Arsenal blow/spit Hull away with thrilling late show

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Fabregas celebrates after the matchWe knocked and we knocked. We huffed and we puffed (and maybe even spat). And we blew Hull’s house down. 

Despite falling behind to Nicky Barmby’s deflected opener, Arsenal were able to put in a second-half performance of real quality to snatch a thrilling 2-1 FA Cup win over Hull through two late goals from Robin van Persie and William Gallas. And while the second was clearly offside and should have been disallowed, I don’t think anyone deny that we were the better side and completely deserved to win.

Arsene Wenger went with a starting side very similar to the one I predicted yesterday. Kolo Toure, Denilson, Gael Clichy, Nicklas Bendtner and Samir Nasri were all given a rest with William Gallas, Abou Diaby, Kieran Gibbs, Robin van Persie and Carlos Vela restored in their place. Meanwhile Andrey Arshavin got the start he was craving despite playing with 8 stitches in his foot as he and Theo Walcott provided the support for van Persie and Vela. It was undoubtedly a strong team.

Despite the freshness of most of the team, Arsenal looked lethargic in the opening 30 minutes, conceding the goal and going dangerously close to falling two behind on a few occasions. Barmby had a second correctly ruled offside, Kamil Zayatte missed a close-range header while Lukasz Fabianski produced a save of real quality to deny a Geovanni free-kick.

From that point on it was all Arsenal. Arshavin and Vela began to involve themselves more as the game moved towards the break with the Russian having the best Arsenal chance of the half blocked by Anthony Gardiner. A disappointing first half, but better things would come.

Hull did absolutely nothing in the second half while we created a huge amount of chances before pulling level. Off the top of my head I can remember a Diaby header and a hooked shot by Song going wide, a free-kick from van Persie saved and another header by the Dutchman crashing the bar before he finally bulged the net, slamming home a clever Arshavin pass after good work by Bendtner.

I should say at this point that I feel that the substitutions of Bendtner and Nasri for Song and Vela changed the game. We lacked a physical presence up front until the Dane’s introduction, while Nasri’s neat give-and-go passing suited our game better than the dribbling provided by Vela. It’s no coincidence that Bendtner’s 6’5 frame was a key component of both goals while Nasri’s accurate passing allowed Arshavin and Walcott to flourish as the Hull legs tired.

The comeback was completed when Gallas headed home a fortunate, if deserved, winner. Nasri floated a free-kick in from the left, Djourou and Bendtner clashed with goalkeeper Boaz Myhill and the best defender-cum-striker in England nodded home from an offside position. Without going into the specifics of the offside too much, Djourou’s faint touch before Myhill made contact meant that Gallas was offside. I can see how the linesman missed it, I probably would have too, so with that in mind you can understand him letting the goal stand. 

Unfortunately the controversial goal and the positive result for Arsenal prompted some ugly scenes at the final whistle, with Phil Brown accusing Cesc Fabregas, who went on the field to congratulate his team, of spitting at the feet of his assistant manager. Fabregas has denied the accusations but  it’s very much a matter of which club you support as to who you believe. As such, I believe our captain.

The furore surrounding the spitting accusation and offside goal is likely to carry on during the week but at the end of the day we’re in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and have a delicious game against Chelsea at Wembley to look forward to. Our boys have shown another example of the determination and skill that flows through the squad and despite a flat first-half performance were more than deserved winners.

Special mention again has to go to Arshavin for a beautifully classy and inspirational performance to play through pain as well as Bendtner and Nasri for changing the game late on. Last but not least is William Gallas, who not for the first time this season was in the right place at the right time to score a crucial goal.

We’re two wins away from our first trophy since 2005 and that’s nothing to be laughed at. Well done Arsenal and bring on Chelsea!

Have your say on Arsenal’s controversial win over Hull by leaving a comment.


34 thoughts on “Arsenal blow/spit Hull away with thrilling late show

  1. I just have to mention- Gallas has been immense since his incident… I hope he stays for a while. The way he has dealt with it deserves more attention and respect. I would definitely offer the man a drink if I could…

  2. We were ‘that’ team again in the first half. Im so glad the ‘other’ team ran out for the second half. Very relieved to get the win, even if it was an offside goal. I really hope we beat Chel$ki and reach the final.

  3. I agree with Gooner above, I thought the rule was if it comes off an opposing player then it puts any offside players onside, as they had the last touch. Thierry Henry waiting in an offside position for dreadful backpasses anyone? A la Liverpool?

