AS a rivalry, Hull City versus Arsenal is rather imbalanced.
Of the 18 previous meetings between the two clubs, the Tigers have won just three to Arsenal’s 12. And only one of those victories has been since the end of the First World War.
Not much, therefore, for Tigers fans to cling on to ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup final as the Gunners go in search of an 11th triumph – a tally only Manchester United would be able to match.
In those dozen-and-a-half clashes, however, there have been some real crackers with perhaps the most significant coming 84 years ago.
Hull, then of the Second Division, met Arsenal twice in four days with the prize of a place in the FA Cup final at stake.
The first game came at Elland Road and City raced into a two-goal lead.
Wembley, it seemed, beckoned only for the Londoners to stage a late rally and earn a replay at Villa Park that would be settled in their favour by a David Jack goal.
The next meeting wasn’t for another 47 years but, again, it was destined to end in disappointment for Hull, who, with Billy Bremner in the team, crashed out of the League Cup courtesy of a 5-1 drubbing at Highbury.
Since then, City have met Arsenal nine more times and all but one has been won by the Londoners.
That solitary City win came just a month or so into the East Riding club’s debut season in the top flight and Arsenal had moved to the Emirates. Their first 40 league games had brought 28 wins and just one defeat.
A second reverse came courtesy of goals from Geovanni and Daniel Cousin in a 2-1 win that left Arsene Wenger so stunned that in his post-match press conference he talked about West Bromwich Albion being tough opponents as opposed to the Tigers.