Analysing Alex Iwobi's performance during the win over Hull City
Arsenal secured their third consecutive league win on Saturday, thanks to a 4-1 victory away at Hull City. Goals from Alexis (2), Theo Walcott and Granit Xhaka helped the Gunners keep to within five points of Manchester City at the top of the table. Calm and controlled, Arsene Wenger’s side dominated throughout the game, and in truth it could have been a much higher score.
Mesut Özil and Theo Walcott missed good chances, while Alexis also failed to convert a penalty after Jake Livermore was sent off for handball and denying Francis Coquelin a goal. The 10 men of Hull did grab a goal back to make it 2-1, but Arsenal simply upped the gears to secure the victory in the latter stages.
One player who stood out for the Gunners today, especially in the opening half, was Alex Iwobi. The youngster was involved in most of Arsenal’s attacking play, and after a good performance in Paris the other night, it seems that the winger is only going to get better and better.
From the word go, he caused problems. Playing in his usual left-hand side position, he collected a Hector Bellerin pass early on. The 20-year-old played in a cross, which was headed clear only as far as Coquelin, and after some quick passing, Theo Walcott eventually found a cross that was punched by the Hull goal-keeper Eldin Jakupovic to Iwobi, whose first-time strike hit the back of the net.
On closer inspection, Alexis got a vital deflection, wrong-footing the goal-keeper, but it was Iwobi’s composed first-time shot that caused the goal. 1-0 to the Arsenal, with the winger playing a pivotal part, and assisting the goal.
It didn’t take him long to be involved again. Hull managed to intercept his first attempt to play it through, but they couldn’t stop the Nigerian international turning beautifully on the edge of the box and finding Walcott, who played a low-cross to Coquelin. The result was a red card to Livermore, after he blocked the shot with his hand. Alexis missed the penalty, but Iwobi had been at the heart of this move, this time from a more central position. Questions do need to be asked however, about who should be Arsenal’s penalty taker.
The best move of the match came when Arsenal made it 2-0, and Iwobi was at the heart of it again. Early in the second half, Cazorla and Özil played a one-two, before finding Walcott. The Englishman gave it to Iwobi, before making a run. Walcott ran in behind, but the Nigerian had his back to the position Walcott was running into. The young winger wasn’t to be fazed, and played a back-heel through the Hull defence to the on-running attacker, who chipped the keeper and peeled away in celebration. A delightful goal to watch and another assist for the Nigerian international.
Arsenal did have a brief scare when Hull pulled a goal back, but the Gunners quickly put any fears to bed by simply moving up the gears and securing the points. Three big points, and Iwobi was at the heart of it, playing another game full of quality and again proving that he is the man to play on the left-wing for the Gunners. Two assists, and the youngster marches on.