Arsenals champions league destiny remains in their hands, after a clinical performace against a defiant Hull City side. In a match that meant more than a Fa Cup final rehearsal, it would be Arsenal who would walk away with three vital points after winning 3-0 at the KC stadium.
The first half was almost controlled by Hull City’s midfield, with Arsenal having to see out a couple of early chances from Hull’s striking pair Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long. But it was Arsenal who would break the deadlock after Man of the Match Aaron Ramsey started a counter-attack in Arsenals own half, linking up with teammates Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla, with the ball eventually arriving back at Ramseys feet and the midfielder striking the ball low past Steven Harper in the Hull City goal.
Hull City came close to equalising when Jake Livermore striked the ball from 20 yards, but for the ball to only hit the post, before another goal from another quality Arsenal move which would double the Gunners lead just before half time. With the Hull City players complaining about a lack of whistle from the referee, Jonathan Moss, Arsenal would attack with striker Olivier Giroud crossing the ball towards Ramsey who chested the ball down for Lukas Podolski to smash the ball into the net with a brilliant volley. It would be Arsenal who would go into half time 2-0 up.
Arsenal would then crush any hopes of a Hull City come-back after scoring nine minutes after the restart. It was Podolski who again scored, after tapping in a rebound from Ramseys blocked shot after a cross from Santi Cazorla on the left hand side. Giroud came close to adding a fourth, but was only able to hit the crossbar after the frenchman intercepted a back pass from Hull City defender Liam Rosenoir.
After a valiant effort from Hull City in the first half, it was Arsenal who walked away impressively after their victory.
Aaron Ramsey showed the class that had impressed many before his injury after being awarded Man of the Match, he said:
“It feels good to be back and hopefully I can put in more good performances before the end of the season. The pitch was a bit bobbly today and they are a well-organised side who get the ball wide, put crosses in and are dangerous. But we scored some good counter-attacking goals.
“We have beaten Hull twice this season, but it is a Cup final and you cannot take anything for granted, but we will go into that game confident in our ability. “We will go into that game with confidence and if we do well at the end of this season it could be our most successful for many years.”
Manager Arsene Wenger said that his side showed defiance after his teams vital win, but admits that the Fa Cup final will be a tougher test he said:
“Aaron Ramsey is getting back to full fitness and sharpness, but everyone played well today. It was a good team performance as it will be when you win 3-0 away from home in a game you have to win.
“We have had to cope to five six players all out at the same time and we have done as well as we can. You live in the real world.”The Cup final is a completely different game, we are focused on the Premier League and finishing as high as we can.”
Arsenal are now one point above Everton in fourth place, with Hull City six points off relegation.
By Ollie Brown