  4. billy was not offside as the ball touched the fist of myhill….
    so the lineman was right in allowing the goal….to be fair we deseved a win….. 19 shots on target… up the chavs….special mention for nicky….for keeping his cool n passing the ball to arshavin….

  5. Offside or not, I think it’s just great that there is a fresh belief in the squad at a crucial time of the season. The fact that we will be (slightly) underdogs in the FA Cup and, most likely, in the CL, depending on the draw will suit us. IT’s getting exciting and we should be able to further cement 4th spot.

    Long way to go, but we’re still in 2 cups and gathering momentum in league. Result!

  6. no but when Djourou gets a touch, Gallas is offside….

    no matter what happend after he was offside intially…

    We got lucky, but its about time we start getting lucky….

    Come on bring the FA cup home…

    and on friday i hope we get Barca, beat them and then europe will tremble!!!!

  7. Great post as usual SF. Im happy with the result, it was dirty, we had to grind for the win. The 2nd goal is legit in my eyes, the last player to touch the ball before Gallas was a Hull player, that automatically makes him onside right?

    Anyway, Bendy was brilliant once again. He worked hard and his positioning was spot on. I stand by my expectations of him being a world class striker. I already think he is better than Zlatan and Toni.

    Arshavin is a classy guy. He has 8 stitches in his leg, not 100% fit and still adapting to English footy but he still puts in quality performances for the club. I cant wait to see this guy at his best.

    And i think Brown is a sore loser thats trying to cause trouble. Why would Cesc spit at his assistant, it doesnt make sense to me. I trust our captain and i beleive he’s telling the truth.

  8. the last touch was of Myhill and not JD20; u are not offside until u play the ball — when Gallas touches the ball it came off opposition player, Hull’s gk Myhill, so he is not offside.

    Remember the goal scored by Ade against fener away at istanbul : when ball played through middle Walcott was offside and nearer to the ball than Ade but didn’t touch it;hence the goal stood.You are not offside until u touch the ball.

    And the rant by the sore loser makes the victory all the more entertaining.


  9. It doesnt matter how the goal goes even via a freak deflection from the refs arse. As long as we won. We were lucky but u need luck in knockout tournaments. Ask man red!

  10. Im sure the offside arguement will rage for a while….im going to leave it now….

    however just one observation on the spitting….i noticed last night that the article on the official website to deny the event by Fab was posted pretty quickly after the game…im not sure ive ever seen that happen so quickly before…..In my synical world that would suggest guilt….i dont want to belive that…and am i reading into it far too much! Maybe its a normality for the Arsenal website to upload denials so quickly….any thoughts

  11. Yep, we’ve finally learned how to grind out results. We’ve also got some luck this season! That’s two major components we’ve now added which count towards trophies.

    On the Fabregas thing, he said in his club statement “I have never done this in my whole career on the pitch”.

    Hmmmmm, Bayern Munich a couple of years ago anyone?

    Come on Cesc, just concentrate on your football and your recovery.

  12. The offside rule comes into play at the beginning of the cross. Where was Gallas at the time JD touched-on the cross? If he was off the last defender, then regardless of whether the keeper touches the ball, he’s offside.
    However, i really don’t care, so long as we have evidence to suggest that the ref counted it, that’s all that matters. In any case i’m happy Big Sam’s turn-coat was left fuming! Possibly Big Sam himself, now that would be some thing.

  13. Again onside – offside bullcrap it’s always going to happen unless video tech comes into play and I don’t see why we can’t trial it on the cc for example as all teams (apart from the spuds because it’s the only thing they can ever win) would welcome it, as an offside goal can mean the difference between going down to div 1. Imagine if that happened on the last day of the season and it stopped us winning the title or hull going down we would have to base 38 games in the league on 1 linesman and in this day when a club can go bankrupt (leeds) is just stupid. As when I came over to oz I was amazed at the nrl with the video ref and I think it should be used in the prem but only at the refs call. A lot of the time a ref runs over to the linesman to have a chat and by the time he’s back it could of been up on the screen.
    Anyhows we won and can’t wait to play chelscum and let sharva rip up cashley.
    Also we had silvinio teach cashley such teached clichy and now he’s teaching gibbs and it pains me why we didn’t keep the likes of silva to teach song, diaby and denilson and let him retire as a player/coach.

