Unlike some fans who have been lifetime Arsenal fans, I came to loving the Gunners later in life. I had dabbled with watching soccer earlier but it wasn’t really until the 2013-14 season that I took the plunge and started really following full time.
This was the year that my second daughter was born and on weekends I would wake up early with her and the Premier League was one of the few interesting things on TV that early in the morning and I became hooked on the way that Arsenal played.
That first FA Cup of what would become three in four years is extra special to me because it really cemented my connection to the club. So today I present the second installment of classic xG with Arsenal 3, Hull 2 from the FA Cup final.
That opening 15 minutes could not have gone worse for Arsenal, they conceded 2 goals and needed a Kieran Gibbs goal line clearance to keep it from being three while doing nothing with the ball on offense.
They got a lifeline goal from a Santi Cazorla free kick to go into half time only down one goal while Hull looked to hold on to their lead. The match didn’t produce much until the introduction of Yaya Sanogo in the 61st minute where Arsenal had two big targets to aim at and really pinned Hull back and finally got some chances created (while improbably leading Arsenal in xG chain!).
In extra time, Hull couldn’t muster much offense and Aaron Ramsey scored the winner giving Arsenal the win.
Offense Value Added
The big thing that jumps out at me is looking at the players that Arsenal had that day and just remembering how good that team was at passing the ball with the technical quality of Mesut Özil, Carzola, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in their primes, and Mikel Arteta.
Let me know in the comments on any matches you’d like to re-live and I will add them to my list of matches to back and examine.