English Premiership

Welbeck rescues Gunners

2014-10-18 18:54
Danny Welbeck (AFP)

London - Danny Welbeck earned Arsenal a point in a 2-2 Premier League draw at home to Hull on Saturday as the teams met for the first time since last season's FA Cup final.

At Wembley, Hull took a 2-0 lead before being beaten 3-2 in extra-time and this game saw them almost take all three points at the Emirates Stadium.

But the Tigers could not hold out on this occasion either, with England forward Welbeck netting his eighth goal for club and country since a £16 million move from Manchester United on transfer deadline day.

Injuries had hit the home side hard and there was the added complication of Lukas Podolski, the Germany forward, pulling out because of illness.

The Arsenal defence had a makeshift look about it with Nacho Monreal, normally a left-back, in the centre and Hector Bellerin, the 19-year-old Spanish right-back, handed a Premier League debut.

Hull's preparations were not straightforward either however, with striker Nikica Jelavic hurt in the warm-up and hastily replaced by Abel Hernandez, the Uruguay forward.

Arsenal started strongly with Jack Wilshere heading wide from a cross from Sanchez, who went close himself after Hull goalkeeper Steve Harper could only parry a drive from Welbeck.

However, Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny had already made a save himself, getting behind Michael Dawson's back-post header.

Harper was soon back in action and the 39-year-old, deputising for the injured Allan McGregor, dived to stop Santi Cazorla's shot from finding the top corner.

A goal was coming, though, and Alexis Sanchez was the man who scored it in the 13th minute.

The former Barcelona man cut in from the right and beat Curtis Davies before unleashing a low drive across Harper and into the bottom corner.

Hull's response was to level four minutes later through Mohamed Diame, who burst through the home back-line before placing a delicate chip over the advancing Szczesny.

Arsenal claimed Diame had pulled back Mathieu Flamini, who had appeared to win the ball off him, but referee Roger East ignored their protests and awarded the goal.

That deflated Arsenal but there were more problems for Hull just before half-time when Harper was hurt and had to be replaced by Eldin Jakupovic, the former Switzerland international.

The second half began in sensational style, with Hull taking the lead within 32 seconds as Hernandez out-jumped Per Mertesacker to head home Tom Huddlestone's cross from the right.

Hull had to defend for a while after that, with Dawson timing his tackle on Welbeck to perfection after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had found the striker in the box.

Hernandez was replaced by Gaston Ramirez just just after the hour mark as Arsenal also made a change by sending the fit-again Aaron Ramsey on for Flamini.

Then Wilshere was hurt when he mis-timed a tackle on Ramirez, which earned him a yellow card, and had to be replaced by Joel Campbell.

Twice Hull almost broke through on the counter attack as Arsenal piled on the pressure and the home fans were annoyed when Dawson and then Ahmed Elmohamady required lengthy treatment, with Cazorla picking up a booking for catching the Egyptian late.

Dawson was hurt again and finally had to go off, with Hull manager Steve Bruce's son Alex replacing him at the back. Jakupovic did well to tip over a header from Sanchez but was beaten when the Chile international set up Welbeck for a final-minute equaliser that went in off a defender.

Arsenal pushed for a winner for the the remaining allocated time, with Jakupovic again busy, but it finished all square.

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