This game demonstrated what a lot of us have been talking about in recent weeks, Arsenal were routinely intimidated by an inferior side and given only minimal protection by an incompetent referee, this led to the end result being far closer that it should have been. If we had dropped points yesterday then only one man would have been to blame, and that would have been the hapless Andre Marriner who was completely lost at sea throughout.
Phil Brown is a talentless tosser and his Hull side have been sculpted very much in this image, an exception is Jimmy Bullard who is a rather handy player who can play football the way God intended. Hull fouled from the first minute as if their lives depended on it and the referee let them do it time, time and time again without proper punishment. Marriner must have blown for about ten Hull fouls in the first half hour and they committed about triple this number, overall the sheer number of fouls was quite astonishing. We played some fantastic stuff in the first half, we were by far the better side, the goal came when Arshavin jinked through and finished neatly into the bottom right corner.
Marrinner gave Hull a route back into the game when he handed them a penalty when Campbell brushed Vennegoor of Hesselink in the box. It was a soft soft decision even if one ignores the fact that Vennegoor of Hesselink was well offside, personally I think the ball had been lost and he slowed down deliberately waiting for the contact. Bullard hit a very good penatly home, one one it was and completely undeserved. The stupid moron that is Phil Brown seems to think that this was the pivotal moment in that Campbell 'should' have been sent off. Well Phil, as even you admit it was well offside, whatever one thinks of the foul to then say he 'should' have been sent off shows you are a truly braindead numptie.
Hull were lucky to finish the first half with ten men on the field. Dawson was lucky not to see red for a horrendously late and dangerous lunge, Boateng was lucky not to see red for his slap in Bendtner's face and his high late tackle on Sagna should have been a straight red, Mendy committed numerous cynical late tackles for which he was not even carded once, Fagan did the same and even got Sagna in a headlock off the ball. Marrinner was woeful, he allowed the nasty and the cynical to go unpunished for far too long, this gave Hull a license to continually break up our superior game with deliberate fouls, what a useless performance from the official.
Marrinner also kept giving Hull free kicks for the softest of challenges, I remember once in the second half when Fagan clutched his face after minimal contact and then Hesselink dived when no contact had been made, free kick to Hull, what a joke this refereeing was. A completely fair tackle by Campbell on Zayatte led to an unfortunate injury to the Hull man, it was firm but fair challenge that won the ball clearly with the laces of his boot, Sky have since dishonestly tried to make this into an issue that it simply was not. Marrinner also waved away two stonewall Arsenal penalties, one was a two armed shove on Bendtner as he went in for a header, the other a late clip of the knee as Clichy got past his man.
Anyway Bendtner's late goal was exactly what Hull and Phil Brown deserved, frankly there's nothing more satisfying that winning a game at the death in this manner. Denilson, who didn't have a great game, hit a good fizzer which the Hull keeper palmed straight out to Nic Bendtner, Bendtner hit the target and the keeper didn't have time to react, the net bulged and the game was won, I haven't gone quite so mental at a goal for a long while, what an awesome finish against such a dire and dirty Hull side. Despite the poor refereeing we probably should have killed off Hull earlier in this game, quite a few good chances came and went, but sod it, we won and that's all that counts at this stage. We're in the mix and there are only a handful of games to go, if we can keep picking up three points then anything could happen. Come on you Gunners.
Player ratings. Almunia 7 Sagna 7 Campbell 7 Vermaelen 8 Clichy 7 Diaby 8 Nasri 7 Denilson 6 Bendtner 7 Arshavin 8 Eboue 8 Subs Walcott 8 Eduardo 6