Withthe swift and convincing 3-1 win over Hull, Arsenal are now level on points with second-placed Manchester City andhave assured a place in the ChampionsLeague for the 18th season.

TheGunners displayed their best performance in years and were mesmeric in thefirst-half, as Alexis Sánchez’s brace helpedthem to a comprehensive 3-0 lead before the interval.  They demonstrated a terrific team work, were dominantin possessions and looked just as much of a threat on the counter-attack. Santi Cazorla was outstanding from thestart; the Spaniard displayed fantasticspeed, shooting accuracy, capacity to change therhythm of gameplay and excellent close control, as he waspulling the strings.

Sánchez opened thescoring for the visitors in the 28th minute, with a deflectedfree-kick, and five minutes later Cazorla passed the ball to Aaron Ramsey, whoscored the second goal for Arsenal, through another deflection; the Welshman’sassist for their third and Sanchez’s brace was even better, when he roundedHull’s veteran keeper Steven Harper, and put the game beyond doubt in the 45thminute. This was the Chilean’s 20th goal of the season, and Arsenal’s100th goal in all competitions in the season.

TheGunners had plenty of chances after the interval; Stephen Quinn’s header in the56th minute gave the Tigershope for a revival in the second-half, but the hope was short lived, as thevisitors were truly dominant.

Thedefeat sees the home side slip to 17th on goal difference, belowLeicester, and to within a place of the relegation zone. They have a hugely significant match against relegation-threatened Burnley on Saturday. Their other two important, remaining games areagainst Tottenham, away, and Manchester United, at home.

Asfor the north Londoners, they have a game in hand of second-placed ManchesterCity, and are now firmly in control of the Premier League race; they are likelyto finish second and secure a place in theChampions League. The Gunners also have a second consecutive FA Cup final against Aston Villa on the30th May at Wembley, and hopes for a trophy in a few weeks’ time arehigh.