An entertaining game at the Emirates saw Arsenal run out two-nil winners thanks to an Alexis Sanchez brace. Hull City started off well and had a couple of early chances to take the lead, however, Sanchez’s goal ten minutes before the half-time whistle seemed to take the sting out of the visitors’ game.
The Gunners were content to keep the ball for the most part, in the second half, and struck late on, via a Sanchez penalty, after Clucas was sent off for handling the ball on the goal-line.
The win takes Arsenal to the third spot temporarily, and they sit level on points with Tottenham, who have a game in hand.
On that note, take a look at how the players fared.
Petr Cech – 8/10
Cech made a couple of decent saves over the course of the game but was untroubled, for the most part. He kept out Niasse’s header early in the first half to keep his side level. Cech denied Niasse again in the second half with a smart save, low to his left. The keeper was commanding from set pieces and bounced back well from his horror show at Chelsea last week, although his clearances did look a bit suspect.
Hector Bellerin – 6/10
Bellerin bombed up and down the right-hand side like he always does and contributed well in attack. He did miss a great chance to put the Gunners in the lead as he scuffed his shot wide of the near post, after some great link up play with Ozil and Walcott. He was not at his best in the defensive third, though, and was beaten all ends up on quite a few occasions by Robertson and Grosicki.
Shkodran Mustafi – 7/10
Mustafi was not at his best in the first half but gradually improved as the game wore on. He was solid in the air, winning five aerial duels on the night. The German dealt quite effectively with the threat of Niasse and had a solid game, for the most part.
Laurent Koscielny – 6/10
Koscielny had a slightly underwhelming performance by his lofty standards. He was easily beaten by Markovic in the first half, which almost led to a goal for Hull. In the second half, some miscommunication between the Frenchman and Mustafi led to both of them going for the same ball, which allowed Markovic to pounce and run through on goal, only to be stopped by a Kieran Gibbs foul. He did make seven clearances, though, which add to his rating.
Kieran Gibbs – 6/10
Gibbs struggled in the early parts of the game as Hull came out flying in search of an early goal. Markovic got the better of him on a couple of occasions and almost set up Niasse after a fabulous run. However, Gibbs recovered well as the game wore on and was instrumental in the opening goal. It was the Englishman’s shot that was cleared off the line and eventually fell to Sanchez, who put the ball into the back of the net, albeit with help from his hand.
Gibbs was extremely lucky not to be sent off in the second half after bringing down Markovic when the latter was through on goal.
Francis Coquelin – 7/10
Coquelin was feisty in the midfield as he won five tackles and made three interceptions. He shielded his defence well for most of the game, but was caught out of position a couple of times and forced to foul to recover.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6/10
Chamberlain was employed in a central role yet again and he performed fairly well. The Englishman produced a delightful through ball in the first half for Walcott, who couldn't make full use of it. Chamberlain was composed in the midfield and often used his trickery and speed to dribble out of tight situations.
Mesut Ozil – 5/10
Ozil’s poor form continued as he was one of Arsenal’s worst players on the pitch.The German just could not get things going in the attacking third and despite being involved in most of Arsenal's attacks, he was the reason several of them broke down in dangerous areas of the pitch. His passing was poor as evidenced by a passing accuracy of just 75% and he lacked creativity as well. A game to forget for the German.
Alex Iwobi – 5/10
Iwobi too had an average game on the night. His passing was sloppy and he failed to get into threatening areas like he usually does. The Nigerian had just one shot on goal to go with his one successful dribble. He was dispossessed far too easily on quite a few occasions, with one of them almost leading to a goal for Hull in the first half.
Theo Walcott – 6/10
Walcott did not really impact the game as much as he would have liked to. The speedy winger did not take on defenders and was content to play one-twos with Bellerin and the midfielders without making runs behind the defence. Overall, a poor game for the Englishman.
Alexis Sanchez – 9/10
Arsenal’s saviour yet again, Sanchez was at the heart of almost every Arsenal move. He opened the scoring with a scrappy effort that came off his arm before nestling in the back of the net. He was at his pestering best as he forced Hull's defenders and midfielders into numerous errors, especially in the first half, with his constant running and pressing. He scored his second from the spot after Lucas Perez’s goalbound header was blocked by the hand of Clucas. A Man of the Match performance from the Chilean.
