Arsenal held by Hull ahead of Barca clash

London—FA Cup holders Arsenal were left frustrated in their efforts to warm up for Tuesday’s Champions League meeting with Barcelona with a win as their fifth round meeting with Hull City ended goalless at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
An outstanding display by Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic meant Steve Bruce’s under-strength side retain hope of avenging their 2014 FA Cup final defeat by Arsenal and so preventing Arsene Wenger’s side becoming the first team to win the competition three years in succession since the 1880s.
The draw also ensured the strength of Wenger’s belief that replays are an integral part of the FA Cup will be tested just days after he spoke out in support of such matches. Veteran French manager Wenger, in charge of Arsenal since 1996, made his remarks this week following reports the Football Association (FA) were considering ditching replays in the competition to ease the fixture schedule, a proposal that drew support from Hull boss Bruce.
In truth, neither manager wanted the burden of an extra game at this stage of the season, with Arsenal pushing for the Premier League title and Hull top of England’s second-tier Championship.
But the Gunners, who also beat Hull in the third round of last season’s FA Cup, paid the price for their failure to turn territorial dominance into goals.
With Barcelona due to visit for the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie in three days time, Wenger dipped deep into his squad, making nine changes to the side that started last weekend’s Premier League meeting with Leicester City.—APP/AFP

Share this post

    scroll to top