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West Ham United
4 December 2013
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 60017
N. Bendtner 2'
M. Özil 47'
FULL TIME - Arsenal 2-0 Hull: Goals from Bendtner and Ozil early in either half ensure the Gunners take all three points with their sixth consecutive home league win. In truth, it never looked in doubt, but the Tigers can be proud of their work rate throughout the game. That is it from me, Tom Webber, for tonight. Have a great evening.
90' + 3'
The final whistle goes!
90' + 2'
That is better from El Mohamady as he bends a brilliant cross into the centre of the box. Boyd finds space connects with a free header but he puts it over the top when he ought to have done much, much better.
90' + 1'
El Mohamady sends a cross from the right straight out of play for a goal kick as we enter the first of an additional three minutes.
The Tigers are still getting plenty of men forward as they search for a late goal, and they are playing with plenty of width. Unfortunately they have not had enough possession to really create many chances.
The tempo of the game has slowed considerably in the last 10 minutes, with Arsenal confident that they will take all three points this evening. They have dominated from start to finish, though Hull have worked extremely hard to stay in the running.
That's a delightful touch from Wilshere, flicking the ball over the head of Chester inside the box, but he is unable to gather it on the far side as he goes down after running into the centre-back. There are grumbles from the stands of fans hoping for a penalty, but nothing is awarded.
A sloppy clearance gives Livermore a chance to run at the Arsenal defence but yet again Hull are unable to fashion a chance to work the keeper.
With Chelsea currently leading 3-2 away to Sunderland, it looks as though Arsenal are set to maintain their four-point lead at the summit of the league.
That is a vital block! Ozil bursts into the area but just as he is about to pull the trigger Rosenior slides in and takes the ball away from the German. He had to time that perfectly or it would have been a penalty.
Mikel Amatrian Arteta
Meyler attempts to run onto a ball which is deflected over the top of the Arsenal defence but he fails to find a way around Mertesacker in order to retrieve it and the German hooks it to safety.
The two substitutes almost combine for the hosts, with Wilshere spraying a brilliant 40 yard pass over the top of the defence for Walcott to run onto. However, he puts a little too much on it and the ball bounces into the arms of McGregor.
Hull are having a decent spell on the ball here, knocking it about comfortably at the back and forcing Arsenal to do plenty of running. They need to focus on getting it up the other end if they are to take anything from tonight, though.
That's not what you want to see when you're playing Arsenal! Walcott and Wilshere are introduced from the bench for the closing stages.
STAT: Arsenal have only been defeated once in their last 15 home matches in the Premier League. They look set to make that one defeat in 16 tonight.
JUST WIDE!! Two Arsenal players get sucked towards the ball and leave Sagbo in space out on the right. He whips a great cross towards the near post which Boyd meets, however he fails to find the target. That is a bit of a let off for the hosts.
Some of Arsenal's passing this evening has been truly first rate. Another neat exchange almost resulted in a one-on-one inside the box, but Bendtner's pass was just too far behind Rosicky.
Arsenal are putting themselves under needless pressure here. The ball is cheaply given away and Livermore skips past Koscielny and into the area. He hits an effort on target but fails to put it either side of Szczesny, who holds the shot.
Szczesny takes a blow to the head as he comes off his line to collect a cross from El Mohamady. Sagbo was committed to getting on the end of that too and collided with the keeper, though there wasn't an awful lot in it to tell the truth.
Good defending from Koscielny there, refusing to be overpowered by Sagbo and getting around the striker to beat him to an incoming pass. The Gunners have not been tested at the back since the restart.
Almost a third for Arsenal! Ozil is left in space 35 yards from goal, something which you just cannot allow, and he uses it to play in Cazorla. The Spaniard cuts onto his left foot but his cross-goal effort takes a deflection and goes behind.
Hull did start to improve towards the end of the first half but the break allowed Arsenal to come back at them in the same explosive way that they did in the first. Steve Bruce may well be quite frustrated byt he way this game has gone tonight, though the Gunners deserve their lead completely.
Arsenal have conceded just 15 goals in their last 23 league matches. During that run, only one side, Aston Villa, has managed to score more than once against them.
The resultant corner is whipped in and Bendtner connects with it, however Brady is positioned perfectly to clear it off the line at the far post.
