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A few thoughts on the Hull City league match

May 5, 2015

In the battle for 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the Premiership Saturday saw Manchester United lose 0-1 at home to West Bromwich Albion, thus keeping Arsenal two points clear of them and with two games in hand. Liverpool beat Queen’s Park Raisins 2-1 with glory boy scoring the winner, which left Arsenal six points clear of Liverpool with two games in hand. Sunday saw Manchester City beat Spurs at Shite Fart Lane 1-0 and move three points clear of Arsenal although Arsenal now had two games in hand over City. Spurs defeat meant that they were left trailing Arsenal by nine points with only three games remaining. This meant Arsenal would have to lose all five remaining matches and Spurs win theirs for Spurs to avoid St Tottering’s Day from occurring. Even if the unthinkable did happen it would need a swing in-goal difference of 28 for Arsenal to mess this up.

Moving onto Monday night and Arsenal faced Hull with the following team :

Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud. Subs: Szczesny, Gibbs, Gabriel, Flamini, Wilshere, Rosicky, Walcott.

Arsenal totally dominated the first half save a short spell where Hull managed to swing in a few dangerous crosses. The way Arsenal play opponent’s will always get a few chances, but Arsenal’s defence is better at dealing with opponents today than it was at the start of the season and our shape is so much better.

After some good play passing the ball with confidence to each other and on point Arsenal took the lead when Tottenham Hull’s Huddlestone lost the ball, Livermore gave away a foul on Sanchez, who took the free and placed his shot past the Hull keeper via the head of Dawson. Could Arsenal’s twentieth successive season above Spurs being decided by ex-Spurs players?

Arsenal kept up the pressure and Cazorla who was having a very good match found a cracking pass to Ramsey with his back to the goal. Ramsey controlled the ball well, turned,  hit the ball towards goal and a defection of Brady sent the ball looping over Harper into the net for 2-0 to Arsenal.

N’Doye broke well leaving Bellerin for dead, however, the Arsenal defender is fast and his chasing back on N’Doye made him think and with this in mind N’Doye played a back pass to Ospina, what a wasted chance. two more good Arsenal moves threatened to extend the lead but both Cazorla and Ozil shot straight at Harper. Huddlestone again holds onto the ball to long, Ramsey find a superb pass through to Sanchez, who rounds the keeper and it’s 3-0 Arsenal. That was probably the best half of football Arsenal have played this season.

At half time I wondered if Arsenal would call it job done and I think that’s how the second half panned out. Arsenal came out and played within themselves and if a goal came then so be it, but if not ride the game out. Early good ball from Sanchez was just to far for Giroud and a good bit of control from Ramsey saw him get in a shot. Suddenly Hull attacked Meyler went in hard, but ultimately fair on Koscielny, a good cross in from Elmohamady, and Quinn  headed home to reduce the arrears. A couple of minutes later another cross found McShane who headed over.

Then it’s Ozil’s turn to do the flick thing and what a flick to put Sanchez in. Nothing comes of it though. As flicks go this is an 11/10 one, top-of-the-range. Wilshere on for Ramsey goes on one of his runs and after beating at least three players is brought down on the edge of area, but of course this turns into a debate about how Jack picks up his injuries, not how bad the tackle could have been. You want some of Koscielny then you get some back when Meyler gets one in the eye from Koscielny and a Chimney to boot.

Wilshere with another good run, plays it to Giroud-Bellerin who shoots and sees his shot blocked, it drops for Wilshere, who has a go, this is also blocked  and finally Sanchez from an acute angle tries his luck but nothing doing. Jack was doing well since he came and another run into the box saw him go down, Penalty? Maybe not. Jack then only has to put the ball into the net and puts his shot on target only to see a clear handball by the Hull defender and yet Phil Mitchell waves play on. Sanchez sticks one wide when it might have been better playing in Theo

FULL TIME: HULL CITY 1 ARSENAL 3

The team played well in this match and yet if I had to pick one player who did not perform to well with the ball then that would be Giroud, however, he took players out of the game, gave other freedom to play and for me is the glue that helps Ozil, Sanchez, Ramsey and Cazorla the room to play and create trouble. This Arsenal side only need fifteen minutes to kill opponents. With Coquelin solid in every match and Cazorla also assisting with his non-stop all action play Arsenal have a good shape and can look to play games out of needed.

Arsenal’s win brings to a close another season where Arsenal finished above Spurs and the now legendary St Tottering’s day had arrived, this time for the 20th season in succession. Think about that, 20 years. Two decades, or as Trigger would say “I wouldn’t go that far” To think if you’re an Arsenal fan celebrating your 20th birthday this year, you’ve never known finishing behind Spurs. It also brought Arsenal Champions League football for the nineteenth year running as they could not finish lower than fourth.

Now Arsenal are joint second in the table with Manchester City only with a game-in-hand. Five points clear of Manchester United with a game in hand. Nine points clear of Liverpool with a game in hand and twelve points clear of Spurs with a game in hand having played thirty-four matches.  It takes me back to Saturday 7 February when a certain Mr Kane scored twice to give Spurs a 2-1 victory over Arsenal and above us ion the table. They were once again on the up, Arsenal on way down. The shift had changed again, North London was white, they had come out of the shadows, this was the re-birth of the mighty Tottenham who went to see the Pope with a different outcome. The table does not lie!

Table

Arsenal had played twenty-four matches and yet since that glorious day for Spurs fans the rest is history and a nightmare for them. Arsenal have not lost since that date. Arsenal simply blew Spurs out-of-the-way, game-by-game winning and yet Spurs fans will never learn. Their sponsors should be called Under Arsenal as shown here by @sharpy58

Under armour

So our next match is another Monday night affair where we yet again play catch-up, but with three at home and only one away to United I do believe second place should be ours. If Arsenal could manage this and win the FACup surely this must be seen as an improvement.

Cheers

@harlowgooner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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