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Page last updated at 19:34 GMT, Saturday, 19 December 2009

Arsenal   3 - 0   Hull

Denilson curls in Arsenal's opening goal
Denilson curls in Arsenal's opening goal

By Ian Hughes

Arsenal closed the gap on their rivals at the top of the table after a win against Hull in a feisty encounter.

Samir Nasri sneakily trod on Richard Garcia's foot, sparking a mass confrontation before Denilson curled in a sublime 25-yard free-kick.

Manuel Almunia saved Geovanni's penalty as Hull tried to hit back, but Eduardo finished off a slick move a minute later to double the Gunners' advantage.

Abou Diaby lashed in the third after playing a one-two with Andrey Arshavin.

Yet the scoreline flattered Arsenal as they struggled, particularly without injured skipper Cesc Fabregas, to earn the points that have lifted them back into third place in the table.

Earlier this week Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had complained that the fixture list had been unkind to his side with his players having three games in a week, while Hull had enjoyed a six-day rest.

Wenger happy to be in title fight

Certainly Arsenal looked heavy-legged and lethargic as they stuttered through the gears, desperately trying to establish some momentum.

However, while Hull had the first chance of the match when Craig Fagan sent a low shot skidding wide, the visitors looked far from fresh and eager, instead content to sit back and watch Arsenal move the ball around without threat.

Arsenal's early efforts on goal were limited to a deflected Diaby shot, a strike from Nasri that was easily gathered by Boaz Myhill and an Eduardo curler that bent wide.

Arshavin finally got in on the act, slicing a shot wide and Alex Song's header hit a defender.

A game that was crying out for something to happen then turned unsavoury when a petulant Nasri crept up behind Garcia and trod on his foot, which was enough for the Australian to throw himself to the ground.

It provoked wild antics from Nicky Barmby and Stephen Hunt amid a mass of players facing up to each other, resulting in bookings for Hunt and Nasri and no-one covering themselves in glory.

A few needless fouls followed, including one by George Boateng on Diaby that led to Arsenal's goal - and lengthy protests from Hull's players.

606: DEBATE
_viva_Video Didn't Kill The Radio Star.....

From the set-piece, Denilson curled in a beautiful effort that was entirely out of place in an ugly match.

And as the players left the pitch at half-time, the visitors once more voiced their displeasure with Nasri, with the issue threatening to boil over in the tunnel.

Not long after the restart Eduardo produced a moment of great skill to swivel into space on the edge of the box but the quality of the shot was lacking as he poked the ball wide.

It was a let-off for Hull and soon the Tigers were handed a way back into the match when Silvestre was harshly judged to have pulled back Fagan in the penalty area.

Geovanni stepped up to take the spot-kick but Almunia beat the ball away and Hunt headed the rebound wide.

Less than a minute later, Geovanni's profligacy was punished when Arsenal worked the ball well between Diaby and Song, with the former playing the ball in for Eduardo to finish the easiest of chances.

Premier League is crazy - Brown

The strike served to settle Arsenal and deflate Hull and a third goal for Arsenal looked increasingly likely.

And it came when the impressive Diaby exchanged passes with Arshavin and then smashed in a shot that left Myhill with no chance.

Hull almost snatched a goal back but Hunt was denied by Almunia, and then at the other end Arsenal substitute Theo Walcott sent a lob inches wide.

Fellow substitute Aaron Ramsay sent a drive just over the bar as Arsenal threatened to add gloss to a win that was down to determination rather than their best form.


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:
"Today it was a difficult game because we had two physical games against Liverpool and Burnley.

"For me the most important thing was the win. We were a bit lucky because Almunia saved a penalty but after that I still felt we deserved to win.

"I think what we have done this week is remarkable. We are in the fight, This team want success."

Hull boss Phil Brown:
"Leading up to half-time was pivotal - we went behind from a free-kick that wasn't a free-kick and that took the wind of out of our sails.

