An average start made things a little nervy at the KC Stadium, but we eventually broke the Tigers down and ended up running out comfortable 4-0 winners. Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud grabbed a brace each, with things opening up significantly after the first goal.
It was a slow start to the game, and neither side were really playing with any urgency. There was a lack of creativity from our end, and a lack of attacking intent from Hull’s.
The only real early excitement was a Walcott goal, but it was correctly disallowed for offside. This was followed by a nasty clash of heads between Nick Powell and Per Mertesacker, which eventually resulted in the giant German being substituted for Nacho Monreal.
Hull had a decent chance to take the lead, and we had David Ospina to thank for the scores remaining level. The Colombian made a fantastic reaction save, palming away a shot that was fired through a crowd of bodies. We failed to clear it adequately in the aftermath, but were thankfully saved by the linesman’s flag. There was an argument to be had that the Hull players involved weren’t the ones involved, but whether they touched the ball or not, the three of four Hull players that were actually offside definitely played a part and impacted how our players reacted.
We didn’t really look like scoring, and were barely creating anything of note. But when our first real chance came, we took it. David Meyler was put under a bit of pressure, but instead of clearing the ball he attempted to pass back to his keeper. It was a poor pass, and Olivier Giroud was there to smash it between the keeper’s legs. 1-0.
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Kieran Gibbs almost got his first goal in ages with an absolute screamer just before half-time, but disappointingly he saw his shot crash off the bar.
Our injury woes got worse in the second half, with Gabriel Paulista joining Mertesacker on the injury list. We could be in real trouble going forward if neither player recovers, as we’ll be incredibly short in the defensive department.
We left it late, but eventually doubled our lead. Olivier Giroud got his second of the game, with a deflected Walcott cross volleyed in by the Frenchman. 2-0.
Aaron Ramsey was the next to join the injury list, and after coming on as a substitute the Welshman was then promptly replaced by Jeff Reine-Adelaide.
We punished Hull on the break two more times before the end, with Walcott getting two goals of his own. The first came from a fantastic Joel Campbell through ball, which Walcott took with a superb first touch before finishing with real class. 3-0.
The second involved a little bit of luck, with Walcott’s low driven shot deflecting past Eldin Jakupovic. 4-0.
Hopefully the goals will inspire our two forwards to kick on and find their best form, as we’ve badly been struggling for goals.
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Watford await, and we’re now well on our way to hopefully clinching our third consecutive FA Cup title.