Arsenal catch Hull with too many men forward again and Ozil rolls a lovely pass in behind the defence for Ramsey. It forces the midfielder to shoot first time, from an acute angle, but McGregor quickly comes off his line and closes the effort to divert it behind for a corner.
STAT: The odds are against the visitors having gone in at half time behind: Arsenal have been winning at both half time and full time in their last five home league matches.
Over the top! Hull only clear the resultant corner as far as Cazorla on the edge of the box and he finds Ramsey to his left. The Welshman then tees the former Malaga man up for a shot but he balloons it high above the goal.
Hull again fail to capitalise from a set play and Arsenal take the chance to counterattack. Jenkinson shows great determination to get up in support and he wins a corner for his side as his cross into the box is deflected behind.
Assist Aaron Ramsey
Goal Mesut Özil
GOOOOAAAL!! Arsenal score within two minutes of the start of the second half! Monreal does well to keep the ball in play on the near side and he passes to Ozil. The German flicks a pass to Ramsey who then slips a fantastic reverse pass into the box which Ozil slides past McGregor at his near post.
We are back underway in north London!
Welcome back! The teams are making their way back out onto the pitch now and will be kicking off imminently.
HALF TIME - Arsenal 1-0 Hull: The Gunners took an early lead when Bendtner headed home inside two minutes but despite dominating possession for the remainder of the half they have been unable to add to that. The Tigers grew in confidence during that 45 minutes, but Arsene Wenger will surely instruct his team to be more clinical after the restart. Join me in 15 minutes for the second half!
45' + 2'
The half-time whistle goes!
45' + 1'
We are into the first, and only, minute of added time.
Wide from Ozil! Arsenal break after Huddlestone has an effort from 20 yards blocked and Bendtner comes out to the right and supplies a cross into the area. Ozil meets it inside the box but he does not get enough on it put the ball back on target.
From the opening 20 minutes you sensed that Hull could be in for a real hiding tonight, but they've managed to remain resilient following Bendtner's opener. As the half has gone on they have also become more adventurous and may not want to head in for the break in next couple of minutes.
More fantastic build-up play from Arsenal but Bendtner's final pass is yet again too heavy and it goes behind for a goal kick. He does not seem to have the same sharpness on the ball as his team-mates tonight, but he is lacking the match practice that they have had.
Good movement from Graham there, running the channels in the defence and winning a corner for his side. Huddlestone delivers it and Chester connects with it on the edge of the six-yard box, but he fails to turn it on target.
STAT: Hull have been victorious in just one of their previous 30 away games in the Premier League. They have lost 22 of those outings.
Cazorla is down after a challenge from Figueroa, but the Spaniard looks fine to continue. The contact came late but the defender took all of the ball.
WHAT A CHANCE! Huddlestone collects the throw inside the box and beats Mertesacker on his way to the byeline. He squares the ball across the face of goal but Sagbo does not gamble to get on the end of it at the back post.
A long ball up from the back almost catches Jenkinson out as he attempts to shepherd it back to Szczesny, but the keeper refuses to come out of his goal and get it. With Graham closing, the right-back is forced to clear it for a throw.
Bendtner drops off the front and picks up the ball before turning and moving towards goal. He attempts to pick out Rosicky with a through-ball but the pass is intercepted and El Mohamady comes away with possession.
GREAT SAVE!! Ramsey picks up a loose ball 30 yards from goal and takes a touch before having a go at goal. He hits a swerving effort which would have nestled in the bottom corner had it not been for a strong save from McGregor.
Graham wins a free kick 25 yards goal for the visitors but Brady's delivery into the area is poor and Hull fail to stretch Szczesny. Perhaps it would have been wiser to let Huddlestone have a crack at goal from that sort of distance.
Rosicky picks out Ramsey at the top of the box and he spins his man before firing an effort at goal. This time he manages to keep it on target, but McGregor gets down to his right and holds the effort without too much strain.
That is both Ramsey and Koscielny who have fired over in the last couple of minutes following set plays that Hull have been unable to deal with. The Welshman sliced his effort from just inside the box there.
Ozil makes a bright run down the right and after moving away from Meyler he draws a free kick from Figueroa. The German was going nowhere there, so will be happy to have won that one.
Credit to Bendtner for chasing back and attempting to win the ball for his side, but he concedes a needless free kick after being too physical with Figueroa. Hull take it quickly but Sagbo is unable to get himself back onside in order to receive it legally. The visitors are trying to get him up against Monreal in the air.
