Dec 4, 2013 at 7.45pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Arsenal
2-0
Hull City
Bendtner (2'), Ozil (47')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Live Commentary: Arsenal 2-0 Hull City - as it happened

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger prior to kick-off against Crystal Palace on October 26, 2013
© Getty Images
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal beat Hull City 2-0.

Arsenal welcomed Hull City to the Emirates on Wednesday looking to record their 11th league win of the season and extend their lead at the top of the table in the process.

The home side took just 90 seconds to open the scoring when Nicklas Bendtner scored his first Premier League goal since 2010 with a deft header.

The Gunners had to wait until the second period to extend their lead, but the goal came after 47 minutes when Mesut Ozil found the bottom corner from close range.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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6.46pmEvening all! Week 14 in the Premier League is upon us as Arsenal welcome Hull City to the Emirates Stadium. The home side currently top the pile in the Premier League, four points clear of second-place Manchester City. Hull, meanwhile, occupy 10th position in the division having collected 17 points from their first 13 matches.

6.49pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two teams, Arsenal have won four of the last five matches, with Hull also winning once during that period. On Hull’s last two visits to the Gunners, they have lost 3-0 and 2-1, but they did secure a famous win at Arsenal in September 2008, when Geovanni and Daniel Cousin both scored in a 2-1 win.

6.52pmIt had been questioned whether Arsenal could sustain a title challenge this season. Well, they have answered some of their doubters thus far. The signing of Mesut Ozil at the end of the summer transfer window certainly galvanised them, but it has been another midfielder, a certain Welshman, that has been their standout player.

6.55pmAaron Ramsey, who was once heavily criticised by the club’s supporters, has scored 13 times in all competitions this season. Two of those strikes came at the weekend as Arsenal put three unanswered goals past Cardiff City in Wales. That success was their 10th in the league this season from 13 matches.

6.58pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner starts for Arsenal this evening. Meanwhile, there are also spots in the XI for Nacho Monreal and Tomas Rosicky. Theo Walcott, however, continues his recovery from the bench. Hull, meanwhile, are without Curtis Davies and Robert Koren, meaning that Tom Huddlestone will skipper the side. Full teams to follow.

7.01pmTEAMS:

ARSENAL: Szczesny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini, Ramsey; Rosicky, Cazorla, Ozil; Bendtner

HULL CITY: McGregor; Figueroa, Chester, Bruce, Elmohamady; Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore; Brady, Graham, Sagbo


7.04pmSo there we have it. No Bacary Sagna, Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Yaya Sanogo for the Gunners this evening. Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere are both on the bench. As mentioned, Hull are without the suspended Curtis Davies, with James Chester coming in for a rare start. Former Tottenham Hotspur duo Huddlestone and Jack Livermore continue in midfield.

7.07pmThe Gunners enter this particular match having lost just twice on their own patch in 2013, while they have won eight of their last nine matches against Hull in all competitions. What’s more, the league leaders have kept five clean sheets in their last six matches in all competitions, with the only blot in their copybook coming against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

7.10pmArsenal have also conceded just 15 goals in their last 23 league matches, while their record of 10 conceded this season is the best in the league. It would be fair to say that Arsene Wenger’s side have not been known as a strong defensive unit over the last couple of seasons, but it does appear that the ship has been steadied.

7.13pmDespite Arsenal’s strong start to the season, they cannot afford to slip up this evening. The Gunners face Everton, Napoli, Manchester City and Chelsea before Christmas, meaning that the league table and indeed their Champions League hopes could paint a very different picture at the end of the month. These type of matches take on added importance for Wenger’s side.

7.16pmThe home side are also the second highest scorers in the league this season with 27. Goals have been harder to find for Hull, however, with Steve Bruce’s side managing just 12 strikes in their 13 matches thus far. Down the other end, Hull have been fairly tight with just 16 goals conceded, while, as mentioned, Arsenal have conceded just 10.

7.19pmHull, however, will enter this match full of confidence. The former Championship outfit picked up arguably their best result of the season at the weekend when they beat Liverpool 3-1 to move into 10th spot in the table. Depending on other results, they could be within one point of Tottenham come the end of the evening, which would cap a sensational start to the season.

7.22pmMatters off the field – the proposed name change to Hull City Tigers – threatened to harm the players in the early part of the campaign, but it does not seem to be an issue at present. Despite their good form, the Tigers have won just one of their last 30 Premier League games away from home, losing 22 times in the process.

7.25pmAway form has indeed been a problem for Hull this season with just one win from their six matches on the road. However, they have been impressive on their own patch with four wins, two draws and one defeat this season. They have taken more points at the KC Stadium than Manchester United have managed at Old Trafford.

