Arsenal ended a trophy drought of eight years, 11 months and 26 days on Saturday with a 3-2 win over Hull in the FA Cup Final. But the Gunners didn't make it easy on themselves after going 2-0 down in the first nine minutes.
Perhaps inspired by the liveliness of Jimmy Bullard's shirt, Hull — who haven't won anything since 1966 — came out swinging. They took only four minutes to go in front when a Steven Quinn corner was thumped in by defender James Chester.
Five minutes later, The Gunners were still fast asleep when former Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone floated in a free kick that was put in the back of the net by Curtis Davies, when Lukasz Fabianski could only tip an Alex Bruce header on to the post.
With less than 10 minutes played, Hull had caught the Gunners napping twice, making Yaya Sanogo's pre-match Chelsea-baiting Tweet look slightly premature:
Arsenal took 17 minutes to make their first attempt on goal, but they made it count when Santi Cazorla scored a superb free kick from about 27 yards out.
From then on, The Gunners started to pick up more possession and they forced Hull deeper, but Steve Bruce's side still held their own through sheer physicality.
Arsenal had a few decent penalty shouts before Laurent Koscielny found the equalizer in the 72nd minute, taking a clattering from goalkeeper Allan McGregor in the process.
Koscielny's effort forced extra time, during which man of the match Aaron Ramsey made sure the Arsenal open-top parade bus will get a run-out on Sunday with his 16th goal of the season.
Hull's impressive striker Sone Aluko had a great chance to equalize when his tight-angled shot rolled slowly across the face of the goal in the dying minutes, but Arsene Wenger's side gave us an excellent example of how to completely mess up a cup final and then scrape a dramatic comeback.
Hull will be disappointed to have thrown away their chance of glory, but their silver lining is a place in the Europa League next season. Neutral fans may also have liked to see the underdogs win, but at least we were spared the cringe-worthy "Mauled by The Tigers" chant that their fans showed us at The Emirates a few years ago.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Yaya Sanogo
- Tom Huddlestone