Hull 1-3 Arsenal: van Persie stars and Bendtner provides the impact

Nasri celebrates his winner

Arsenal’s seven-game unbeaten streak extended to eight over the weekend as two late goals from Samir Nasri and Nicklas Bendtner ensured a 3-1 win away to Hull City. Emmanuel Adebayor’s first-half header was cancelled out by another header by Daniel Cousin on 65 minutes before Nasri and Bendtner produced late efforts to win the match.

Arsene Wenger played the identical team that started against Bolton a week ago with Kolo Toure partnering Johan Djourou at the back and Abou Diaby and Denilson paired together in the middle. Nicklas Bendtner again started on the bench with the first-choice pairing of Adebayor and van Persie keeping their places up front. It was a strong team and they gave a strong overall performance.

Our boys bossed the game in the opening hour and had two very close van Persie free-kicks to show for their dominance. The first was deflected just wide of the goal while the second brought a top save out of Hull goalkeeper Boaz Myhill, as his fingertips pushed the ball onto the bar. Djourou, who had pushed forward for the kick, was unable to force the rebound home as his shot was excellently blocked by a defender. 

With Denilson looking slick in the middle and Adebayor and van Persie causing problems for the defence we took the lead on 30 minutes. Arsenal have been criticised in the past for their failure to make set-pieces count but they had no problems in making Hull pay as Adebayor powered home a perfect corner by strike partner van Persie. With delivery like that Adebayor is as hard to stop as any player in the world in the air and he knew exactly who to thank for the goal, running thirty yards across the field to celebrate with the Dutchman.

The boys grew in confidence after the goal and should have gone into the break with a two-goal advantage. Some smart interplay allowed Adebayor to cross for Emmanuel Eboue in the centre but the right-midfielder made a hash of a relatively simple volley, slicing the ball horribly wide. He seems to lose his head whenever he gets near the goal, Eboue, and this was another really poor short to add to a growing tally this season.

At a goal up at the break I was confident that we would kick on and secure the win. So confident, in fact, that I fell asleep* during half-time and did not wake up again until the 60th minute. According to my younger brother, Panda Bear, it was the best spell of football we put together in the entire match as the Diaby and Denilson took control in the middle and we kept Hull pegged back onto the edge of their own penalty area. We might have been a little fortunate to avoid conceding a penalty when Djourou clattered into substitute Alberto Manucho but aside from things were comfortable.

However, things changed drastically as soon as I woke. Bernard Mendy was afforded far too much space by Gael Clichy on the right and his cross deflected to Cousin who headed home. It was peculiar defending by Clichy, who seemed confused by the flight of the ball, and the sort of which has been a little too common this season. The Clichy of last campaign would never of let that happen and although the Frenchman remains an integral part of our side it’s clear that he’s going through a bit of a dip in form at the moment.

With the rain pouring down, the wind gusting and an equaliser going in I must admit to having had feelings of “here we go again”. But the substitution of Bendtner for Eboue, who had been well below-par, galvanised the side. The big Dane was put onto the right wing in a 4-3-3 formation and immediately troubled Hull with some excellent touches and hard running.

Bendtner had a half chance blocked by Myhill before a good pass to van Persie allowed the Dutchman to wriggle free of two markers to slide a pass through to the excellent Nasri on the left. The little wizard took one touch with his right before dispatching a clinical left-footed strike across the Hull ‘keeper and into the bottom corner of the net. It was the sort of chance that few players would take and another example of Nasri’s ability to provide defining moments for Arsenal this season.

At 2-1 up Hull were psychologically beaten and a third was almost inevitable. Bendtner was again involved as he fed van Persie, who in turn set up the big Dane with the opportunity to fire home. He duly obliged and almost added a fourth moments later as his excellent close-range header struck the base of the post. It mattered little though as Arsenal past a tough test with flying colours at the KC Stadium.

From an attacking sense Van Persie is on the top of his game, Nasri showed again what a good little player he is while both Adebayor and Diaby registered “return to form” performances. Defensively we continue to look decently solid, with Clichy’s walkabout and Djourou’s moment of madness the only real concerns. Even Denilson looked decent in the middle as he stakes his claim to be considered as the first-choice defensive-midfielder at the club.