"We did win a soft penalty, but the referee saw a shirt being pulled and he was brave to give it. But we missed the penalty and Arsenal scored again.

"We tried to respond, maybe it was too little too late. But I thought the third goal flattered Arsenal."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Arsenal 3-0 Hull FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Denilson 45+4
  • Eduardo 59
  • Diaby 80

    Arsenal

    Substitutes

    Hull

    • 01 Myhill
    • 03 Dawson
    • 05 Gardner
    • 06 McShane
    • 24 Zayatte yellow card
    • 08 Barmby yellow card (Olofinjana 46 yellow card)
    • 10 Geovanni (Mendy 69)
    • 11 Hunt yellow card
    • 20 Boateng yellow card
    • 07 Fagan
    • 14 Garcia (Cousin 61)

    Substitutes

    • 12 Duke,
    • 15 Mendy,
    • 17 Kilbane,
    • 23 Ghilas,
    • 44 Olofinjana,
    • 25 Cousin,
    • 29 Vennegoor of Hesselink
    Ref: BennettAtt: 60,006
    ARSENAL
    HULL

    Possession

    • Arsenal 69%
    • Hull 31%

    Attempts on target

    • Arsenal 9
    • Hull 2

    Attempts off target

    • Arsenal 9
    • Hull 4

    Corners

    • Arsenal 8
    • Hull 0

    Fouls

    • Arsenal 9
    • Hull 14
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+4:16 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
    • 90:00+3:47 Effort from the edge of the box by Theo Walcott goes wide of the left-hand upright.
    • 90:00+2:20 Direct free kick taken by Vassiriki Diaby.
    • 90:00+2:20 Booking Seyi Olofinjana goes into the referee's book.
    • 90:00+2:07 Seyi Olofinjana concedes a free kick for a foul on Emmanuel Eboue.
    • 90:00+1:21 Close range headed effort by Bernard Mendy clears the crossbar.
    • 89:47 Effort on goal by Aaron Ramsey from just inside the area clears the bar.
    • 87:30 Effort from the edge of the area by Theo Walcott goes wide of the left-hand upright.
    • 87:08 Stephen Hunt has a drilled shot. Fantastic save by Manuel Almunia.
    • 84:21 Andy Dawson crosses the ball, Manuel Almunia makes a save.
    • 83:12 George Boateng fouled by Alexandre Song Billong, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by George Boateng.
    • 82:30 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Daniel Cousin by Thomas Vermaelen. George Boateng takes the direct free kick.
    • 81:55 Free kick taken by Thomas Vermaelen.
    • 81:55 Substitution Carlos Alberto Vela on for Andrey Arshavin.
    • 81:55 Unfair challenge on Mikael Silvestre by Daniel Cousin results in a free kick.
    • 79:36 Andrey Arshavin provided the assist for the goal.
    • 79:36 GOAL - Vassiriki DiabyArsenal 3 - 0 Hull Vassiriki Diaby finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Arsenal 3-0 Hull.
    • 79:01 Andy Dawson takes a shot. William Gallas gets a block in.
    • 76:09 Thomas Vermaelen fouled by George Boateng, the ref awards a free kick. Thomas Vermaelen takes the direct free kick.
    • 75:48 Craig Fagan is adjudged to have handled the ball. Manuel Almunia takes the free kick.
    • 74:29 Substitution Da Silva Eduardo goes off and Theo Walcott comes on.
    • 74:29 Effort from the edge of the area by Mikael Silvestre goes wide of the left-hand upright.
    • 73:58 Seyi Olofinjana challenges Neves Denilson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Neves Denilson restarts play with the free kick.
    • 72:20 Effort from the edge of the box by Da Silva Eduardo goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 71:39 Corner from the right by-line taken by Da Silva Eduardo, save by Boaz Myhill.
    • 71:23 Effort from 12 yards by Vassiriki Diaby. Boaz Myhill makes a save.
    • 67:53 Substitution Bernard Mendy joins the action as a substitute, replacing Deiberson Geovanni.
