Emirates FA Cup
Emirates Stadium, London, England
Arsenal were held to a goalless draw by Championship side Hull City in the Fifth Round of the Emirates FA Cup.
The result was fair given the below-par performance from the 12-time and defending FA Cup champions. However, the visitors rode their luck and had keeper Eldin Jakupović to thank for keeping them in the game.
Despite the Premier League side dominating the possession, they couldn’t find a way past the disciplined Hull City defence.
The hosts went close after 15 minutes when Danny Welbeck found space but Jakupović was there to push it away.
A minute later, youngster Alex Iwobi went close, curling an effort wide of the far post.
In the 27th minute, it was Theo Walcott’s turn to test the Swiss keeper, the England winger had initially controlled the ball with his arm before firing an effort that Jakupović did well to keep out.
The visitors rarely threatened in the first half, with the only real danger coming from a Shaun Maloney freekick that caught out David Ospina, but Laurent Koscielny was there to tip behind.
After the break the hosts left off from were they started and went close within a minute of the restart when a Kieran Gibbs pull-back found Walcott, but his deflected effort was tipped away by Jakupović.
In the 53rd minute, the Gunners were inches away. After Welbeck was fouled outside the area, Joel Campbell’s freekick was tipped onto the post by Jakupović.
Nine minutes later, the Swiss keeper was there to deny Welbeck. The former Manchester United striker did well to cut inside before unleashing a deflected strike that Jakupović palmed behind fantastically.
The Gunners were desperate to get a victory and a few minutes later, brought on Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sánchez, who found it difficult to breach the visiting defence.
The visitors started to threaten towards the final few minutes and they had the ball in the back of the net when substitutes Sone Aluko and Tom Huddlestone combined. Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder midfielder Huddlestone found Aluko, who beat a couple of players before firing an effort that Ospina couldn’t keep out. However, the linesman had his flag up before Aluko could get his shot away and the goal was already ruled out. The decision was controversial as the striker was actually onside. It was an appalling decision which could have caused an upset.
The same two combined again soon after but again, Aluko was caught offside with his volley saved well by Ospina.
In the final minute, the home side were awarded a freekick when Sánchez was fouled on the edge of the area. The Chilean’s freekick was close, but Jakupović was on-hand to tip it behind.
The final chance of the game fell the Gunners’ way. A deflected Giroud cross was met by substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose header lacked conviction and Jakupović made the save to earn the Tigers a Fifth Round replay.
The result means that the two sides will meet again at the KC Stadium for a replay, with the winner of the tie progressing into the Sixth Round.