Arsenal ease to 4-1 win against 10-man Hull City
PUBLISHED: 17:18 17 September 2016 | UPDATED: 18:13 17 September 2016
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Arsenal eased to a 4-1 win at the KCOM Stadium against a Hull City side that played 50 minutes with 10 men.
After Alexis Sanchez got the final touch from an Alex Iwobi shot on 17 minutes to make it 1-0, there was controversy with five minutes remaining in the first half.
Theo Walcott’s cross saw Francis Coquelin’s shot hit Jake Livermore’s hand and the defender was sent off, but Sanchez missed his spot-kick.
Walcott then made it 2-0 on 55 minutes and, although Robert Snodgrass pulled one back from a penalty on 79 minutes, Sanchez made it 3-1 with seven minutes left. Granit Xhaka then made it 4-1 with a swerving left-foot strike from 25 yards.
Arsenal made two changes from their Champions League game against PSG with Petr Cech returning - ending speculation about Wenger’s first choice Premier League goalkeeper – despite David Opsina’s heroics in Paris during their fortuitous 1-1 draw.
Theo Walcott returned - after missing the game through a knee injury - in place of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Hull City started with the same team running for the fifth game in a row.
Despite manager Mike Phelan travails associated with a possible change of club ownership – his experience has seen them make a respectable start.
After a shapeless opening Ozil fed Walcott who played the ball into the middle. Sanchez, looking lively if not completely back to his best hit the ball first time - but in his eagerness fired it over the bar on 12 minutes.
Five minutes later Walcott’s cross-shot was palmed by keeper Eldin Jakupovic into the path of Alex Iwobi. He drilled a low shot into the net but via a slight touch by Sanchez who was awarded it the goal.
On 27 minutes it should’ve been 2-0 after Walcott again fed Iwobi, whose effort was saved. The rebound fell to Ozil – but his attempt flew over the bar.
With ten minutes left Hull nearly punished the visitors profligacy but Cech stopped a Robert Snodgrass drive after Abel Hernandez played an intelligent ball to him as he ran onto it
There was controversy on 40 minutes. Walcott’s cross found Coquelin whose shot struck Jake Livermore’s arm. Referee East immediately pointed to the spot and sent him off. It may have seemed harsh but despite recent rule changes you can still be sent off for deliberate handball – as his hand was a.way from his body.
With the crowd howling and Livermore not even off the pitch an eager Sanchez hit the penalty near to Jakupovic’s right.
Nine minutes after the break it was 2-0 after a clever Iwobi backheel sent Walcott through who lifted the ball over the onrushing Jakupovic. Defender Harry Maguire got the last touch - but the goal was Walcott’s.
On 65 minutes an acrobatic Abel Hernandez overhead kick glanced Cech’s bar.
With 11 minutes left Cech sent an onrushing Mbokani flying. Referee East appeared to deny a penalty before changing his mind, booking Cech and belated awarded a spot-kick.
Snodgrass finished with aplomb by firing the ball firmly to Cech’s left to make it 2-1 – but Sanchez made it 3-1 moments later to quell a Hull uprising - with a cool finish through a clutch of defenders after Walcott’s shot was blocked by Jakupovic to seal the game 3-1.
Granit Xhaka then hit a sublime left foot shot from 25 yards to make it 4-1 in injury time.
Another three points for Wenger’s men – as again the luck was with them at pivotal moments as the late strikes flattered his team. But as with Paris on Wednesday no one from North London will quibble with the result.
Jakupovic, Robertson, Davies (c) Meyler, Huddlestone (Mason), Hernandez (Mbokani), Snodgrass, Clucas, Livermore (s/o) Diomande (Maguire), Elmohammady
Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Cazorla (Xkaha), Coquelin, Walcott (Perez), Iwobi (Elneny), Alexis