After two damaging back-to-back defeats to our title hopes, a win was much needed against a Hull side who also needed a win after finding themselves in the relegation zone. The pressure was on the players and Wenger to bounce back and fight as finishing in the top four looks to be a real battle.
There was only one change to the side which lost to Chelsea as Gibbs replaced Monreal at left back. This was I change I agreed with and thought was much needed for a while as Monreal has been our weak link in many games this season, especially against fast wingers. Talking of fast, Bellerin somehow passed fit to play the game after suffering a horrific head injury but it shows how important he is to us.
We started the game the better side as you would expect against a team like Hull and should have taken the lead a few times. Bellerin and Alexis Sanchez had the best chances but couldn’t break the deadlock. Hull managed to hold on though and could have scored a few times themselves but Cech denied them.
The first goal came through controversial circumstances as Sanchez seemed to bundle the ball over the line. After seeing the replays though it was clear that it had hit his hand but was it deliberate? I don’t think it was and it would have been really unlucky if it wasn’t given but I can understand how we did also get lucky.
It was a goal that I thought we deserved and it came at the right time just under 10 minutes before half time. Hull did look dangerous though on the break so we had to keep our focus. It finished 1-0 at half time and a second goal was needed to ease the tension amongst the fans.
Hull came out strongly in the second half with Cech having to save us again. Niasse (whose agent I had work experience with) was a real threat but he didn’t have the quality to take his chances.
A funnier moment of the game came when Walcott squared up to a taller Maguire, Hull’s centre back and he showed a side we rarely see from him, getting a booking much to the crowd’s enjoyment.
Then came another moment of controversy in the game and once again we were lucky. Gibbs fouled their player and was technically the last man so should have been sent off, but he only received a yellow. We have been quite lucky this season with decisions but so have a lot of teams and we have also had some decisions against us so it balances out.
The decision got the crowd going and we pushed on for a second goal. Hull defended in numbers though as usual and looked dangerous on the counter attack.
Welbeck and Lucas Perez were rightfully introduced with 10 minutes to go and they changed the game. Should they be playing more? I think they deserve more minutes than they’ve been getting but we do have a talented squad now so it’s debatable. Perez headed the ball at goal from a Sanchez cross which hit a hull defenders’ arm so we received a penalty and he was sent off as a result.
Up stepped Alexis Sanchez once again, (where would we be without him?) who had basically won the penalty, after rounding the goalkeeper, who for some reason decided to come out of his goal too early. He made no mistake from the spot and clinched 3 vital points for us in what was virtually the last kick of the game.
It was a game that we didn’t perform that well in but no one cares as long as you get the win and we deserved it overall. Özil in particular wasn’t at his best at all once again and he is definitely suffering from confidence at the moment. Is it time for him to be dropped?
So a much needed win for Arsenal and the fans who are getting increasingly annoyed with the club and manager as it’s not enough for many of them. Arsenal Fan TV are getting a lot more publicity recently following the previous defeats but this win meant it was a light relief for a few days at least!
Next up was Bayern Munich away in the Champions League where we would have to be at our very best to compete with them. Would we learn from previous years or would it be the same old Arsenal?