Gunned Down In The Last Minute
March 14 2010
Arsenal's title challenge was almost derailed at the KC Stadium but Nicklas Bendtner grabbed a last-gasp winner to secure a 2-1 win against 10-man Hull.
The Gunners took the lead in the 14th minute when Russian forward Andrey Arshavin slotted home after he was let in by Bernard Mendy.
But the hosts managed to get back on level terms when Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink was brought down in the box by Sol Campbell
The veteran centre-back was shown the yellow card as Jimmy Bullard stepped up to lash the penalty into the top corner.
Hull were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time when George Boateng picked up his second booking after a dangerous tackle on Bacary Sagna.
Arsenal predictably surged forward in the second-half but it took until the third minute of injury time for Bendtner to pounce on Boaz Myhill's parry and ensure a vital three points.
After falling to a fourth consecutive loss, the Tigers remain in the relegation zone with nine games remaining.
After their public altercation, Bullard was kept in the starting line-up and Nick Barmby dropped to the bench in one of six changes made by manager Phil Brown in the wake of the 5-1 humiliation at Everton.
Captain Cesc Fabregas was still absent for the Gunners and his playmaking ability was missed.
Jozy Altidore flashed a right-foot shot from 20 yards wide after turning Campbell early on before Vennegoor of Hesselink nearly got on the end of Bullard's chip forward.
The powerful City strike partnership made their presence felt against Campbell and Thomas Vermaelen from the start, but Arsenal's defensive duo stood firm and the visitors pounced on the break after 14 minutes.
Bendtner, coming off a Champions League hat-trick, found Arshavin with a pass across the edge of the box and the Russian stumbled through attempted tackles from Boateng and Mendy before prodding beyond Myhill for Arsenal's first.
However, Hull equalised from the spot after Campbell was adjudged to have hauled down Vennegoor of Hesselink.
Dean Marney's ball was flicked on by Craig Fagan to the Dutchman, who appeared to be in an offside position, but Campbell's attempted tackle led referee Andre Marriner to point to the spot.
Bullard stepped up and gave Manuel Almunia no chance as he rifled into the top corner.
Campbell was booked and Hull's Andy Dawson followed for a late tackle on Denilson, while Boateng and Bendtner were yellow carded for an exchange in the aftermath of the foul.
And Boateng was soon walking off prematurely after a high challenge on Sagna saw the Hull captain dismissed for a second yellow.
The numerical disadvantage forced Brown into a reshuffle, with Altidore moving wide and Vennegoor of Hesselink becoming the lone front-man.
In a scrappy opening to the second half, Kamil Zayatte was felled by a firm Campbell challenge and had to go off moments later
Arsenal encountered stern resistance and Bullard attempted to relieve the pressure for 10-man Hull only to see his 25-yard drive go over.
Arsene Wenger introduced Theo Walcott and the England international's pace had an immediate impact.
He soared through on the right, cut back for Samir Nasri and Arshavin ballooned the ball high and wide.
Arshavin and Walcott combined to gift Bendtner an opportunity, but the striker's poor effort was blocked and looped out for a corner.
Walcott then had a half chance from Arshavin's pull back but could not connect.
Altidore was withdrawn for Kevin Kilbane late on and Hull put men behind the ball to frustrate Arsenal.
As the fourth official indicated six minutes of stoppage time, the visitors threw men forward.
Clichy had a shot from wide on the left, but Myhill was fully behind it.
The Tigers stopper could only block a swerving effort from Denilson soon after, but Bendtner reacted first to break the hosts' resistance and earn the Gunners a valuable win.
Nearly got the 1,1 i predicted and a very valuable point thrown away in the last minute. Nine games to go and the finger nails are been bitten now.pqs: qs: