Sweet, Sweet Silverware : Arsenal 3 – 2 Hull City [AET] – Report & Player Ratings

Final Score
Arsenal 3 – 2 Hull City [AET]

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Arsenal’s trophy drought had loomed for a painfully long nine years. Today, a plucky Hull City were the only obstacle between The Gunners and some sweet, sweet silverware.

Unfortunately, Arsenal started the game lazily – to say the least.

In fact, it only took Hull City four minutes to get a goal.  A long shot from Huddlestone following a corner was re-directed by Chester, leaving Fabianski stranded as the ball bounced into the bottom corner. Nobody was on the post.

Unbelievably though, Hull had another surprise.
In the ninth minute, a Hull header bounced back off the post, where Curtis Davies was waiting to slam it home. Gibbs meanwhile, was unaware of Davies until it was too late.

Things were looking awful. And I do mean awful. Arsenal looked lethargic, and Hull looked hungry.

Things were looking awful. And I do mean awful. Arsenal looked lethargic, and Hull looked hungry.

Thankfully though, Santi Cazorla produced the good in the nineteenth minute. His free-kick was elegantly curled just under the bar, giving Arsenal some hope.

The rest of the half was tame in comparison. Hull’s offensive threat had died down, and although Arsenal were now showing glimmers of attacking promise, nothing solid was really coming off.

When the half time whistle blew, things were still not looking good. Arsene Wenger needed to deliver the team talk of his life.

Unfortunately, the team talk didn’t seem to change much.

Arsenal continued to look sluggish, and Hull were playing comfortably – both down the middle and the flanks.

It wasn’nt long before Arsenal had three penalty shouts, all of which were turned down. Huddlestone pulled Giroud by the neck, Livermore handballed a cross, and Cazorla was then soon brought down in the area after a counter attack. Everything was waved away.

Thankfully though, Arsenal found a lifeline.

The ball dropped for Koscielny in the goal mouth, who turned the ball in. Finally, relief.

In the seventy-first minute, Cazorla whipped in a corner, which was met by Giroud. The ball dropped for Koscielny in the goal mouth, who turned the ball in. Finally, relief.

The rest of the game was tense. Hull had woken from their comfortable slumber, and the game was now well and truly back on.

Kieran Gibbs had a Golden opportunity to put Arsenal ahead, after the ball dropped to him in front of goal. Unfortunately, the Englishman whacked it clear over. It was a sitter and a half.
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Extra Time

Arsenal came alive in the first half.

Ramsey and substitute Sanogo were driving Arsenal forward, resulting in Giroud eventually heading an effort against the bar. Chances were flowing.

Hull were getting tired too, but were defending well enough to keep Arsenal out. And they did.

The second half though, held the key.

In the one-hundred-and-ninth minute, Giroud back heeled a Wilshere pass in the box, which came to Ramsey. Arsenal’s trusty Welshman put his foot through it, putting Arsenal ahead.

Hull had a final chance to equalise when Mertesacker slipped and Fabianksi rushed out to avert the danger. The Pole couldn’t get to the ball though, but thankfully the eventual shot tricked across the goal mouth and out for a goal-kick.

The Gunners managed to hold on for the final ten minutes, and then the whistle blew. It was over.

We did it. We won. We actually won the FA Cup.

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Arsenal Player Ratings

Fabianski: [7/10]

Had a solid game overall, making a couple of good stops. Rushed out of goal when he needed to, and although he missed the ball, it was the right choice to make. Couldnt do anything for the goals.

Sagna: [7/10]

Solid defensively, got forward a hell of a lot. His crossing was a mixed bag as usual,but the effort was certainly there.

Mertesacker: [7/10] 

Had a comfortable game overall, winning headers throughout. However, he could settle Arsenal’s back line in the opening few minutes, and that cost us. Slipped at a crucial moment too, which led to Hull’s close-call.

Koscielny: [8.5/10] – MOTM

Calm at the back, and got the important equalizer in the second half. He was winning header, closing down well and cleaning up loose balls quicky. He was clobbered scoring his goal, but fought on – and fought well.

Gibbs: [6/10]

El-Mohammady ran him ragged today. His defending was poor, especially when Davies lurking behind him to get Hull’s second. He didn’t offer much going forward, and he also missed an absolute sitter to put Arsenal 3-2 up in the second half. Cleared the ball off the line when we were two down though.

Arteta: [6/10]

Hull were srollng through the middle at times. Mikel didn’t get much assistance to be fair, bu Livermore and Huddlestone were finding it easy against him for much of the game.

Ramsey: [7.5/10] 

Didn’t play particularly well for the majority of the game. He was in and out, up and down, but struggling to create. He also must have smashed around six shots over the bar. However, he came good when we needed him to, and slammed home the winner.

Podolski: [5/10]

Lukas’ laziness is growing old now. He didn’t look like he was playing in an FA Cup final, and Wenger rightly subbed him off before anybody else. Did next to nothing.

Cazorla: [7.5/10] 

Santi’s excellent free-kick in the first half gave us a lifeline, and he was the only player with any energy in that first period too. However, as the game went on, he wilted, producing very little towards the end.

Ozil: [6/10]

Looked lost when we were two down, and didn’t really take the game by the scruff of the neck at any point. However, he did show some great turns, touches and passes to open up space, and that was important. Not a great game from him overall though.

Giroud: [7.5/10] 

Missed some good opportunities today, but he showed real energy throughout the game. He was supported very little by the midfield too. Got the assist for Ramsey’s winner.

Subs:

Sanogo: [8/10]

Absolutely brilliant display. Yaya replaced Podolski, and the difference was ridiculously obvious. He ran the Hull defences ragged, shot well, won tackles and looked passionate. Really made a difference, and was unfortunate not to score.

Wilshere [7/10]

Added some energy to the side, bringing the team forward when he was on the ball.

Rosicky [7/10]

A cool display, and an experienced head in a chaotic atmosphere. Exactly what we needed.

 

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Sweet, Sweet Silverware

Finally.

After nine agonizing years, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal lifted Silverware – and what a moment it was.

Thomas Vermaelen, the club Captain, lifted it high. But perhaps the most touching moment was Wenger’s broad smile, just after he lifted the Cup for himself. It was a welcome smile. A smile we all want to see more of.

Mertesacker and Koscileny lifted the Cup together, befittingly.

The entire team looked elated. Ozil, Fabianski, Sagna, Wilshere and the rest were all shouting and screaming with happiness – and I’m sure they will are.

Good on you boys, and good on you Arsene. Enjoy it. I know I am.

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