With Arsenal having to cope with the usual injury crisis, especially in defence, Arsene Wenger had to go with the relatively untried young Spaniard Hector Bellerin at right back and the left back Nacho Monreal in an unfamiliar central role.
But a game against Hull City at the Emirates gave the Gunners the chance to spend most of the game as far away from our own goal as possible, and that is certainly how is started. We came flying out of the blocks and were causing them all sorts of problems.
A typical pacy run from Welbeck and lovely curling shot at the top corner produced fantastic saves from Hull’s 39-year old second choice keeper before Alexis Sanchez broke the deadlock with a fizzing low shot from the right. With all the possession we had and the chances we were creating, the game should have been out of sight within 20 minutes.
But you know Arsenal and our defensive frailties were exposed again as Diame scored with their first meaningful attack. He blatantly fouled Flamini in the build up but our luck was out again and the referee missed it. That undeserved equaliser gave them belief and knocked us off our stride with the rest of the half much more even although Arsenal still had more than enough of the ball.
So Wenger knew we had 45 minutes to put it right or watch the season’s disappointing start continue and all hopes of the Premier League title disappear. So the last thing the Frenchman needed was to see his side concede again just 30 seconds after the break, with Mertesacker failing to deal with Hernandez from a crossed ball.
To be fair to Hull, they played well to frustrate us after that but Arsenal had lost it and could not get our game going. We never really looked like scoring until we finally made a go of it towards the end. Alexis had a good header tipped over before Welbeck grabbed a stoppage time goal to salvage a point. And it was so nearly all three but their 3rd choice keeper denied Cazorla and Gibbs a winner.
Unlucky for Arsenal but it could have been worse, although a draw is not enough to keep our faint title hopes alive with Chelsea narrowly beating Crystal Palace.