Arsenal 0-0 Hull City: Eldin Jakupovic frustrates Gunners
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 20/02/16 6:09pm
Eldin Jakupovic made a series of fine saves as Hull City earned an FA Cup fifth-round replay after a goalless draw with holders Arsenal at the Emirates.
In Arsene Wenger's 100th FA Cup match, the closest the Gunners came to a breakthrough was when the Hull goalkeeper tipped Joel Campbell's second-half free-kick onto the post.
Jakupovic also kept out Danny Welbeck's deflected strike with a smart stop, while Alex Iwobi, Theo Walcott and substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all had opportunities too.
Referee Mike Dean waved away two Arsenal penalty appeals in the first half, and Championship leaders Hull withstood heavy pressure in the final stages as Jakupovic punched away Alexis Sanchez's free-kick.
Jakupovic made 11 saves in total, the most by an opposition keeper against the Gunners in any game this season, to ensure a replay - set to be played during the week commencing March 7 - is required at the KC Stadium.
With a Champions League test against Barcelona on the horizon, Wenger made nine changes from last weekend's 2-1 Premier League victory over Leicester, including a first start of the season for last weekend's match-winner Welbeck.
Arsenal and Hull are familiar foes having drawn each other in three consecutive FA Cup seasons, including the 2014 final, and a heavily-rotated Tigers side - Steve Bruce making 10 changes of his own - found themselves on the back foot early on.
Mohamed Elneny had a penalty appeal turned down after his half-volley struck Alex Bruce on the arm, while Welbeck headed Walcott's cross straight at Jakupovic.
The Gunners kept the pressure on, with Welbeck, Walcott and Iwobi squandering presentable opportunities, and Steve Bruce's men struggled to escape their own half in the opening 30 minutes.
A rare foray into Arsenal territory ended with a booking for Harry Maguire for simulation, before Arsenal had another penalty shout ignored after Welbeck was crowded out in the box.
Laurent Koscielny went into the book for a cynical challenge on Adama Diomande as the Championship leaders improved before the break.
But Wenger's half-time words had a galvanising effect, and only a fine stop from Jakupovic denied Walcott after Kieran Gibbs picked out the forward. Iwobi was the next to go close, but the teenager steered his low shot wide.
Jukupovic was called into action again eight minutes into the second half, superbly diverting Campbell's free-kick onto the post with a finger-tip save.
Wenger introduced Sanchez and Olivier Giroud as Arsenal turned up the heat, but an inspired Jakupovic continued to frustrate the Premier League side. The Hull 'keeper reacted well to keep out Welbeck's deflected effort and Giroud drew a routine save from the edge of the box.
Hull counter-attacks were few and far between, but David Meyler wasted a good chance to pick out a team-mate when well placed in the Arsenal box.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was brought on for the final stages, but dragged his volley wide after Giroud's knock-down, while Hull substitute Sone Aluko forced David Ospina into a low stop.
With Barcelona, Manchester United and Tottenham to come in the next three weeks, a crowded fixture list becomes a little busier for Arsenal, while Hull's promotion push resumes at Ipswich Town on Tuesday night.