Arsenal must travel to Hull for an FA Cup fifth-round replay after failing to turn dominance into victory against the Championship leaders. The Gunners had two penalty claims denied and had chances to win the game through Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck. Hull keeper Eldin Jakupovic made a string of saves, most notably touching Joel Campbell’s free-kick on to a post. The Tigers created little, but defended admirably to frustrate Arsene Wenger in his 100th FA Cup game as Arsenal boss. The two sides made a total of 19 changes between them from their previous games – nine for Arsenal and 10 for Hull. But Steve Bruce’s Tigers not only ended a 14-game winning run in the FA Cup for the Gunners, they also prevented a repeat of their defeats by the Londoners in the 2014 final and last season’s third round.
Arsenal’s priorities undoubtedly lie elsewhere, with Wenger’s side only two points off the top of the Premier League and a visit of Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie coming up on Tuesday. Europe is particularly pressing for the Gunners, who have failed to go past the last 16 in any of the past five seasons, which meant there was no place for key man Mesut Ozil in the squad, while Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez were restricted to contributions from the bench. Despite the team bearing little resemblance to the XI that started in the 2-1 win over Leicester City last week, the Gunners were good enough to control the game from start to finish and created enough chances to have secured a comfortable victory. However, the draw means Arsenal are still in with a chance of becoming the first team to win three consecutive FA Cups since Blackburn Rovers accomplished the feat 130 years ago.
Arsenal’s only issue came in front of goal, as they moved the ball around with precision to carve out 24 shots – 11 on target – compared to the six shots mustered by Hull. But they could not find a way past Jakupovic, who allowed himself a self-congratulatory moment after taking time out to watch a replay of one of his saves on the big screen at the Emirates. January signing Elneny, making only his second start for the Gunners, put in a standout performance for the home side. The Egypt international was always available for the ball in midfield and dictated the pace for Arsenal from the middle of the park. And there were promising signs from 19-year-old Nigerian Iwobi, who found plenty of space behind striker Theo Walcott to attempt through balls into a congested Hull penalty area, only for the hosts to draw a blank every time.