Arsenal are looking good in their quest for a fourth place finish and an FA Cup win after their fairly routine dismantling of Hull City at the KC Stadium. The would-be-Tigers were only in the match for the opening half-hour as Arsene Wenger's side ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.
The Gunners were on top in the opening minutes, but struggled from a hilarious incident involving ad boards blowing onto the pitch until their opening goal. The wind made quite a mess in the 7th minute, throwing a particularly lightweight advertising structure all over the place, and Hull were all over Arsenal after the brief stoppage.
Hull had the first two big chances of the game. Nikica Jelavic had an effort saved in the 15th minute and then Shane Long missed wildly in the 24th minute. But it was Arsenal who struck first.
Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Özil -- back on the same pitch for the first time since the fall -- were both key in the lead up to the goal. Özil played the first penetrating pass of the move to Santi Cazorla, who found Ramsey free in the box, and the Arsenal midfielder hit a powerful shot past Steve Harper.
Jake Livermore hit the post three minutes later as Hull continued to look dangerous, but fail to convert their chances. They would come to regret their poor finishing even further in the 45th minute, when Lukas Podolski doubled Arsenal's lead.
The goal was a controversial one because of where the Arsenal attack started. Jelavic thought that he was fouled when Mikel Arteta won the ball off of him in midfield, but referee Jon Moss declared that Jelavic had gone down too easily. Arsenal's counter eventually led to a diagonal ball into the box for Ramsey, who chested down. It looked like he wanted to set himself up, but his slightly heavy touch ended up being a perfect setup for Podolski, who finished for his team's second.
Whatever Steve Bruce said to his team at halftime didn't work, nor did his decision to bring on Matty Fryatt. The Gunners came out confident and dominant early in the second half, scoring their third in the 54th minute. The usual suspects were involved again, with Cazorla cutting back for Ramsey, who had his shot saved by Harper, but Podolski was there to pounce on the rebound and complete a brace.
Harper's difficult day continued 10 minutes later when he nearly conceded another goal on an awful blunder. For whatever reason, he didn't move at all on a routine backpass by Liam Rosenior, letting Olivier Giroud contest what should have been a routine clearance. Harper's attempt to clear bounced off Giroud, giving the Arsenal striker a chance to score, but he hit the crossbar.
From there, the game was rather uneventful, with Arsenal content to hold onto their three-goal lead and Hull lacking the ability to do anything about it.
Hull City: Harper, Rosenior, Chester, Davies, Elmohamady, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Boyd (Koren 84'), Jelavic (Quinn 70'), Long (Fryatt 46')
Arsenal: Szczesny, Monreal, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Sagna, Arteta, Ramsey, Podolski (Sanogo 84'), Özil (Flamini 61'), Cazorla, Giroud (Oxlade-Chamberlain 74')
Goals: Ramsey (31'), Podolski (45', 54')