With Andrei Arshavin seemingly on his way this week (read these quotes from agent Dennis Lachter) and the side starting to find some form and consistency it’s not a bad time to be an Arsenal supporter. Enjoy it.

* Bare in mind that the game started at 3.30am Brisbane local time. You could hardly blame me for having a snooze, especially with some of the ads that were on at half-time in the stream that I was watching.

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



  1. Excellent blog. It seems to me that after the Eboue booing saga, he hasn’t really improved, maybe the youngsters should be given a go, maybe Ramsey? With regards falling asleep well that happens, in Turkey we are two hours ahead and sometimes have to wait until 10pm to listen to the game, Sp**s v arsenal to be one so it was difficult to get to sleep that night.
    Can I ask a question, I live in Turkey and am always strugling to get an arsenal feed. I subscribe to so I can listen to the game and I have available some of the links but due to restrictions in Turkey a lot of sites such as sopcast are banned. If I do manage to get a link then the commentry is usualy not English. Which links do you use to get the games?

  2. @ ramugunner/Peter – Thanks guys. I agree with you Peter, Eboue hasn’t really improved. All that really changed is that people laid off him for a little while but you can feel the discontent creeping back.

    As for the feeds. My advice is to use the side ‘’. If you go the game you want a couple of hours before it starts there will be a heap of streams available. You might need to download a few of Sopcast, TVU, Veetle etc to get it but it should be OK.

    Let me know how it goes.

  3. 3 points was very much needed considering all the luck the teams above us had in the early games. We are due for an injury time screamer from someone, maybe against the Spuds…….yes Spuds it is.

    SF, im stunned you dont have Foxtel.

  4. @ AR – I know, all this time I’ve been a battler mate. Funnily enough though, a new mate of mine is moving in and we’re getting installed in the next couple of weeks. I’m absolutely stoked.

  5. Thats great news. You do realise you wont be able to go back to normal tv once you’ve treated yourself to Foxy.

  6. A game of Premiership football is decided over 90 minutes and if needed, stoppage time. That means you have 90 minutes, plus any stoppage time, to score a goal or win the match, right? So why is it I hear that Arsenal were “lucky” or “fortuitous” because we won by late goals at Hull? Should late goals not count or something? Strong teams will always score late goals because they never give up. Manchester United do it regularly and that’s a reason why they are champions. According to Wenger Arsenal have scored important goals in the last ten minutes 16 times in 33 games. I don’t think that’s lucky. That’s a fact I’m proud of and long may it continue. Especially against little runts like Phil Brown.

  7. Where would this team be if (knock on wood) Robin van Persie had gotten another of his injuries this year? In his pre-match press conference, Wenger was asked about van Persie’s injury history and he said that Robin’s tendons and ligaments have all stretched into place and that injury period is behind him. Maybe van Persie is 1/2 man, 1/2 silly putty? It would explain why the papers leave such an impression.

    Thankfully Robin’s legs are elastic because I hate to think what would have happened yesterday without him. Maybe Adebayor would step up like he did last year, we’ll never know. What we do know is that Robin van Persie shows week in and week out that he is true class and yesterday’s match was yet another example of that as he garnered man-of -match praise for having a part in all three Arsenal goals. Robin now has 12 goals and 9 assists in all competitions for Arsenal and is running away with player of the year plaudits.

    Nasri too had a great match, most of which came after Wenger moved him away from the wing and more centrally. Well, I say “moved him” but it’s more like “unleashed him” because basically Samir was all over the pitch. Now, I’m not saying that Nasri is the new Ronaldo because, well, because Nasri’s not a diving, cheating, whining, little cunt but that free role is the same role that Christiano Ronaldo occupies for Man U: technically a wing player, he’s given freedom to roam and create havoc up front.

    Wenger tried this with Hleb last year and it worked pretty well for Hleb too, with the main difference being that Nasri can dribble, create chances and score crucial goals. I know I’ll get stick for this and don’t really care, but there were several times last year when Hleb had the ball in the exact same position that Nasri was in yesterday for the third goal and Hleb elected to pass. If Nasri goes the rest of the season without another goal or without another assist he still will have had a better season than any Hleb ever had; just by dint of the fact that Nasri wins matches.

    And that’s the last you’ll hear me compare Hleb and Nasri because there’s no comparison, Nasri is twice the player Hleb is.

  8. @ james – Absolutely agree. RVP has been immense so far this season. Since the send-off against Stoke he has been consistently our best player of the season.

    Agreed about Nasri too. He’s definitely been an improvement on Alex.

  9. Great post SF, it was a good win by the boys. I was annoyed after watching Chelsea, ManU and Villa get lucky wins. Lady luck is smiling a bit too much at them (especially Villa).

    Anyway, i was impressed by Denilson. He wins a lot of tackles, he makes a lot of productive passes. If he can gain more muscle, and stamp his authority more in CM, he will be world class.

    RvP is a great player, he has all the qualities of a world class striker. I would love to see him with Eduardo up front, i think that would be a killah partnership. The one thing i hate about RvP is that he hits the woodwork too damn much, its really annoying (i bet that annoys him too).

    Nasri is a machine, he works hard and brings a lot of creativity in the team. He also brings something Hleb couldnt, goals. Hleb who?

    Lastly, the Arshavin saga. I think he will sign for us for about £16m. It was my initial prediction and ill stick to it. Hopefully, the teams agree tomorow b/c we need Arsha in RM asap.
    Now thats a great midfield!

  10. Pple, good to read from all u geez out there. my take on RVP. has always been his TEMPER. The guy is very good but when he gets muscled off the ball, he goes gaga that eventually reduces his game ratings. But since the last Red, he has beeen something else.

  11. Me one Denilson fan very happy!

    What is not mentioned about the last 2 goals at Hull is the fact that it was Bendtner who picked out RVP among the Hull players for the pass to Nasri and It was Bendtner who won the header from Almunia, before playing in RVP for his assist. Gotta love the Bendtner! Also, if Bendtner was in for the Eboue miss, I would have bet that he would have scored. That is why I prefer Strikers playing WM if they can do a decent job of running with the ball and string one or two crosses because if you leave them in the box with a chance like that you know it might go in with a bang!

  12. Please sign Arshavin on time and lets keep struggling to win all our maches. I am sure we will get silver ware this year

  13. So good to see our team performing well in EPL. It was a horror time when we were inconsistent in EPL. So far so good. I think the first priority in not looking for the title. It should be just not losing the next game than the next and than the next. So keep concentrating Gunners. We people need to be behind our team. As far as player are concern we need to support them instead of pin pointing them. Yes they are some concern. I always thought that arsenal were keeping the clean sheets when we had one good english CB. I personally believe that we need a good english CB. All top english club have one take it for MANU,Livepool,Chelsea. So i believe we should have one good english CB and than partner with Toure. He is what I call the most commited gunner in my eye. And as far as Arshavin is concerned. I always thought we didn’t require him that much. But I will pray to my god that we proves me wrong. Because Defence is the priority not offence to arsenal. We need an CB,CDM and an good GK…..not and CAM like Arshavin

  14. Spanish- Great blog as always although I ma having a hard time sympathizing with your time stuggles as youare having beautiful weather and I’m freezing my ass off here in Canada at -21C!! Jokes. I know Clichy’s made some mistakes but I think we forgeting the mental stress the media has put on our players. It almost seems like they are worrying too much about making mistakes and this is causing them to make them. You could see the fact the Clichy was trying to figure out his best option there and sure enough the commentators couldn’t wait to pounce all over him. Every Arsenal game I watch the commentators and presenters can’t wait to crap all over our team but when Man U wins by 1 goal in the dying minutes against a so called weaker team they showed strength and determination. When Arsenal wins a game like that it’s out of form and lucky. Why the difference? This has to be having an impact on our players.

  15. I think Clichy is warn out. He is rarely injured and therefore gets little rest. We need competition in the team, not only to improve the players but to give them a rest too. Cesc is another example, too much gametime with no rest is not good for any player. Sagna (the best RB in the world IMO) also doesnt have any competition. If he hits a rough patch, noone will put him under pressure for that position and that is not good for any team.