  14. Big win. I don’t think the offside debate is anything too big. This is football sometimes you get the luck sometimes you do not. Even a Hull fan should understand this. I would also hope that everyone involved has the since not to call for replay in the beautiful game.

    What I don’t understand is two things. First that Wenger didn’t shake hands with Phil Brown and secondly the spitting accusation. It should be investigated. That’s all I’m saying.

    I’m not going to speculate if it happened or not or what will happen if it did but this is exactly something that should be taken seriously. Being a gooner I definately side with Fabregas but nonetheless if Phil Brown even thought it happened he should bring it up. Acts like this are exactly what needs to be eliminated from football.

  15. @ Fillipino Dan

    Cesc did not spit at Ballack that day. The man himself confirmed that Cesc did not spit at him.

  16. a lot of people think we win matches out of luck these days.sign of good things to come.more luck
    to my darling gunners

  17. When I read minute by minute from BBC during the game I really thought we reverted back to our not too distant cautious and defensive game, but I watched the game late on and we actually played well! I beleive we are seeing different aspects of our team what Wenger has been saying all along. We can’t just be listening to this guys and parroting their thoughts. I’m not still clear on the offside issue though. The linesman may have seen the touch by the goalie, but not Djourou’s. A win is a win and I’m learing to filter out the noise after the fact.

  18. What a lying piece of crap… He claims Wenger hasn’t shaken his hand any of the 3 games- thats gotta be one right there… What a joke…

  19. Normally when I watch our lads play, we lose, Only a couple times do I watch the full match and we win, well i watched last nights game and in the first half you could see hull snatching another win, when they shoved 10 players in their box. Right at the end of Ht Arshavin saw a volley go wide and that was really it. Well the second hlaf we absolutely killed them. Possession 71% ours! We battered them. But even after Diaby, Song, Arshavin, Vela, Van Persie had all tried for goal, you got the feeling it jus wasnt going to happen. On comes the man I didnt want to see Niklas Bendtner – and without him, we wouldnt have won – I will admit I was wrong, I do say he has a good impact off the bench but I really didnt want to see him, so happy I did – His determination saw him toe poke the ball to Arshavin woh everyone thought would shoot, he layed off Van Persie perfectly and although we had a bad night there was no doubt he would score. On we went, sagna and Walcott, Gibbs and Arshavin, working those wings well. Walcotts final ball wasnt great last night. However the goal was offside due to JD’s touch which means Myhill’s touch means nothing but the lino gave onside because he thought it touvhed the goalie and no one else. It was not a case of what Phil Brown says as ” Little club v Big Club “. I lost all respect for Phil Brown. He said the ref was on our side (how many FKs did they get), he sed his players werent time asting) I was with AW with 5 mins stoppage time in the first hlaf and we didnt get it and when we didnt want it, we got it. So I would love to know how it was big club v little club!!! and about the spitting incident. Fabregas has done it before to Michael Ballack but that was provoked, he is a cheeky player and he doesn do things like that ut not normally are the unprovoked, and normally when he does it, he apologizes in the changing rooms so I believe our captain this time. and he said when he got injured that he hope Arsenal would reach the semis so he could help us win it, and we did our part if the deal Cesc, your turn now. We getting our players back, we got a great chance for a trophy now!

  20. Bit late posting today, but must say I agree wioth your summing up SF. Adn, yes, Bendtner was great last night. The first goal was entirely down to his battling persistence. another quick point- the crowd at the emirates were brilliant last night. It sometimes goes very quiet when we’re playing poorly, but the volume went thru’ the roof when Hull took the lead, and it visibly lifted the team, especially in the secodn half.
    Also, Hull’s timewasting was disgraceful- Myhill started it as soon as they’d scored. You expect a bit of fannying around if you’re a goal ahead with 10 minutes to go, but starting it after a quarter of an hour was riduculous. I’ve got no sympathy with that whinging prat Brown- Hull got what they rightfully deserved last night- nothing.

  21. I had to be at work and missed the game yesterday. I was constantly checking the score on my phone. It was quite depressing to see it read 1-0 Hull so quickly and for so long. I don’t think I was very pleasant to be around at the time. All of a sudden I checked and it read 1-1 81min. The next time I checked I read the beautiful line 2-1 Arsenal, Final.

    I don’t have anything to add about the game, obviously, but I have a couple comments/questions about the upcoming transfer season.