    • 67:53 Substitution Aaron Ramsey is brought on as a substitute for Samir Nasri.
    • 66:57 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mikael Silvestre by Craig Fagan. Thomas Vermaelen restarts play with the free kick.
    • 62:52 Corner taken short by Samir Nasri.
    • 62:20 Craig Fagan is penalised for a handball. Manuel Almunia takes the direct free kick.
    • 61:31 Long distance effort from Craig Fagan misses to the left of the goal.
    • 60:05 Anthony Gardner takes the free kick.
    • 60:05 Substitution Richard Garcia goes off and Daniel Cousin comes on.
    • 60:05 Free kick awarded for a foul by Emmanuel Eboue on Stephen Hunt.
    • 58:32 Vassiriki Diaby provided the assist for the goal.
    • 58:32 GOAL - Da Silva EduardoArsenal 2 - 0 Hull Da Silva Eduardo finds the net with a goal from close in to the bottom left corner of the goal. Arsenal 2-0 Hull.
    • Correction - 58:30 The assist for the goal came from Vassiriki Diaby.
    • Correction - 58:30 GOAL - Da Silva EduardoArsenal 2 - 0 Hull Da Silva Eduardo fires in a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Arsenal 2-0 Hull.
    • 57:35 Emmanuel Eboue fouled by Deiberson Geovanni, the ref awards a free kick. Emmanuel Eboue takes the direct free kick.
    • 56:47 The referee blows for offside. William Gallas restarts play with the free kick.
    • 54:47 Header from close in by Stephen Hunt misses to the right of the target.
    • 54:47 Power penalty taken by Deiberson Geovanni saved by Manuel Almunia. Arsenal 1-0 Hull.
    • 54:47 Penalty awarded for an unfair challenge on Craig Fagan by Mikael Silvestre.
    • 52:52 Free kick awarded for a foul by Craig Fagan on Neves Denilson. Free kick crossed right-footed by Samir Nasri from left wing, comfortable save by Boaz Myhill.
    • 52:18 Corner taken by Samir Nasri from the right by-line.
    • 47:47 Shot from 18 yards by Vassiriki Diaby. Kamil Zayatte gets a block in.
    • 47:08 Da Silva Eduardo produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 45:01 The referee gets the second half underway.
    • 45:01 Substitution Nick Barmby leaves the field to be replaced by Seyi Olofinjana.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+4:28 The referee calls an end to the first half.
    • 45:00+4:21 Booking Booking for George Boateng.
    • 45:00+3:06 Vassiriki Diaby provided the assist for the goal.
    • 45:00+3:06 GOAL - Neves DenilsonArsenal 1 - 0 Hull Neves Denilson hits the back of the net with a goal direct from the free kick from just outside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Arsenal 1-0 Hull.
    • Correction - 45:00+3:02 GOAL - Neves DenilsonArsenal 1 - 0 Hull Neves Denilson scores a goal direct from the free kick from just outside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Arsenal 1-0 Hull.
    • Correction - 45:00+2:19 Foul by George Boateng on Vassiriki Diaby, free kick awarded.
    • 45:00+2:19 Free kick awarded for a foul by George Boateng on Vassiriki Diaby.
    • 45:00+1:51 Manuel Almunia takes the free kick.
    • 45:00+1:51 Booking The referee shows Kamil Zayatte a yellow card.
    • 45:00+1:28 Kamil Zayatte challenges Thomas Vermaelen unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 44:22 Shot on goal comes in from Samir Nasri from the free kick.
    • 44:22 Booking Stephen Hunt receives a caution.
    • 44:21 Booking The referee books Nick Barmby for dissent.
    • 44:17 Booking Samir Nasri is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 42:01 Free kick awarded for a foul by Deiberson Geovanni on Andrey Arshavin.
    • 40:55 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Samir Nasri, save made by Boaz Myhill.
    • 40:44 Da Silva Eduardo takes the inswinging corner, Anthony Gardner manages to make a clearance.
