The incessant rain drenched Mark Hughes and his seat, so for a time there was really no shelter as he stood there, contemplating how he can possibly extricate his fragile new team from this almighty mess.
They arrived with a counter-attacking master-plan and a five-man defence. It intermittently looked like it just might work against an Arsenal team which, as we all know, does not exactly scream out intensity. But when all was said and done, this was just more testament to a side lacking the necessary muscle for a fight like this one.
An opening goal materialised for Hughes team – testament to the utter fecklessness which never lurks far behind this team of Arsene Wenger’s when the going begins to look mildly challenging.