Arsenal humbled by Hull

Hull recorded one of the greatest shocks in English Premier League history with an astonishing 2-1 win at Arsenal on Saturday.

Second-half goals from Geovanni and Daniel Cousin inflicted just the Gunners' second defeat at the Emirates stadium - their first came against West Ham in April 2007 - and provoked exuberant celebrations among the travelling contingent.

It also denied Arsene Wenger's side the chance to return to the top of the table, although that disappointment will be nothing compared to the embarrassment of being humbled on home turf by a side dismissed as whipping boys by the pundits.

Arsenal had looked on course to return to the summit courtesy of Paul McShane's own goal just after the interval but, despite a welter of late pressure, they could find no answer to Hull's indomitable spirit.

Few teams venture to the Emirates with hopes of conquering it, a point underlined by the fact that Arsenal had rattled in 14 unanswered goals in their four games this term.

But Hull are not typical top flight green-horns. The Tigers had taken four points from their first two away games and had only been out-classed once, in a home rout by Wigan.

City were in no mood to be overawed. They were determined not to allow Arsenal the space and time they need to thrive and the hosts found themselves frustrated at every turn.

They enjoyed an early stroke of luck, when Emmanuel Adebayor's headed goal was disallowed for a foul on McShane, but for the most part they relied on their own qualities.

Two early chances summed up the first half. In the 16th minute, a quicksilver break from Theo Walcott appeared certain to end in the striker bearing down on goal, only for Andy Dawson to emerge from nowhere and whip the ball from his toes.

There were more heroics three minutes later. A slick interchange between Kolo Toure and Cesc Fabregas ended with the Spaniard reaching the by-line. His pull-back found William Gallas but the Frenchman's goal-bound shot was superbly blocked by George Boateng.

Hull's unexpected resistance seemed to befuddle Arsenal, with Walcott suffering more than most.

The 19-year-old inexplicably tried to control Emmanuel Eboue's 25th-minute cross rather than simply head it home, allowing Hull to smother the danger, and then took too many touches after bursting onto a Fabregas pass.

But Walcott was not alone. There were howls of protest from the home fans when a canny ball from Adebayor teed up Eboue only for the Ivorian midfielder to try yet another pass, rather than shoot from an inviting position.

Arsenal trooped off for half-time looking perplexed, but normal service appeared to be resumed within five minutes of the re-start.

Walcott tore down the right, crossed into the six-yard box and after Adebayor had helped the ball on, it was bundled home by the back-tracking McShane.

No awe for new boys
That should have been the cue for Arsenal's supposed class to tell. Instead, Hull stormed back in the most astonishing manner imaginable.

Their 64th-minute equaliser was startling enough, Geovanni cutting inside past Gael Clichy before unleashing a magnificent 25-yard shot which swerved across Manuel Almunia and into the top corner.

But that was capped just moments later when Dawson's fizzed in-swinging corner was met at the near post by the leaping Cousin, the striker's flicked header soaring into the opposite corner.

Arsenal tried manfully to mount a fight-back. Adebayor and van Persie might have done better than roll shots past the left-hand post after finding space in the area and Gallas was unlucky to see a thumping header hit the woodwork, with substitute Carlos Vela deflecting the rebound wide.

And then, deep into stoppage time, City were indebted to goalkeeper Boaz Myhill, who somehow turned aside a blistering drive from Fabregas.