Arsenal may have seen their title dream slip away but they remain on course to secured second place in the Premier League after breezing past relegation-threatened Hull City 3-0 at the KC Stadium.
There was some misfortune for Hull as they fell behind to deflected goals from Alexis Sánchez and Aaron Ramsey in the space of five minutes around the half-hour mark. But the hosts in truth had no answer to Arsenal’s fluid attacking play and were undone further when Sánchez met Ramsey’s pass to make it 3-0 before the halftime interval. Stephen Quinn’s header after the break provided a brief whiff of optimism for the home fans but their team remains in deep trouble at the wrong end of the table.
At the other end, Arsenal’s always slim hopes of winning their first championship in 11 years may have gone by the wayside with Chelsea’s win on Sunday, but they are still in the driving seat to secure their best finish in a decade. This victory puts them back level on points with second-placed Manchester City and still with a game in hand. Perhaps more importantly they now look certain to finish at least third and thus avoid what had become an annual tradition of nervously attempting to claim a place in the Champions League group stage via a disruptive early season playoff.
Ahead of the match, Wenger had set his team a target of finishing the campaign strongly in order to position themselves for a real title tilt next season. And they certainly started brightly at the KC Stadium, before a less intense second-half performance was enlivened by the return after six months out of Jack Wilshere. It remained a comfortable win, although their opponents were at times all too accommodating. Hull had won back-to-back matches to aid their survival chances, but after their chief rivals at the foot of the table won over the weekend, they are now right back in danger. Indeed the margin of defeat sends Steve Bruce’s team below Leicester City and now just one place and one point above Sunderland in the final relegation place, having played a game extra.