Late Welbeck strike earns Arsenal share of the points against Hull
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Danny Welbeck’s last-gasp equaliser rescued Arsenal from their second straight defeat as they shared the points with Hull in a lively 2-2 draw.
Alexis Sanchez fired the Gunners ahead with his sixth goal of the season, but Mo Diame netted a controversial equaliser before Uruguayan forward Abel Hernandez headed Hull’s second early in the second half.
It looked as if the Humbersiders would become the first visiting team to win a Premier League game at the Emirates since Aston Villa in August 2013 until Welbeck struck in added time.
As has been their tendency in recent games, Arsenal started brightly – but on this occasion they registered an early goal to show for their efforts as well.
Steve Harper made a double block to deny Welbeck and then produced an outstanding save as he flung out an arm to claw a curling drive from Santi Cazorla over the bar.
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But the veteran Hull goalkeeper was beaten on 13 minutes when Sanchez received the ball on the right, evaded Curtis Davies with a sharp stepover and rifled a low finish into the bottom corner.
The Gunners looked completely in control and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a drive charged down soon afterwards – but then they were rocked by Hull’s equaliser out of nothing.
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Diame ran onto Jake Livermore’s pass and tussled with Mathieu Flamini – and, while the Arsenal defence froze in anticipation of a free-kick, the former West Ham star deftly chipped Wojciech Szczesny.
That halted Arsenal’s momentum and, although Cazorla forced another save from Harper on the half-hour mark, the home side could not find a way to regain the lead.
And the situation worsened just 30 seconds into the second half as Tom Huddlestone found space on the right and crossed for Hernandez, who got in front of Per Mertesacker to head home.
Arsenal created a couple of openings for Welbeck, but timely challenges from Michael Dawson and then Davies snuffed those out and the Tigers dug in to try and hit their hosts on the counter-attack.
With Aaron Ramsey and Joel Campbell entering the fray, the Gunners set up camp in the opposition half without calling Eldin Jakupovic – who had replaced the injured Harper between the posts – into action.
That finally changed in the closing stages, when Nacho Monreal’s cross found the head of Sanchez and the substitute keeper leapt to tip the ball over the bar.
And Arsenal’s pressure finally paid dividends in the first minute of injury time, when Sanchez rode a trio of challenges and found Welbeck, who stabbed a left-foot finish into the corner of the net.
The Gunners might even have secured all three points as Kieran Gibbs arrived late at the far post to meet Sanchez’s cross, only to be foiled by Jakupovic.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Monreal, Gibbs; Flamini (Ramsey 63); Sanchez, Cazorla, Wilshere (Campbell 69), Oxlade-Chamberlain; Welbeck