A brace for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez earned the Gunners a controversial 2-0 win over a Hull City side that battled hard at the Emirates and probably deserved to get something from the game.
Arsenal coming in to this game on the back of consecutive defeats, made just the one change to their struggling side, bringing in Kieran Gibbs for Nacho Monreal.
The Gunners were easily the better side in the first half, but struggled to put the ball in the back of the net, spurning half chances in front of a nervy Emirates.
A moment of good fortune brought Arsenal their first goal. Pin ball in the Hull City box saw the ball fall to Alexis Sanchez barely a few yards from goal, and after his initial prod was saved by Eldin Jakupovic, Sanchez bundled the ball over the line off his hand, albeit inadvertently.
The goal would probably have been chalked off on another day, but the Referee’s Assistant somehow missed it and the goal stood.
There was more controversy to follow in the second half as Kieran Gibbs escaped with a yellow card for a last man shove on Lazar Markovic, who benefited from the ball coming his way after Mustafi and Koscielny went for the same ball.
On another day, another referee would have probably sent off Gibbs, but Referee Mark Clattenburg did Arsenal another favour leaving the Gunners with 11 men on the pitch.
Hull City did their best to get back in the game as the second half progressed, but only created half chances, mostly from a flurry of freekicks as Arsenal kept conceding cheap fouls, mostly down the left flank as Gibbs struggled to cope as Hull doubled down on their efforts down that side.
Arsenal though did get a second late in the contest, winning a penalty after a stray arm from Sam Clucas saw the midfielder sent off as he stopped Lucas Perez from planting a free header into the back of the net from Alexis Sanchez’s cross after Jakupovic was dragged out of his box.
Sanchez, who had seen a penalty saved by Jakupovic already this season, stepped up and slammed his effort straight down the middle, lucky to beat the keeper, who had stood his ground.
The win for Arsenal takes them up to third place, level on points with Tottenham, who have a tough game against Liverpool to follow later in the day.
Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Gibbs; Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Perez 82′); Walcott (Elneny 69′), Ozil, Iwobi (Welbeck 82′); Sanchez.
Subs: Ospina, Monreal, Gabriel, Elneny, Perez, Welbeck, Giroud.
Hull City: Jakupovic, Elabdellaoui (Elmohamady 66′), Ranocchia, Maguire, Robertson, Huddlestone (Diomande 78′), N’Diaye, Markovic, Grosicki (Evandro 60′), Clucas (sent off 90+1′), Niasse.
Subs: Meyler, Maloney, Diomande, Marshall, Elmohamady, Tymon, Evandro.
Final Score: Arsenal 2-0 Hull City (Sanchez 34′ 90+3′)