Arsenal beats Hull to retain Premier League lead

Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner scored his first Premier League

goal for Arsenal in almost three years as the Gunners defeated Hull

2-0 on Wednesday to retain a four-point lead atop of the

standings.

After being handed a rare start by manager Arsene Wenger,

Bendtner headed in Arsenal’s first goal after less than two minutes

when he converted a fine cross from Carl Jenkinson at the

conclusion of a brilliant move started by Aaron Ramsey.

Mesut Ozil slotted home Ramsey’s reverse pass after the interval

as the hosts secured a sixth straight home win. With a third of the

season over, Arsenal leads the standings with 34 points, four more

than Chelsea, which won 4-3 at Sunderland.

Wenger decided to give leading forward Olivier Giroud a rest and

hand Bendtner his first league start of the season.

”When he is physically sharp, he can compete with anybody. He

had a good performance, has has the quality,” Wenger said about

Bendtner. ”I believe in his quality and when he has that

commitment and attitude his quality shows.”

Bendtner, who had scored in his last two league appearances

against Hull, made his first league start for Arsenal since March

2011 as the Gunners got off to a blistering start.

They continued to push after opening the scoring, delighting

their fans with their sharp and well-constructed moves. Santi

Cazorla’s goal-bound shot was blocked and Hull keeper Allan

McGregor then spilled a low effort from Ozil which Bendtner could

not turn in.

Arsenal dominated and created several chances but the Gunners’

poor finishing prevented them from extending their lead before the

interval as Ramsey smashed a 20-meter strike over the bar before

McGregor denied him with a full-stretched save in the 31st

minute.

But Arsenal’s hunger finally paid off in the 47th minute when

Nacho Monreal, on the left touchline, released the ball for Ozil.

The German playmaker then passed it to Ramsey, with the Wales

international turning away from goal and playing a precise reverse

ball back into the path of Ozil, who coolly slotted home.