Hull City scored two goals in five second half minutes to seal a famous win away to Arsenal.
Arsenal took the lead through a McShane (47) own goal but Hull hit back Geovanni’s (61) stunner bringing them level before Cousin (65) headed in from Andy Dawson’s corner. It was a real shock to Arsenal’s title challenge on Arsene Wenger’s 12th anniversary at the club asking serious questions on the Gunner’s resilience.
The first half was a half of what could have been for Arsenal. Walcott had the best half chance as his control, with just the keeper to beat let him down allowing the defenders to get back. He also had two more other oppportunities to shoot, twice blocked though the first time dwelt on the ball allowing Dawson to get back.
For Walcott, he encountered the same problems as last season and the start of this before his surge of confidence, as the lack of space stopped him from making a better final ball. He always looked threatening though as a good battle between he and Dawson was beginning. Gallas and Adebayor had half chances, the latter having a goal disallowed for a foul. Fabregas and Eboue both shot wide in a fruitless half though the game was still open for a goal. The former controlled the game for Arsenal but is the partnership with Denilson finally taking it’s toll on the Spaniard?
Arsenal their first half blues behind them as Walcott’s sheer pace opened up the Hull defence and his cross across the goal with put in by Paul McShane under pressure from Fabregas. However the Gunners were soon rocked Geovanni powering an unstoppable shot from the left which swerved viciously past Almunia. Worse was yet to come as Cousin made it 2-1, beating Gallas in the air and headering from a Hull corner making it 3 headers Arsenal have let in already this season from corner kicks.
Arsenal searched for an equaliser and in injury time had as good three chances as they had in normal time. First a Fabregas shot was tipped over from Myhill and from the resulting corner Toure found acres of space but he sliced his shot. Van Persie then smashed a shot over as the Gunners tasted their second defeat already this season.
Full credit for Hull City for making life difficult for the Gunners as they worked hard, track backed and looked to get something out of the game. Cousin’s presence caused a few problems as Hull tried to work around him while Geovanni and Boateng also exerted their influence. They did give a lot of space to the full backs though where Sagna and Clichy tried to stretch the play. Arsenal were left to rue their chances and their inability to defend high balls as Hull outfought the Gunners and in the end deserved their win and all of those including us who thought they would go down by a cricket score were well and truly proved wrong.
Man of the Match: Daniel Cousin– Was a constant threat and his presence finally told with a well taken header.
Performance Rating: 2/5– Half way through the game it looked like the Gunners would win without breaking a sweat but Hull came back in what ended up a frustrating game. Things must improve defensively for Arsenal and finish the game off quicker.
Arsenal: Almunia (6), Sagna (7), Toure (6), Gallas (6), Clichy (6), Eboue (6) (Bendtner 69 (5), Fabregas (8), Denilson (6), Walcott (6) (Vela 77 (5), Adebayor (6), Van Persie (5).
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Ramsey, Song Billong, Silvestre, Djourou.
Booked: Sagna, Gallas.
Goals: McShane 51 og.
Hull: Myhill (7), McShane (6), Zayatte (7), Turner (7), Dawson (7), Marney (7), Boateng (7) (Garcia 76 (5), Geovanni (7) (Hughes 72 (5), Ashbee (6), Cousin (8)* (Mendy 80 (5), King (6)
Subs Not Used: Duke, Halmosi, Folan, Ricketts.
Goals: Geovanni 62, Cousin 66.
Ref: Alan Wiley (6) (Staffordshire)