Ramsey tries to switch up the tempo as Arsenal knock the ball around just inside the Hull half. He manages to squeeze a pass out to the left for Cazorla but he overhits it and the Spaniard is unable to catch it before it runs out of play for a goal kick.
Cazorla races forward from the centre circle and nearly gets in behind following a give-and-go with Rosicky, however the Czech's return pass is once more a tad too heavy.
Arsenal are in complete control here. The are keeping possession brilliantly but are perhaps trying to do a bit too much with it when they get into the final third.
SAGBOOOO! Graham whips a cracking ball in from the left and his strike partner streams into the area to try and get onto the end of it. He rises well but Monreal does just enough to stop him from connecting at the back post.
Before tonight the Gunners had scored five headed goals from just seven headers on target in the league this season. Bendtner's goal now makes that six goals from eight!
WHAT A CHANCE!! Bendtner could have got his second! An excellent short corner routine is initiated by Ozil and he drives into the box before loosing a shot at goal. McGregor spills the ball yet again and the Danish striker pounces, however his first touch is too heavy and sees the ball run out of play.
Arsenal have been utterly relentless so far and Steve Bruce's men have hardly been able to get the ball out of their own half. When they do manage it, the hosts mop up possession quickly and instantly look to press forward again.
A corner from the far side is flicked on at the near post and finds Mertesacker on the penalty spot. The German manages to divert the ball on target with his head and McGregor is unable to hold onto it. Ramsey looks certain to tap home the loose ball but is narrowly beaten to it by a blue shirt.
STAT: Hull were the first away team to concede the opening goal but still secure a Premier League victory at the Emirates Stadium when they won 2-1 in September 2008. Given the start the Gunners have had tonight it is difficult to see there being a repeat tonight.
Ozil and Cazorla combine to shift the ball into a central position from wide on the left, with the latter teeing Flamini for a shot at goal. The effort was clearly going off target but went straight to Bendtner inside the area, who is judged to have been offside from the Frenchman's attempt.
Neat interplay from Cazorla and Rosicky on the edge of the box but the Spaniard is unable to dig out an effort on target from his team-mate's return pass. This has been a very bright start from the Gunners this evening, despite a number of changes.
Well, Hull have actually lined up with what is almost a back five, with Brady and El Mohamady playing as wing backs either side of a central three. That still didn't stop Jenkinson supplying the cross for the opener or Bendtner heading in from close range.
Assist Carl Jenkinson
Goal Nicklas Bendtner
GOOOOOAAAL!! What a return to the starting line-up for Bendtner! Ramsey slides a brilliant pass down the channel for Jenkinson and his cross from the byeline is headed home by the towering Dane. His first goal for the Gunners in almost three years!
We are underway at the Emirates Stadium!
The teams are out on the pitch now so kick off will be upon us shortly!
STAT: Arsenal have won eight of their last nine matches against the Tigers in all competitions, and are currently on a run of four straight victories.
Steve Bruce makes two changes from the team which defeated Liverpool at the weekend, one of which is forced. Curtis Davies earned his fifth booking of the season in that game and is thus suspended tonight. Danny Graham replaces Robert Koren in Hull's only other change.
The hosts make a few changes following their 3-0 win over Cardiff at the weekend: Carl Jenkinson comes in for the injured Bacary Sagna, while Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Kieran Gibbs are replaced by Tomas Rosicky, Mathieu Flamini and Nacho Monreal.
Hull substitutes: Harper, Faye, Rosenior, Koren, Boyd, Fryatt, Gedo.
Hull (4-4-2): McGregor; El Mohamady, Chester, Bruce, Figueroa; Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Brady; Sagbo, Graham.
Arsenal substitutes: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Walcott, Giroud.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini, Ramsey; Rosicky, Ozil, Cazorla; Bendtner.
We shall not waste any time, the big news tonight is that Nicklas Bendtner makes his first start for Arsenal since March 2011! Spells with Sunderland and Juventus have since followed, but the Dane is back in the first XI this evening and will surely be keen to display the ability that he confidently believes he possesses.
Hello and welcome to LIVE text commentary on this evening's Premier League meeting between title-chasing Arsenal and Hull City at the Emirates Stadium. My name is Tom Webber and I will be guiding you through all of the action this evening.
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