Hull City vs Arsenal
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: May 4th, 2015 20:00 BST
We got back to winning ways after our goalless draw with Chelsea last week, with a dominant display sinking Hull City at the KC Stadium.
Arsene Wenger named an unchanged lineup, with the only change coming on the bench. Danny Welbeck was absent with a knee injury, but was replaced by veteran Czech international Tomas Rosicky.
We dominated the ball right from the off, and it looked only a matter of time before we broke the deadlock. It took longer than expected to open the scoring, but Alexis Sanchez eventually found the net via a free kick as we approached the half hour mark.
Tom Huddlestone delayed on the ball, carelessly taking far too long in a dangerous area. Mesut Özil pinched the ball off his toes, and dropped it off to Sanchez. The Chilean was then taken out by Jake Livermore, handing us a free kick in a really threatening position.
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Sanchez’s strike took a wicked deflection off Michael Dawson, with the flight of the ball leaving Steve Harper totally flat footed in goal.
We have Tottenham to thank for the goal, with three former Spurs players conspiring to give us the lead. 1-0.
We doubled our lead just a few minutes later, with Aaron Ramsey finding the back of the net. The Welshman plucked the ball out of the air superbly, and found the back of the net yet again via a deflection.
It was Santi Cazorla who earned most of the plaudits however, with his sublime pass from his own half picking out Ramsey perfectly. 2-0.
It should have been three shortly after, with Alexis Sanchez’s chip failing to beat Harper. He made amends just before half time though, his second of the game all but putting the result to bed.
It was another case of the assist outshining the goal, with Ramsey turning provider this time around. He played a perfect pass through the defence, with Sanchez making a fantastic run to get on the end of it. He rounded Harper for a tap into an open net. Three goals, and three points looking already in the bag. 3-0.
Hull came out firing in the second half, and looked the most likely to make something happen. They did just that right before the hour mark, although there was some controversy about their goal.
David Meyler’s clumsy challenge left Laurent Koscielny crumpled on the floor, and the players were visibly furious that the referee hadn’t award a free kick. We clearly switched off for a moment, and a simple cross into the box allowed Stephen Quinn to head past David Ospina. 3-1.
The goal seemed to wake us up a bit, and we looked to dominate possession once again.
Jack Wilshere made his long awaited return, with the England international replacing Aaron Ramsey around the 70 minute mark.
His first involvement was vintage Wilshere, and he made an unbelievable run through midfield. The England international ghosted past several players before being taken out at the edge of the box; the free kick came to nothing, but it was fantastic to see him back and doing what he does best.
He probably should have scored later on in the half, with the ball falling fortuitously to him in the box. Harper was out of position and beaten all ends up, but Wilshere’s shot was blocked by the hand of Robbie Brady.
It would have been harsh to penalise him for it as it was struck from so close, but it has to be painful to see your shot kept out by a hand.
We came close a few times towards the end, with late substitute Theo Walcott’s scuffed shot drifting narrowly wide.
Sanchez and Walcott perhaps should have done better when they were two on two with the defenders late on, but the former Barcelona man opted to go alone and also dragged his shot wide.
The clean sheet would have been nice, but the three points is what counts. We move back level on points with Manchester City, only third due to goal difference.
There is a difference of just two goals between us and City, and we still have a game in hand. Second place is ours to lose, and we are still in a fantastic position to finish the season strongly.