7.28pmHere’s a word from Arsenal boss Wenger at a pre-match press conference: “We are in a good position. It is early yet, but if can remain focused and consistent the way we have been so far, I will be happy." If the Gunners can remain top of the table come 2014, questions over their staying power will surely fade away.

7.31pmMeanwhile, Hull boss Bruce added: “The problem with Arsenal is how do you set up against them? They're fluid in their movement and interplay. They change positions... where does Jack Wilshere play? Where does Mesut Ozil play? They've produced another fantastic football team who are going to be there or thereabouts and in Aaron Ramsey they've got the outstanding player in the Premier League. I remember the win in 2007 vividly, let's hope we can repeat that."

7.34pmJust a reminder that there are nine Premier League matches in total this evening. Liverpool and Manchester United are both at home, while Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City play away. Be sure to remain with Sports Mole throughout the evening and you will not miss a moment. I have a feeling that there could be some twists and turns. When isn’t there?!

7.37pmPREDICTION: While there are no easy games in the Premier League, it is extremely difficult to make a case for Hull this evening. Arsenal have rested a number of their key players, but still have an XI full of talent. I expect Hull to be hard working, but the Gunners should have far too much quality. My score prediction is 3-0.

7.40pmJust a reminder of the main team news. Jenkinson comes in at right-back for Arsenal this evening, while Rosicky and Bendtner both start in attack. Hull recall Graham in attack, with the former Sunderland forward lining up alongside Sagbo. As mentioned, Huddlestone will skipper the away side with Curtis Davies serving a suspension.

7.43pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Not a full house inside the Emirates this evening, but there is a strong atmosphere. The home supporters expect their team to win this evening that is for certain.

0 minThree points for Arsenal this evening would move them onto 34 points. However, with all their rivals also in action, the Gunners cannot afford to slip up. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could be decisive in this type of match. Hull get the action underway in London.

2 minJust a quick word on Tom Huddlestone. His strike at the weekend has been given as a Martin Skrtel own goal and therefore his hair remains in tact. Bright start from the away side as Livermore breaks through the middle, but his effort is wide of the goal and Arsenal restart with a goal kick. Strong atmosphere inside the Emirates Stadium this evening.

2 minGOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Hull (Bendtner)

3 minOh my word. Arsenal take the lead inside two minutes as Bendtner heads a Jenkinson cross into the back of the net from close range. He has been the laughing stock of the club's supporters at times this season, but he has made his mark this evening.

5 minHull cannot keep the ball at the moment as the home side continue to force the issue with plenty of possession in midfield. Rosicky collects the ball from Ozil outside the box before attempting to find Cazorla, but Huddlestone is across to clear the danger. Bendtner has it moments later, but the move breaks down with the Danish striker.

7 minOne-way traffic at the moment as Ozil works the ball to Flamini, who strikes one from outside the box. It falls to Bendtner, but the Danish striker is penalised for offside. Hull just have not been allowed to start thus far and Arsenal look intent on putting this game to bed in the early stages. Still 1-0 with seven minutes on the clock at the Emirates Stadium.

10 minConstant Arsenal possession as they continue to pass and probe outside the Hull box, with Ozil and Rosicky both involved in advanced areas. Eventually the ball is worked wide to Jenkinson, who drives a low cross into the box, but Bruce is across to clear for a corner. You just get the feeling that Hull need to hold on during this period of utter dominance.

12 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Arsenal to score their second as Mertesacker wins a header at the near post, it almost falls to Jenkinson, but McGregor is on hand to make the save at the vital moment. The Gunners are on the attack with Monreal moments later, but the Spanish left-back is challenged by Figueroa inside the box.

14 minWell, 14 minutes on the clock and Hull have not had a single attack. It only seems a matter of time before the home side score their second, which could put the game to bed, even at this early stage. Monreal delivers another dangerous cross into the box moments later, but Bruce is on hand to clear, but it falls to Flamini and the pressure continues.

16 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Bendtner to score his second as the Dane collects a loose save from McGregor inside the box, but he can only fire his effort wide of the post. The initial attempt came from Ozil, but the Scottish goalkeeper made a hash of it. One-way traffic with 16 minutes on the clock.

19 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments with Hull just starting to warm to their task. However, they have been starved of possession in the opening 19 minutes of football. At 1-0, there is always a chance, but Hull need to stay in the game. Brady has possession in the Arsenal half moments later, but the move breaks down with Graham.

21 minHalf-chance for Hull, their first of the match, as Brady delivers a dangerous cross towards Sagbo, but the powerful striker cannot make contact under pressure from Mertesacker. Arsenal are down the other end with Cazorla moments later, but the Spaniard can only drill his effort wide of the post. Still 1-0 to the home side with 21 minutes on the clock.