  16. Well, what do you know! 6 – 9 points off the lead.

    And we are the ones misfiring and just now getting back to form!

  17. Liverpool 1-1 Everton. We are just 6 points from the top and we all know that 6 points is nothing right? We just have to collect as much points as possible and the title will be ours! 🙂

  18. Ideally, if ManU does not win their game in hand and we manage to take 3 points off each of the top 3, we are just 3 points back

  19. Gibbs;

    6 points no matter how you slice it is still massive. Look at last season….But, I get your point though feels like we are making progress..

    SF- Cahill is something! Last minute sqeaker…

  20. What I would do?

    I might go and buy Champ 09 and waste my life away and pretend that Arsenal actually have a transfers department who sign quality players….

    And just you watch and see if I pick Song, Almunia, Diaby or Eboue.

    My goalie shall be Akinfeev, my central midfielder will be Veloso or De Rossi next to Cesc. I am going to tout the Bayor to Barca and replace him with David Villa for the money.

    I am going to start Wilshere a lot more, keep Nasri because he is quality, Van Persie will be made captain and I shall sign Hangeland and play him next to Toure.

    I am going to actively persuade Scarborough to sign Almunia and I am going to give Song and Eboue away to the Mongolian M-League.

    I shall see if I can make Diaby sell the Emirates hot dogs.

  21. @ hartwick89
    6 points is a huge gap in April maybe but its not big at all in January. At this time last season, we were +-6 points ahead of ManU and Chelsea but with a few draws and a loss we ended up in 3rd position. All hope was gone in November but we are looking good at the moment, we just have to keep wining, even if its those dull 1-0 wins. 3 points is what we should aim for in every game and must do averything to make sure that get them.

  22. Spanishfry;

    Here is the best link to get torrent links:

    It would take about 2 hours to download the whole game. The link for those torrents will be posted about 2/3 hours after game. Most of the time, the video quality is awesome.

  23. Good points Gibbs; Our target should be 3 points every game no matter how we play. Right now we care about results not beautiful football.

  24. @ hartwick89 – You know it. I think everyone in Australia loves Cahill after his two late goals to beat Japan at the 2006 World Cup. We were very unlucky not to get past Italy too! 🙂

  25. I am with you SF. I was really pissed off when Aussies were defeated by Italy after a pure dive from Rossi. For some reason I was supporting Aussies. Maybe cause I like Australian cricket team. But they are not in good form at the moment. My girlfriend say I am too sportish. I watch Football(my fav), basketball, cricket, tennis, Am. football, baseball. Oh Lord…

  26. Bellamy goes for £12 mil, Bent for £16.5, Modric for £16 mil, Diarra for £18 mil, Pavlyunchenko for £16 mil…but Arshavin is somehow worth £10 mil? Eh?

    Is this a joke? Is Wenger really that cheap? What about our chairman and Board. I need some answers. Otherwise I want to shoot all of them on their ‘ucking head. Arshavin is a quality player who was recognised as Top 10 player in Europe and Planet by football experts. We didn’t sign Alonso because we didn’t want to pay 2 million extra for a worldclass player. Now Arshavin. Is he not better than Bellamy, Defoe and Bent? Oh dear!!

  27. Wow ramugunner, you are a sportsholic. I only watch rugby, cricket, football and olympic sports (athletics, swimming etc).

  28. @ ramugunner – I think it’s a matter of the others paying too much AND Wenger trying to bargain-hunt. I think Arshavin is a £15million player, while the money paid for the likes of Bellamy and Bent is absolutely ridiculous.

    We’ll get Arshavin anyhow. Don’t despair.

  29. @ rumugunner
    Arsene made a £10m bid to kick start the negotiations. He knew he wouldnt get him for that price. As we know now, the final bid made by Arsene is £15m and i dont think Zenit will reject it. We also didnt ge Alonso b/c ‘pool didnt get Barry. Rafa wouldnt have let Alonso go without finding a proper replacement.

