Chilean star Alexis Sanchez scored twice as Arsenal all but secured a top four finish in the Premier League for the 18th consecutive season with a 3-1 win against a struggling Hull City on Monday.
The team got off to a hot start with a three-goal halftime lead thanks to Sanchez’s double and a score from Aaron Ramsey. Hull made it somewhat close with a Stephen Quinn score after the break.
The victory put The Gunners nine points clear of fifth placed Liverpool, who have only three matches remaining and a big disadvantage on goal difference. This win pretty much guaranteed their qualification for the Champions League.
On the other hand, Hull is just one place away from relegation after dropping below Leicester to 17th. They’re one point and one place above third bottom Sunderland, who have a game more remaining than the others.
Arsenal was on fire before last weekend, when they came up with a draw against Chelsea. Wenger put in the same lineup and saw his team win easily.
This disappointing match came six days after Hull put in an impressive display to beat Liverpool at the KC Stadium, their second straight win after a victory over Crystal Palace.
The six straight points gave the Tigers room to avoid relegation zone, but wins on Saturday for Leicester, Sunderland and Aston Villa did not help Hull and they returned right back to the relegation fight.
The Gunners were dominant from the start and Hull did not do much to stop them and let them have the possession.
Hull’s planned 3-5-2 formation was more of a 5-3-2 for most of the match, with wingbacks Robbie Brady and Ahmed Elmohamady playing out of position.
Sanchez has turned it up late in the season and scored in the league and FA Cup meetings with Hull this season.
Hull created their first chance when Brady crossed to find Sone Aluko but the Hull forward’s attempt did not really test Ospina.
Sanchez almost scored early but his attempt was denied by defenders. Five minutes later, Hull were backed up thanks to another deflected strike.
Hull were in danger of being blown out but, to their credit, they came out and played a great second half defensively and did not allow any more goals.
The team had an important player back when the fans warmly greeted the introduction of midfielder Jack Wilshere as the England international came off the bench for a first appearance in almost five months after recovering from a serious knee injury.
The Gunners were close to restoring their three goal lead they had early on in the closing stages but Harper saved with a foot to keep out Cazorla’s deflected drive before James Chester, apparently using an arm, blocked Wilshere’s first-time effort on the line.
With the easy victory today, Arsenal is now tied for second place with Manchester City with a game less. The race is on to secure a top spot and now it is Man U’s turn to try to secure fourth place and qualify for the Champions League playoffs. Liverpool is five points back and they are hoping The Red Devils keep struggling.