    1-How has Senderos been playing at Milan? I noticed he has not been getting huge amounts of playing time. Our central defense has been playing better of late so what do you all think we will do with him at the end of his loan?

    2-Gibbs has been playing very well backing up Clichy. Should Arsenal be looking to sell Traore if we can find a good price for him once his loan with Portsmouth is up? Maybe the money to find a DM?

    3-I don’t know much about Kerrea Gilbert. I know he’s a defender playing on loan with Leicester City. He’s started most of their games as they look poised for promotion. Does he play left, right, central??? I feel foolish for not knowing. If he plays/can play on the right would it be a bad idea to sell Eboue (since his stock should rise if he keeps up his recent performance) and use Gilbert as Sagna’s backup? With injury recoveries over the summer we will have an overstocked midfield with Rosicky, Arsha, Walcott, Bendy, etc. all very capable of playing on the right. Just an idea.
    4-Who is on everyone’s radar in terms of players Arsenal might want to bring in? Esp. keepers and defensive mids.

  22. @ Medeski – Not sure about Sendy – just hope he stays there! dont want him back. Traore is very good on the LM so maybe he could be in the CC squad for the LM. Gilbert has played nearly all Leicesters games and he is a RB and since they are top by a bit, he must be good so he could well have an important impact next season. and who would I like to see um we could get Maxi Rodriguez from Atletico, offer Eboue in the deal. umm, swap Ade for David Villa + Cash (Valencia have to sell to keep up finances) and um either Flamini back or keep Song because he really has been doing the business recently. Keeper would be either Given or not sure.

  23. Two things: Goal was definitely offside – it’s Djourou’s touch that counts – the touch off Myhill was no more than a deflection rather than a deliberate pass back – that’s what makes the difference. So we were lucky. BUT: What’s all this whinging crap from the Hull establishment? Did you hear them saying anything in the last round when they had a non-existent goal awarded to them against Sheffield United? Has Phil Brown just surpassed Fergie as hypocrite of the year?

    Well played Mike Riley! And I never thought I’d say that.

  24. @ jay-jay – So Senderos, Eboue and Ade get sold. Pull in Traore and Gilbert as covers for lm and rb respectively. Then either sell one more and buy back the Flamster or rely on Song/Denilson to keep progressing as our top 2 DM’s. As thin as the squad seems sometimes, there is an abundance of talent floating around the club. Vela, Traore, Nasri, and Arsha can all play left. Cesc, Nasri and Diaby (who has also gotten the attention of other teams) are options at cm. Song and Denilson as the dm options. Rosicky (I truly want the man to succeed after such an awful spell in the training room), Walcott, Arsha and Bendy can all play out right. And then up top we have Eduardo, RVP, Arsha, Vela and Bendy as options. This is all without even mentioning Eboue and Ade who I hope we sell. I think Arsenal can make some serious waves in the league next year and with the return of Cesc before the next tournament rounds, Arsenal could very well nick a trophy this season. I am very happy to be filled with such optimism after such a trying fall and winter.

  25. Hello all!

    I not always post, because I dont have always positive things to say, and to express negative things (like my hate Bendtner LOL) I prefer to dont post.

    BUT I read every single post of everyone, and reading the coments on the last post I see that there many players of FIFA09 on Xbox LIVE, so I decide to create a Legue for us.

    Just go to search online leagues and type in the name of the league: Arsenal FC Blog

    The abreviattion of the league is: AfcB

    And the pasword of course is: Spanishfry

    We could be coneccted there and play one vs one or make a tournament or wheteaver to have fun online.

    See ya.

  26. Something else to point out- after the RVP goal he runs over to Arshavin along with everyone else and Arshavin basically tells them to get out of his face and keep playing because another goal was needed… This is the type of leadership we have been lacking. The kind that constantly keeps our youngsters from admiring their own brilliance and being satisfied… RVP immediately turned and sprinted to get the ball and continue play… Arsene Wenger should absolutely be ARRESTED for stealing Arshavin at the price he did. We will win the EPL or CL next year. You heard it here first…

  27. Great result.. Rest is unimportant.. As for phil brown it just seems like an angry rant wanting to blame everything under the sun for his defeat.. inconsistencies in his statement and a definite lie about wenger not shaking his hand earlier do not give credence to his story about fabregas spitting..(and why should what fabregas wears be any of his concern?)

    And as for fabregas having spat at ballack i am certain ballack said later that fabregas did not spit..the video isnt conclusive.

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