23 minHull have certainly tightened their defence in the last couple of moments with Arsenal struggling to find a way through the likes of Bruce and Chester, who took a while to settle into the match. The home side continue to dominate the possession in the final third, but chances have been few and far between in the last minute or two.

25 minAfter such a bright start, Arsenal have faded in the final third. However, they continue to led due to that early header from Bendtner. Hull manage to gain possession moments later with Brady, but the former Manchester United midfielder's cross is straight into the arms of the Arsenal stopper. Still no real opportunities for Hull this evening.

28 minHalf-chance for Koscielny this time as the Frenchman collects a loose ball inside the box, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. The home side have had eight attempts thus far, while Hull have had zero. A free kick arrives to Arsenal just outside the box moments later as Ozil is felled, but it comes to nothing.

30 minStrong wide play from Arsenal in the last couple of moments with Monreal and Cazorla both delivering crosses into the box, but Bruce and Chester have been strong in the air thus far. The away side enjoy a period of possession moments later before Chester forces it towards Sagbo, but the danger is cleared by Jenkinson, before Ramsey fires straight at McGregor.

32 minOpportunity for Hull to threaten from a free kick as Mertesacker fells Graham just outside the box. The resulting set piece is taken by Brady, but Chester's header is straight into the arms of the Arsenal goalkeeper. That is Hull's first effort in the opening 32 minutes. Still Arsenal lead courtesy of that early header from Bendtner.

34 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for the home side as Ramsey thumps one from outside the box, but McGregor is across to make a quite stunning save. That looked certain to be Ramsey's 14th goal of the season. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining at the Emirates.

37 minGood pressure from Hull in the last couple of moments as Huddlestone collects possession in a wide area before drilling a low cross into the box, but it just would not fall for Sagbo, who had created some space inside the box. Arsenal break down the other end with Ozil, but his pass is straight to Meyler.

39 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments, but Hull have started to enjoy more possession in the final third. El Mohamady threatens as he drives down the right before delivering towards Sagbo, but the danger is cleared before Arsenal launch a counter down the other end.

41 minManchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool are all winning this evening, but Manchester United are being held at home to Everton. Hull continue to threaten at the Emirates as Chester meets a corner from Huddlestone, but his effort is just wide of the post. Little under five minutes of the first period remaining in London.

43 minYou just got the feeling that Arsenal needed to score a second to make it comfortable, but Hull are now warming to the task. The away side have possession just outside the Arsenal box moments later, but Graham cannot find his strike partner Sagbo. A free kick arrives from Huddlestone moments later, but the danger is cleared.

45 min+1As it stands, Arsenal have had 13 attempts to Hull's one, which tells you the story of the first period at the Emirates. Ozil has a half-chance moments later as he meets a cross from Bendtner, but his header drops wide of the post. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute at the end of the first period.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Arsenal 1-0 Hull

8.32pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Arsenal leading courtesy of an early header from Bendtner. Many thought that the floodlights would open, but Hull have had their moments in an entertaining first period. It is so delicately poised ahead of the second 45 minutes of action.

8.37pmSTATISTICS: The home side have had 68% of the possession, while they have had 14 attempts to Hull's two. That said, just five of Arsenal's attempts have been on target. It has been a half of few challenges, meanwhile, with the referee not forced to enter his pocket at any point during the half.

8.42pmBENCH WATCH: Arsenal have a number of attacking options on their bench in the shape of Wilshere, Walcott and Giroud. Meanwhile, Arteta is also available. Hull have been hit with a couple of injuries, but still have the likes of Fryatt, Gedo and Boyd in reserve.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. No changes for either side at the interval, which is not much of a surprise at this stage of proceedings. You just get the feeling that the next goal - especially if it comes to Arsenal - could decide the outcome of the match. Arsenal get the second 45 minutes underway.

47 minBright start to the second period from Hull as Brady wins a throw down the left. Eventually Sagbo works the ball into the box, but Monreal is on hand to clear the danger. Arsenal break down the other end with Ramsey moments later, but the move comes to an end when Ozil loses possession.

47 minGOAL! Arsenal 2-0 Hull (Ozil)

48 minArsenal have their second of the match as Monreal finds Ramsey, who in turn finds Ozil inside the box and the German makes no mistake from close range as he slides his effort under the goalkeeper.

50 minHalf-chance for the away side moments later as they force a free kick outside the box, but the move breaks down when Huddlestone attempts to force one towards Sagbo. Arsenal gain a corner down the other end moments later, but Sagbo rises inside the box to clear the danger.

53 minThe match has opened up in the early stages of the second period, which is not good news for Hull. The away side attempt to force it once more as Sagbo runs through the heart of the Arsenal defence, but he just cannot collect a pass from Huddlestone. Sagbo does manage to strike one moments later, but Mertesacker makes the block.

