Arsenal moved level on points with second-placed Manchester City and heightened Hull’s relegation worries with a superb display at KC Stadium on Monday night. The Gunners also have game in hand as Sanchez, who now has 24 goals this season, banged in 2 goals. Hull are left just one point above the bottom three. The Gunners were sensational in the first half and Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring with a deflected free-kick. Aaron Ramsey netted the second with another deflected strike before setting up Sanchez to beat keeper Steve Harper. Stephen Quinn’s header gave Hull hope, but the defeat sees the Tigers slip to fourth-bottom on goal difference. Hull drop below Leicester and to within a place of the Premier League’s relegation zone ahead of Saturday’s home game against bottom club Burnley, but they will be cheered by the resolve they showed in the second half.
They went into the game buoyed by victories against Crystal Palace and Liverpool, but they could do nothing to prevent a slick Arsenal side dominating the first half. The Gunners enjoyed 83% possession in the first 10 minutes but, for all their ball retention, they looked just as much of a threat on the break. With Santi Cazorla sliding cute passes through and Ramsey causing problems when driving inside from the right, it was no surprise when the visitors took the lead. Sanchez dusted himself down after being fouled on the edge of the box and bent in a free-kick via Michael Dawson’s head. There was also an element of fortune about the second Gunners goal, as Ramsey’s clipped effort looped over Harper after taking a deflection off Robbie Brady. Cazorla’s sublime pass set up the second, but Ramsey’s assist for the third was even better – the Welsh midfielder playing a reverse ball inside the Hull defence and Sanchez had the simple task of rounding Harper and putting the game beyond doubt.
The Gunners had plenty of chances in the second half – either side of Quinn’s header from Ahmed Elmohamady’s deep cross – but they could not take them as they stretched their excellent run of form to just one loss in the last 14. A further boost came in the form of Jack Wilshere, who came off the bench for his first appearance since November.
The England midfielder impressed with a trademark jinking run, and also saw a shot blocked after a late run into the box. The north London side, who have a game in hand on Manchester City, are in control of the race for the runners-up spot behind champions Chelsea and are all but assured of a top-four finish. They also have an FA Cup final against Aston Villa to look forward to on 30 May.