Saturday 17 November 2018

Gunners hit Hull hard to secure top four spot


Alexis Sanchez (right)tormented Hull as Arsenal stepped up their drive for their highest finish in the Premier League for 10 years.

The Chile international - who had scored in both of his previous games against the Tigers this season - was almost unplayable in a first-half blitz as the Gunners ripped apart a Hull side desperate for points to keep out of the relegation zone.

Sanchez scored twice in the first half, either side of Aaron Ramsey's deflected strike before Steve Bruce's men stemmed the flow with a header from Stephen Quinn in the second half.

Arsenal began to put some snap into their passing, and one exchange saw Sanchez skip inside and pull the trigger from 20 yards, but Steve Harper managed to parry.

That was only putting off the inevitable and when Sanchez was chopped down by Jake Livermore in the 28th minute he took sweet revenge, smashing the free-kick home with the aid of a flick off Michael Dawson's head.

Hull's precarious dam wall was breached and Arsenal poured through the gap. Five minutes after the opening goal, Santi Cazorla's stunning long pass picked out Ramsey, who turned and fired past Harper with aid of a heavy deflection off Robbie Brady's leg.

Sanchez was not to be denied a second, however, and in first-half stoppage time another Arsenal move saw the Hull players like statues while Ramsey played in Sanchez who this time took the ball around 40-year-old Harper and scored into an empty net.

Bruce's response was to send on Irish midfielder David Meyler (below) for the ineffective Jake Livermore and the Tigers were immediately a tougher proposition.

It was Meyler who played a significant part as Hull pulled one back in the 56th minute. He clattered into Francis Coquelin and while Arsenal protested Ahmed Elmohamady played in a super cross that Quinn met with a stooping header that bounced past Ospina.

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