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Gunners claw back draw against Tigers

POINT RESCUED: Welbeck, left, scored late to salvage a draw for the Gunners (PA)

NOTHING IS rarely easy with Arsenal or Arsene Wenger and they put a packed Emirates through the mill on a dreary Saturday afternoon (Oct 18) as they stumbled to a 2-2 draw with Hull City.

It wasn't a surprise for those who have been raising concerns about the frailties of the home sides defence since the injury to summer signing of Mathieu Debuchy. And judging by his mood after the game – despite what he said – Wenger was clearly as disappointed as any Gooner.

He admitted concern that they are already 11 points behind leaders Chelsea, with only eight games played. There were tens of thousands in the Emirates on Saturday who would join him in that worry.

Once again Alexis Sanchez started the game like a man on a mission. There is no denying the Chilean's outstanding ability on the pitch but you have to wonder if he will be able to drag them into the top four. That's not to say there is no one else capable of pulling them from the mire, it just wasn't exactly clear against Steve Bruce's men.

The home side had the early chances with Jack Wilshere sending a header over from Sanchez' cross and Danny Welbeck stinging the palms of Steve Harper after collecting the ball with his back to goal and turning to get his shot away.

It was no surprise to see Hull's aim was to catch Arsenal on the counter attack; and who can blame them with a makeshift defence of left-back Nacho Monreal alongside Per Mertersacker and youngster Hector Bellerin making his Premier League debut at right-back in place of the suspended Calum Chambers.

That's not to say that the visitors didn't have their own problems, Nikola Jelavic picked up an injury in the warm-up and was replaced by Abel Hernandez who had spent the week flying all over the world with Uruguay. While Harper came off midway through the second half to join fellow keeper, Allan MacGregor on the treatment table with a ruptured bicep.

It was that man Sanchez who gave Arsenal the lead after 13 minutes, and in truth he created his own goal. As he did all game, he was electric down the right and after weaving his way past Tom Huddlestone and Curtis Davies he sent the ball past Harper.

But six minutes later the Tigers were level through Mohammed Diame. The £3.5m Bruce paid West Ham for the midfielder is shaping up to be one of the bargains of the season and he brushed off Mathieu Flamini to score his fourth goal in five league games.

It was a dreary end to the first half and most would have expected Wenger's men to come out with more determination after the break. Unfortunately, they were clearly still on half-time rest and Hull took the lead through Hernandez a minute after the restart.

The nervousness of the team was filtering through the stadium and it only got worse when Wilshere limped off – again. Apparently it was his knee this time, but another injury is the last thing the Gunners need with Anderlecht on the horizon in the Champions League.

Luckily for all in red, Welbeck continued his impressive start to his Arsenal career and got on the score-sheet to give them a point in injury time.

There was only one manager smiling in the post-match press conferences, and it was not the Frenchman with the glasses.

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