on. Arsenal playing the ball around but a bit too careless and losing it on the halfway line and almost gifting Hull with a lifeline. Lucky Kos could make up for his earlier error. But for the rest it was Arsenal keeping the ball around the Hull penalty area. Iwobi to Özil but his shot was blocked by a Hull defender and then Theo in the follow up but over. Arsenal still 0-2 up going in to the final 15 minutes.
Özil with a fine ball to Theo but the angle was too difficult for a lob and the ball went over. After 76 minutes Iwobi went off and Elneny came on. Mbokani who had just came on went over Cech and the ref pointed to the penalty spot. He didn’t get to the ball so I can live with that decision. Hull scored from the penalty kick. 1-2 after 79 minutes.
Sanchez then won the ball back for Arsenal, gave it to Theo who tried to beat the keeper but the keeper parried his effort but Alexis had followed up the attack and smashed the ball in under the crossbar. GOAL!! 1-3 to The Arsenal after 83 minutes.
Hull tried to do something back but Monreal cleared the cross well. Alexis at the other end with a low shot but a good save from the keeper. Cech had to be attentive on a low cross but smothered the ball well. Coquelin at the other end with a wild shot with his left foot that ended up in the stands. Lucas Perez came on with a few minutes to go for Walcott.
And right when I started to type my final conclusion of the match Xhaka got the ball halfway the Hull half, wasn’t attacked and from some 25 meters out he blasted it in right under the crossbar! GOAL!!! And what a goal! 1-4 to the Arsenal after 92 minutes.
That was the final moment and what a great moment it was of the match. Arsenal won but should have won it by a bigger margin if Alexis would have scored his penalty to make it 0-2 in the first half. Now we just played the ball around and waited for the chances and kept our composure to prevent a Hull counter. In the end a good win after a tricky away tie in the Champions League in midweek against a team that had the same number of points as Arsenal had before kick off.