Archive for March 15th, 2010

Hull 1 – 2 Arsenal: Goodbye Phil Brown, Hello Title Race

219 comments March 15th, 2010

Hull 1 – 2 Arsenal (Arshavin , Bullard (pen) , Bendtner 90+3)
Highlights | Arsene’s reaction

All the great players have an arrogance about them, but not all arrogant players are great.  Nicklas Bendtner’s ability may never meet his own estimation of his worth, but if he continues to score goals at this rate during our run-in he’ll be forever fondly remembered regardless.

His 93rd minute winner at Hull brought two joys: not only did it keep us firmly in the title race, but it accelerated the sacking of Phil Brown.  Brown has now been placed on ‘gardening leave’, which is a terrible shame for him – any green fingers acquired will clash horribly with his orange face.

Hull did nothing in this game to ease our troubled relationship with them.  The conduct of George Boateng exemplified their approach: he escaped a red card for poking Nicklas Bendtner in the eye, then rightly received one for a second booking for a knee-high stamp on Bacary Sagna.  He’s lucky it’ll only be a one game ban rather than the warranted three.  Fortunately these Tigers have something in common with their feline counterparts: they’re highly endangered.  Whoever replaces Brown has a hell of a job on their hands to keep them in the Premier League.  By May, we could be rid of them.

We took the lead early on through Andrey Arshavin, who is playing with more spark since his return from injury.  Whilst his aim isn’t fully calibrated yet – he missed one excellent chance on Saturday, blasting a Walcott cut-back over the bar – his goal saw him show a typical combination of quick feet and determination to burst between two defenders and finish sumptuously with the outside of his foot.

Hull’s equaliser came from a penalty that should never have been.  Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink was offside when he latched on to a flick-on.  Sol Campbell’s challenge was clumsy and was always going to result in a penalty, but the fact the commentators and Brown then insisted he should have been sent off rather than recognising that the penalty ought to have been invalid was absurd. Nevertheless, Bullard tucked it away with aplomb, and from that point on Hull acquitted themselves well – even when down to ten men.

It looked for all the world like we’d drop two vital points, but then Myhill palmed Denilson’s longshot out to Bendtner, and the Dane side-footed home.  It wasn’t an easy chance – the ball arrived at a difficult height, but Bendtner dealt well with it to net a crucial goal.  That’s 6 in 5 for him, if I’ve added up right (which I probably haven’t).

A huge win, and one with two very obvious prizes.  Goodbye Phil Brown, Hello title race.

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