Arsenal 2-2 Hull City: Performance Analysed From Back To Front

By on October 19, 2014

Arsenal’s disappointing form continued as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Hull City at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon. Here, Gunner333 analyses their performance.

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The recent international break may have been the perfect opportunity for Arsenal to reflect upon their previous Premier League encounter; a two goal defeat at the hands of league leaders Chelsea. Now Hull City lay in wait, with the Gunners knowing a victory was vital to steer their campaign back on track.

Team selection tarnished yet again by an ongoing injury onslaught, Monreal was needed to fill the void at the centre of defence, while Hector Bellerin started at right-back.

Amid an overhaul of end-to-end action, it were Arsenal who broke the deadlock via Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean dummying Davies numerous times, before unleashing a bullet strike across goal to beat Harper comfortably. An ideal start for a side eager to rectify a lacklustre start to the season.

A delightful goal brought City back into the frame, Senegalese midfielder Mohammed Diamé deploying an aggressive charge past four Arsenal players, before chipping the ball over an outstretched Szczesny.

A real shock was in store for Arsenal early in the second half as Steve Bruce’s men grabbed the lead courtesy of former-Palermo forward Abel Hernandez. Arsenal once again undone by a potent aerial threat, Huddlestone’s exquisite delivery headed home by the Uruguayan.

The game wore on with defeat looking an increasingly likely bet for the Gunners. Wenger introduced Campbell and Ramsey to the action just after the hour-mark in order to refresh the attacking approach but time was wearing thin.

Fortunately two of Arsenal’s shimmering hopes continued to perform and linked up to find a 90th-minute equaliser. Sanchez once again tricky with the ball, with his resultant pass cooly dispatched by an in-form Danny Welbeck. At the very least the goal salvaged a point, but the more optimistic Gooner may have taken this sliver of hope as an opportunity to push on and find the winner.

Cazorla tested Harper but few chances arose, despite the aggressive pressure being exerted by the Arsenal front line. However, a point was shared and a fairly dismal start to the season by the North-London club continues.

I shall now dissect the result from back-to-front:

At the Back: 5/10

In all honesty, the team’s defensive approach was frail to begin with, our back-line comprising of a mediocre left-back playing through the centre and an exceptionally inexperience right-back also being called upon. This itself surely signals to Wenger a real need to strengthen in the next transfer window in both quality and depth at the back.

The defending for Diame’s goal was shocking as we simply allowed him to surge straight through the heart of our team. Monreal should have done a better job at stopping him and although Flamini was fouled, he should have been far stronger to hold him off.

Secondly, we found ourselves unravelled by another aerial goal; an area in desperate need of improvement and something which never fails to crop-up countless times in match reviews. Mertesacker was Arsenal’s only great physical presence at the back but even he was at fault for Hull’s second goal.

Middle Of The Park: 6/10

Perhaps a seemingly harsh verdict on the performance of Arsenal’s middle men, given the fact a fair amount of quality was exhibited when in possession. Without however, they were quite dire and gave up too much room for Huddlestone and Diamé to expose.

Matthieu Flamini’s limitations were exposed once again and our failure to bring in a top class holding midfielder to partner the likes of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey has cost us dear.

Finally, it was a mixed day for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. At points the former-Southampton man was dynamic and eager to make things happen, but he often gave away possession and wasted some decent opportunities with a bad final ball or poor touch.

Up-Top: 9/10

It really was a case of a top-heavy performance by Arsenal, a stronger defence would have undoubtedly lead to a comfortable three points. Alexis Sanchez really is proving to be an excellent signing as he once again showed bags of quality going forward and topped off a superb display with a goal and an assist.

The man who rescued Wenger’s men not for the first time was Mr. Welbeck who, after a relatively quite afternoon, came through to grab a stoppage time equaliser. Support was little for these two dynamos, with the midfield struggling to create opportunities and it was really only the brilliance of Sanchez that saved us.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below!

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