Arsene Wenger was a very relieved man when Nicklas Bendtner using his newly found predatory instincts scored when Boaz Myhill parried the ball from Denilson’s 20 yard blast. Bendtner following up found the ball in his path.The Gunners got the win well into stoppage time. (+6 minutes).
If the Gunners go onto win the Premiership they can count this as a pivotal match.
The match was drifting into a dispiriting 1-1 draw when Bendtner’s goal broke the deadlock. Most importantly, it gave the Gunners three points to keep them just behind Chelsea. Earlier the Blues completed a 4-1 rout of West Ham. Tomorrow Man Utd takes on Fulham with a chance of going on top of the table.
Arshavin gave the Gunners an early lead (video) as Bendtner fed him the ball. The little Russian took on two Hull players and off his dribble the ball struck Bernard Mendy’s foot bouncing forward. The unsighted defender spun around only to see Arshavin move to his left past him and retain the ball and slot it past Myhill.
A wrong decision by Andre Marriner restored parity. A clearly offside Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (video) went down quite conveniently after clearly inviting Sol Campbell to make contact. Wily bit of acting.
Jimmy Bullard with his shaggy mane looking like Michael Pitt/Peter Frampton/Richard Thompson took the penalty and celebrated like a rock star afterwards.
The final third of the first half was eventful for all the wrong reasons. Bendtner should have gotten a penalty as Mendy mugged him in the box leaping for a header. The match became quite testy as Mendy, Bullard and Fagan kept making these niggling fouls on the Gunners.
Two things happened all at once- Andy Dawson making a pretty awful challenge on Denilson for which he was awarded a yellow card and George Boateng’s finger puppetry on Nicklas Bendtner’s face which was detected by a linesman for which both received a booking. A few minutes later Boateng was sent off for making a horrible challenge on Bacary Sagna, a high studs up tackle on the shin for which he received his second yellow but deserved a straight red. In between Arshavin missed a couple of good chances. (video- 18 minutes)
The Gunners played without Fabregas, Gallas, Rosicky, and Alexander Song. Denilson, Diaby, and Eboue started for the Gunners.