Bendtner Helps Arsenal Reach Semi-Final
This was a game of two halves, but in the end Arsenal overcame a stubborn Hull City to reach the semi-final of the FA Cup.
Arsenal never got started in the first half. We did not get the ball out to Arshavin or Walcott, whilst both Song and Diaby were having poor games. Vela looked out of sorts and van Persie did not look for the ball.
Hulltook the lead through a shot from Barmby that took a heavy deflection. From that moment Hull had one thing in mind, to waste as much time as possible. At every opportunity Myhill took his time, whilst their defenders prevaricated over whom should take throw ins.
The second half saw a more purposeful Arsenal. It was non stop attack. Arsenal’s corners were creating problems with Djourou and van Persie coming close, before the Dutchman hit the bar. Hull were getting desperate, in one incident with a free kick to Hull near the half way line, their goalkeeper ran to take it, then stopped and finally he got booked, then he decided not to take the free kick.
Arsenal’s fortunes changed when Nasri and Bendtner came on. The Dane started to win all the headers, he started to bring players into the game and it was no surprise he was involved in the equaliser. He chased the ball and sent the ball across the area; it fell to Arshavin, who laid it back to van Persie who made no mistake.
Arsenal were in the ascendancy and the last thing we needed was a replay. Arsenal won the game with four minutes to go when Nasri’s free kick was knocked on by Djourou, Gallas reached the ball to head it into the goal.
Arsenal had to see out the remaining minutes before securing a semi-final place against Chelsea.
It was interesting to see how quick Myhill was taking the goal kicks when Hull were chasing the game!
Bendtner showed once more that he might not be able to score at the moment but his movement and willingness to work for the team are second to none. This is a lesson for Vela and van Persie who in the first half were statues waiting for the ball to arrive, whilst Bendtner was willing to look for the ball.
The other disappointment was the crowd, 55,000, but in reality there were no more than 50,000 in the ground. This blows away the myth that Arsenal fans are desperate to see their team. Had the game been a Saturday kick-off the crowd could have been greater, but nevertheless this was the second FA Cup tie in a row that saw swathes of empty seats at The Emirates, a worry sign for the club.