  30. i read somewhere that Rosicky is starting to talk about his return coming close… Either he is worried about Arshavin coming in or thats the greatest news ever. Walcott is expected back soon as well… Focus on 3 points each game and dont worry about anything else. Everton next week will be tough. Cardiff in the FA cup as well. We ned total focus. The league will be decided by the last few weeks when we play the other big 3

  31. According to Zenit insider, they will accept any bid worth 15 million. The question is ” Is Wenger ready to break his transfer record?”

    We desperately need “The most Owlish player in the Russian League(05-06)” and a CDM. Then I would like to change our formation to 4-3-3 like Barca.

    Sagna Djourou Gallas Clichy
    Nari Cesc
    RVP Ade Arshavin

    This formation will be deadly; believe me. We can occasionally play 4-4-2 to utilise Walcott, Rosiscky and Eduardo when they are fully fit. Since Walcott’s natural position is upfront, he can play as a striker. Rosiscky’s natural position is also attacking midfielder. Is Wenger thinking about this? I hope so.

    What you think SF, Gibbs?

  32. @ ramugunner
    I think Wenger is going to have a tough time choosing a team when all the players return + Arsha. Eduardo, Rosicky, Arshavin, Denilson, Cesc, Nasri, Walcott, Vela(forcing himself in). Where do you even begin? 4-3-3 sounds like a good idea, but i just wouldnt know who to choose. Poor Wenger!

  33. With City feeling rejected we need to wrap up Arshavin ASAP… Hopefully Usmanov’s connections keep him focused on arsenal because City will be desperate for some signings now…

  34. Arabs might be seriously thinking about bidding for Arshavin if they cannot persuade Kaka. Kaka is not only a worldclass player, he is also a class act with his personality. Kaka rejecting “Arabians City” is a victory for football like Obama election win for America. Time will tell if Arshavin considers City or not. City has plenty of money to pay 20 million for him and offer 100k/week.
    If Wenger fuck this transfer, I will be really pissed.
    Good stuff here.

  35. it’s indeed going to be tough when everyone is back but walcott and fabregas are the people whose positions are so obvious and will always be in the starting line up.i see a new arsenal as from saturday’s game and time will tell whether we shall emerge with 1or 2 trophies

  36. Defntly true Tina, New arsenal team from now on!!! By the way, where are you from???
    We cant afford to loose one more day to get Arsha, City will rush to get him as Kaka’s deal has been rejected, they will certainly go for anyone passing on the driveway.We snooze,we loose!!!!!
    Id go 4-3-3 agst Everton, I forced myself to watch the Pool agst Evrton game last night (1-1), just to see their quality.To me,Liv was under-performing,not Everton strong.Gerrard scored a beauty goal but 80% of the game he was so deep in the flank.Everton’s weakness is their CDM, Gerrard shud hav pushed more on attack (As he used to) to give more pressure on their mdfld.Ofcrs, Liv has dominated the game but they have done better.Everton’full back are very gud as well as their attackin mdfldr but they have very poor strikers and CDM.Id put Bendtner on the startin 11 same as our late attcking force agst Hull.(@TAYGOON, you’d really love to see this happen!!! wouldnt you??), it will totaly exterminate their poor CDM with wide play in the front line.Im pretty sure that, it would be very difficult for us to break their full back with a 4-4-2 attack.Our big Dane just need to be consistant on his very gud run.Ade will be in the middle dominating the air ball and spreading the ball right or left to RVP or The Dane.




    To me, Eboue isnt that bad as you think he is.He might have missed that front shot (As he usually does, unfortunately!!!!) but we need his run and his defensiv quality.
    Diaby is also an option but me not confident with that.
    Everton is a strong team but very very breakable, so…Im still very confident with our New performance.

  37. i think this arsenal is undergoing wear and tear just like machine. but we might be losing now or even av lost everything this season but no cause for alarm we are still coming back.

  38. je suis le fanat d’arsenal j’aime beaucoup arsenal nous vous demande que si vous pouvez amenez d’autre jouer pour aide les autre jouer nous vouront aussi le coupe mersie

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