    • 40:15 Alexandre Song Billong takes a shot. Blocked by Kamil Zayatte.
    • 37:21 Emmanuel Eboue concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen Hunt. Andy Dawson restarts play with the free kick.
    • 34:56 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Emmanuel Eboue by Stephen Hunt. Emmanuel Eboue restarts play with the free kick.
    • 32:27 Shot from just outside the penalty box by Andrey Arshavin misses to the left of the target.
    • 31:11 Centre by Emmanuel Eboue.
    • 25:24 Neves Denilson produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the target.
    • 24:57 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Da Silva Eduardo from the right by-line to the near post.
    • 24:52 Emmanuel Eboue produces a cross, Anthony Gardner makes a clearance.
    • 24:04 A cross is delivered by Richard Garcia, William Gallas makes a clearance.
    • 22:31 Effort from the edge of the area by Da Silva Eduardo goes wide of the left-hand upright.
    • 20:36 The official flags Stephen Hunt offside. Thomas Vermaelen takes the free kick.
    • 19:28 The ball is crossed by Mikael Silvestre, Boaz Myhill makes a comfortable save.
    • 19:07 Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephen Hunt on Andrey Arshavin. William Gallas takes the free kick.
    • 18:29 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Deiberson Geovanni by Alexandre Song Billong. Free kick taken by Deiberson Geovanni.
    • 16:56 Emmanuel Eboue challenges Deiberson Geovanni unfairly and gives away a free kick. Andy Dawson takes the free kick.
    • 15:38 The assistant referee flags for offside against Stephen Hunt. Direct free kick taken by William Gallas.
    • 14:42 William Gallas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Craig Fagan. Direct free kick taken by Andy Dawson.
    • 14:27 Drilled left-footed shot by Samir Nasri. Save made by Boaz Myhill.
    • 13:37 Da Silva Eduardo takes a short corner.
    • 13:20 Short corner taken by Da Silva Eduardo.
    • 13:05 Shot by Vassiriki Diaby. Blocked by Kamil Zayatte.
    • 12:31 The referee blows for offside. Mikael Silvestre restarts play with the free kick.
    • 11:28 Emmanuel Eboue sends in a cross, Boaz Myhill makes a comfortable save.
    • 10:57 Free kick awarded for a foul by Andy Dawson on Samir Nasri. Samir Nasri takes the free kick.
    • 6:17 Unfair challenge on Emmanuel Eboue by Craig Fagan results in a free kick. Manuel Almunia restarts play with the free kick.
    • 4:20 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stephen Hunt by Mikael Silvestre. Stephen Hunt delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, Manuel Almunia makes a comfortable save.
    • 3:13 Shot from just outside the box by Craig Fagan misses to the left of the goal.
    • 0:00 The referee gets the game underway.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    Premier League table

    Saturday, 19 December 2009 19:35 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    Full Premier League table
    1 Chelsea 17 28 40
    2 Man Utd 18 20 37
    3 Arsenal 17 24 35
    4 Aston Villa 18 15 35
    5 Tottenham 18 18 33
    6 Man City 17 6 29
    7 Liverpool 18 9 27
    8 Birmingham 17 1 27
    9 Fulham 17 6 26
    10 Sunderland 18 -3 21
    11 Stoke 17 -5 21
    12 Burnley 17 -14 19
    13 Blackburn 18 -15 19
    14 Wigan 17 -18 18
    15 Everton 16 -8 17
    16 Hull 18 -20 17
    17 Bolton 16 -10 16
    18 Wolves 17 -16 16
    19 West Ham 17 -9 14
    20 Portsmouth 18 -9 14

    see also
    Saturday football as it happened
    19 Dec 09 |  Football
    Saturday's football photos
    19 Dec 09 |  Football


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