Arsene Wenger was left frustrated in his 100th FA Cup tie in charge of Arsenal as a memorable performance by Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic earned the Championship leaders a clean sheet.
With Barcelona in town on Tuesday night in the Champions League, Wenger made nine changes to his starting XI but despite the Frenchman calling on attacking reinforcements in the shape of Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud in the final 30 minutes, Hull held on.
Arsenal 0-0 Hull City
Emirates FA Cup
Saturday 20 February 2016
Winning sides receive £180,000 from The FA prize fund
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Jakupovic had a magnificent game for Steve Bruce’s men, producing a string of fine saves throughout – particularly a free-kick he pushed on to the post from Joel Campbell and a drive from Danny Welbeck after the break.
Arsenal, who have won nine of their last 10 matches with Hull, created the first opening on seven minutes with Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny and Mathieu Flamini combining, but the Frenchman’s attempted pull-back was deflected behind for a corner.
And from the resulting kick, Arsenal felt they should have had a penalty as Elneny’s goalbound strike was deflected wide of the target by the arm of Hull defender Alex Bruce – Gunners' appeals were waved away.
This is the third consecutive season these teams have met in the FA Cup – Arsenal won the previous two meetings, including the 2014 Final, and in the opening quarter Wenger’s men dominated possession and territory.
Arsenal, who had won their previous eight FA Cup matches at home, should have gone ahead on 12 minutes as Theo Walcott drove to the byline and hung up a cross for Welbeck – fresh from scoring the winner against Leicester in the Premier League last weekend – but his header was straight at Hull goalkeeper Jakupovic.
And just three minutes later Welbeck was at it again – played through by Calum Chambers, the England man saw his effort well saved by Jakupovic, while Alex Iwobi fired narrowly wide from distance just seconds later.
Arsenal went close again on 28 minutes as Walcott found space in the box and shot from a tight angle, but Hull goalkeeper Jakupovic once again made a smart save down to his left – it proved to be the last meaningful effort of the opening half.
Just seconds after the interval, the impressive Jakupovic was called into action again – England defender Kieran Gibbs crossed for Walcott but the England striker’s shot was well saved from close range.
The pressure continued to mount on Hull; first Chambers should have had a penalty on 52 minutes after he was hauled down by David Meyler, while Iwobi saw his long range effort deflected narrowly wide seconds later.
Arsenal’s Campbell was unlucky not to break the deadlock on 53 minutes as his free-kick was pushed on to the inside of the post by Jakupovic, with Flamini firing over the rebound.
Jakupovic was having a game to remember in the Hull goal and he was at full stretch again on 64 minutes to keep out a rasping drive from Welbeck that looked certain to find the corner of the net.The arrival of Giroud sparked Arsenal into life and the powerful Frenchman saw his 70th-minute long-range effort comfortably saved by Jakupovic and then headed wide minutes later.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should have put Arsenal ahead three minutes from time but he could only pull his shot wide after a smart knock down from Giroud, while Sanchez went close with a free-kick again saved by Jakupovic.
Arsenal pushed for a late winner but Hull stood firm despite the mountain of late pressure fr the Gunners.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): David Ospina; Calum Chambers, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs; Mathieu Flamini, Mohamed Elneny; Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi, Joel Campbell; Danny Welbeck.
Substitutes: Olivier Giroud for Campbell on 64, Alexis Sanchez for Welbeck on 64, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Iwobi on 73
Substitutes not used: Nacho Monreal, Hector Bellerin, Francis Coquelin, Matt Macey
Hull City (3-5-2): Eldin Jakupovic; Curtis Davies, Alex Bruce, Harry Maguire; Ahmed Elmohamady, Ryan Taylor, David Meyler, Shaun Maloney, Josh Tymon; Nick Powell, Adama Diomande
Substitutes: Tom Huddlestone for Taylor on 54, Moses Obudajo for Tymon on 54, Sone Aluko for Powell on 78
Substitutes not used: Abel Henandez, Mohamed Diame, Andrew Robertson, Dusan Kuciak
Referee: Mike Dean
Emirates FA Cup highlights: Arsenal 0-0 Hull City