55 minThe referee has been more involved than he would like in the last couple of moments with both sides guilty of a couple of late challenges. Arsenal are in total control, however, as they continue to retain possession in their own half. If the home side decide to move through the gears then this could be anything there is no question about that.

57 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Jenkinson finds Ramsey inside the box, but McGregor is across to make a fine save at the vital moment. The resulting set piece is driven into the box by Cazorla, but Bendtner's header is just wide of the post. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining at the Emirates Stadium.

59 minDouble change for Hull just before the hour mark as Graham and Brady are replaced by Boyd and Liam Rosenior. Still no movement on the Arsenal bench, but I expect changes to be made in the next five minutes or so. Hull are on the attack with Sagbo moments later, but the striker had just moved into an offside position.

62 minHalf-chance for Arsenal once more as Bendtner collects possession inside the box before attempting to find the top corner, but Bruce is on hand to make the block. The resulting corner is played short, but the move breaks down with Ozil. It is almost like a pre-season match for the home side at the moment as they continue to pass and probe outside the box.

64 minArsenal continue to force the issue with a couple of corners in quick succession, but the first is bundled clear by Bruce before Mertesacker struggles to sort out his feet at the vital moment. Hull break down the other end with Boyd moments later, but his cross is straight into the arms of Szczesny. Little over 25 minutes of football remaining at the Emirates.

66 minFor all Arsenal's dominance, one goal for Hull and they are back in this match. That is the concern, but the Gunners are coasting at the moment. Still no movement on the bench, although it would be a surprise if Wenger did not look to rest the likes of Ozil in the latter stages. Not too much to report in terms of opportunities in the last couple of moments.

68 minIt is almost like a pre-season match for Arsenal at the moment as they continue to keep possession in the Hull half. In truth, the home side have just been far too good for their opponents in this match. Ozil attempts to force the issue moments later with a through pass towards Bendtner, but Bruce is on the cover for his side.

71 minHalf-chance for Hull this time as Livermore dances into the Arsenal box before striking on goal, but his effort is straight into the arms of Szczesny. Arsenal have a half-chance moments later as Ozil finds Rosicky outside the box, but the midfielder cannot collect under pressure from Huddlestone. Little under 20 minutes of normal time remaining.

73 minAnother half-chance for the away side as Sagbo finds the head of Boyd inside the Arsenal box, but his effort is just wide of the post. Moments later, the home side make a double change as Walcott and Wilshere replace Bendtner and Rosicky. Hull also make their third and final sub as Gedo replaces Sagbo.

75 minWilshere is immediately involved for the home side as he slides a low pass towards Ozil, but the German is challenged at the vital moment by Chester. Possession football continues from the home side as they pass and probe outside the box, but Hull have been compact in defence in the second period.

78 minSlightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of moments with both sides guilty of losing possession too easily in the final third. Ozil has a half-chance as he combines with Ramsey, but the German just loses control at the vital moment, before Livermore fires one high and wide of the crossbar down the other end.

80 minHe will not admit to it, but Hull boss Steve Bruce will be pleased if his side lose 2-0 this evening. After such an early goal from the Gunners, the floodlights could have opened, but they have been impressive since conceding the second to Ozil. Little over 10 minutes of football remaining at the Emirates Stadium.

83 minArsenal make their third and final change of the evening as Arteta replaces Ramsey, who has had another impressive evening. Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last few moments. Walcott is involved as he collects a through pass from Cazorla, but the move breaks down when Bruce clears the danger.

85 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Monreal finds some space down the left before feeding Flamini, but his low cross is cleared by Chester. Not too much attacking threat from Hull at the moment as they continue to retreat deeper and deeper. As it stands, Arsenal are heading for another three points and indeed another clean sheet.

87 minArsenal continue to pass and probe outside the box, but the latest attack comes to nothing as Ozil's low attempt is blocked by Bruce. Hull break down the other end with Livermore, but once more his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. Little over three minutes of normal time remaining.

90 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments, but Arsenal continue to keep control of the ball. It has been a composed performance from the home side this evening. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes at the end of normal time.

90 min+2In truth, not too much has happened since Ozil scored Arsenal's second this evening. Hull have been compact in defence, but have not really carried a threat down the other end. It is so comfortable for the home side as they continue to keep the ball in the Hull half. Little over one minute remaining.

90 min+3CHANCE! Wonderful chance for Hull to open their tally as El Mohamady puts it on a plate for Boyd in the middle of the box, but his effort is just wide of the post. That should be just about that for this one.

90 min+4FULL-TIME: Arsenal 2-0 Hull

9.35pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the match to a close with Arsenal claiming all three points with a comfortable 2-0 win against Hull. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action. Good evening!

Tony Cascarino in action for the Republic of Ireland on October 09, 1996.
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