Mohamed Elneny – 6/10
Elneny replaced Walcott just after the hour mark as Arsene Wenger looked to solidify the centre of midfield. Elneny was as solid as ever as he moved the ball from side to side, helping his side maintain possession in the closing stages of the game.
Lucas Perez – 7/10
Perez replaced Chamberlain with just ten minutes left in the game, but managed to contribute to Arsenal’s attack quite well. He was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet as his header was blocked on the line by Clucas’ hand. However, it will go down as an assist as Sanchez converted the resulting penalty.
Danny Welbeck – 6/10
Welbeck was bright after coming on and had a half chance in stoppage time to extend his side’s lead, but the striker scuffed his shot to send it into the stands.
Eldin Jakupovic – 5/10
Jakupovic was at fault for Arsenal’s second goal as he needlessly rushed off his line to intercept a long ball. Sanchez easily found his way past the keeper and drifted a ball in to Perez, who won the penalty which Sanchez subsequently scored. The keeper was phenomenal for Hull in recent games but tonight was a night to forget for the custodian.
Omar Elabdellaoui – 5/10
The right-back was caught out of position for Arsenal’s first goal as he allowed Gibbs and Ozil far too much time and space to work with. Apart from that, though, he did not do too much wrong. Elabdellaoui was restricted to a defensive role for most of the game and could not help his side out in the attacking third.
Andrea Ranocchia – 6/10
Ranocchia dealt with the Arsenal attackers well, for the most part. The centre-back made six tackles as well as five clearances to keep his side in the game. The Italian did have a few nervy moments early on, and gifted Arsenal possession on one instance, which almost led to a goal. Apart from that, though, he was solid as a rock.
Harry Maguire – 6/10
Maguire did stifle the Arsenal attackers alongside Ranocchia fairly well. He was involved in a tussle with Theo Walcott in the second half which was probably the highlight of his game.
Andrew Robertson – 7/10
Robertson put in an extremely solid display on the left side of defence and prevented Walcott and Bellerin from having any joy whatsoever. He also contributed well going forward as he linked up effectively with Grosicki. Robertson made seven interceptions to go with his two clearances as he did his best to thwart the Arsenal attackers.
Tom Huddlestone – 5/10
Huddlestone could not control the game in the centre of the park as he would have liked to, despite his side having more possession than Arsenal. The midfielder was content with sideways and backward passes and could not produce any telling through balls to unlock the Arsenal defence.
Lazar Markovic – 7.5/10
The highly rated midfielder was Hull’s best player on the pitch. Markovic’s pace and trickery made him a difficult prospect to handle for the Arsenal defence. He should have had an assist to his name early on as he easily maneuvered his way through the Arsenal defence and whipped a wonderful ball across the box, but Niasse could not get his boot to it. He was also brought down by Gibbs when one on one with the keeper which would have probably led to a goal.
Alfred N’Diaye – 5/10
N’Diaye was invisible for most of the game and did not have any sort of impact in either half.
Samuel Clucas – 5/10
Clucas had a fairly good game up until stoppage time, when he was sent off for preventing a goal with his hand.
Kamil Grosicki – 6/10
Grosicki was a thorn in Arsenal’s flesh in the first half and whipped in several good balls for his striker to attack. He linked up well with Robertson on the left and set up Niasse for a simple header, which the striker could not convert. Grosicki was taken off just before the hour mark, and replaced by Evandro as Hull looked to go more direct.
Oumar Niasse – 5/10
Niasse had a couple of great chances to get on the scoresheet, but his header in the first half lacked power and was well saved by Cech, while his low strike in the second half was hit right at the keeper. Apart from the two opportunities, he wasn’t much of a threat to the Arsenal defence, and Koscielny and Mustafi dealt with him relatively easily.
Evandro – 6/10
Evandro replaced Grosicki as Hull searched for an equaliser, but the midfielder failed to create any opportunities for his side, although he did show some flashes of brilliance.
Ahmed Elmohamady – 5/10
The Egyptian replaced Elabdellaoui after the hour mark but provided nothing going forward.
Adama Diomande – 5/10
Diomande was manager Marco Silva’s final throw of the dice, but it didn’t pay off as the forward hardly managed a touch of the ball in the final ten minutes of the game.Published 11 Feb 2017, 18:49 IST