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

The Gunners displayed their best performance in years and were mesmeric in the first-half, as Alexis Sánchez’s brace helped them to a comprehensive 3-0 lead before the interval.  They demonstrated a terrific team work, were dominant in possessions and looked just as much of a threat on the counter-attack. Santi Cazorla was outstanding from the start; the Spaniard displayed fantastic speed, shooting accuracy, capacity to change the rhythm of gameplay and excellent close control, as he was pulling the strings.

Sánchez opened the scoring for the visitors in the 28th minute, with a deflected free-kick, and five minutes later Cazorla passed the ball to Aaron Ramsey, who scored the second goal for Arsenal, through another deflection; the Welshman’s assist for their third and Sanchez’s brace was even better, when he rounded Hull’s veteran keeper Steven Harper, and put the game beyond doubt in the 45th minute. This was the Chilean’s 20th goal of the season, and Arsenal’s 100th goal in all competitions in the season.

The Gunners had plenty of chances after the interval; Stephen Quinn’s header in the 56th minute gave the Tigers hope for a revival in the second-half, but the hope was short lived, as the visitors were truly dominant.

The defeat sees the home side slip to 17th on goal difference, below Leicester, 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 are against Tottenham, away, and Manchester United, at home.

As for the north Londoners, they have a game in hand of second-placed Manchester City, and are now firmly in control of the Premier League race; they are likely to finish second and secure a place in the Champions League. The Gunners also have a second consecutive FA Cup final against Aston Villa on the 30th May at Wembley, and hopes for a trophy in a few weeks’ time are high. 

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