Some teams have a look about them that suggests they may be champions. Others look ready for a survival fight they believe can be won. So both Arsenal and Hull can afford to take something from their tense meeting at a fevered KC Stadium.
Arsenal certainly can win the Barclays Premier League. Teams who score late goals often do. Arsene Wenger's team are playing with belief and fire and have a friendly fixture list ahead of them.
Hull, meanwhile, don't look like a team ready to surrender theirplace in the top flight just yet. Their players may have fought on thefields beneath the Humber Bridge to the horror of onlooking members ofthe Women's Institute last week, but they fought here, too. That ismore important.
Saint Nicklas: Bendtner scored in the 93rd minute to give Arsenal all three points
One in the eye: Nicklas Bendtner feels the fickle finger of George Boateng
Late on Saturday night, after the dust had settled on 96 minutes ofintrigue and controversy, Hull chairman Adam Pearson was still feelingthe pain of a defeat that came two minutes into added time.'A point would have been terrific for us,' he winced.
Spot on: Bullard blasts his first half penalty past the diving Almunia
On the Arsenal team bus heading south, meanwhile, Wenger and hisplayers were feeling the benefit of Nicklas Bendtner's late goal.
Dismissed: Boateng was sent off after receiving a second booking for a dangerous tackle on Sagna
'If you give up after 80 minutes, you cannot be a player,' said thescorer of the winner. 'I always believe right until the last minutethat we can do it because I've seen it so many times. We pass itaround, people think it's over and then we score a goal out ofnothing.'
Arsenal scored early through the terrific Andrey Arshavin and lookedset to roll Hull over. But a clumsy tackle by Sol Campbell - heprobably should have seen red - gave the superb Jimmy Bullard thechance to level things up from the spot and from then the game was muchmore balanced.
George Boateng's afternoon ended prematurely after a dreadful tackleon Bacary Sagna just before half-time but only in the final 15 minutesdid Arsenal make their numerical advantage tell.
From Russia with love: Arshavin gave Arsenal the lead early on in the first half
But just as Hull looked set for a point, keeper Boaz Myhill made amess of Denilson's long-range shot and Bendtner prodded the reboundinto goal. It was a moment that could prove decisive for Arsenal'schallenge.
Great Dane: Arsenal players mob goalscorer Bendtner after his late winner
If Wenger's team could stop moaning for just one minute about thestrong tackling that they feel comes their way, they may reflect onthis day as one that won them the title in a few weeks.
MATCH STATSHULL CITY (4-4-2): Myhill 6; Mendy 6, Mouyokolo 7, Zayatte 7 (Cooper 55min, 7), Dawson 6; Fagan 6, Boateng 5, Bullard 8, Marney 5; Altidore 7 (Kilbane 82), Vennegoor of Hesselink 6. Booked: Dawson, Boateng. Sent off: Boateng.ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Almunia 6; Sagna 6, Campbell 6, Vermaelen 7, Clichy 7; Diaby 7, Denilson 7; Eboue 7(Walcott 65, 7), Nasri 6 (Eduardo 75), Arshavin 8; Bendtner 7.Booked: Campbell, Bendtner.Man of the match: Andrey Arshavin.Referee: Andre Marriner.
Bendtner added: 'It was a poor challenge on Bacary. You can seeBac's knee and it's got stud marks up the knee. It could have beenserious. I think the refs have to come together and say, 'What do we doin these incidents, when these things happen?'
Suggestions that there is now a vendetta against Arsenal is absurd. Hull manager
Phil Brown, meanwhile, has his team's Premier League survival toponder. It is perhaps between Hull, Wolves, West Ham and Wigan for thefinal relegation spot and, although the form of Brown's team is poor,their fixture list could be worse.
'All my chairman was looking for was a response from last week's poor performance and I think he got it,' said Brown.
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