Arsenal likely expected a difficult fight against a team determined to keep themselves clear of the drop zone on Monday. What they got was a team without any semblance of focus or a plan, and they had no problem running over Hull City, 3-1.
The Tigers' best chance of the first half came in the 23rd minute, when Sone Aluko botched a free header from inside the six-yard box off an excellent cross by Robbie Brady. They did almost nothing after this, and quickly allowed three goals.
Alexis Sanchez scored the first, and it was a bit lucky. After drawing a foul on Jake Livermore that should have resulted in the showing of a second yellow card, Sanchez hit a free kick that deflected off Michael Dawson and sailed past Steve Harper, who never had a chance. Aaron Ramsey got the Gunners' second just five minutes later, finishing off a stunning through ball by Santi Cazorla.
Ramsey turned provider just before the break, emulating Cazorla with a similarly spectacular Hollywood pass to Sanchez, who rounded Harper and passed the ball into the back of the net.
Fearing a red card for Livermore, Steve Bruce brought him off in favor of David Meyler at halftime. It was a positive change, with Meyler providing some more energy without any bookings.
The added energy helped lead to a goal for Hull, in the 56th minute. Laurent Koscielny won the ball during a Hull counter, but couldn't get up and recover in time to close down Ahmed Elmohamady, The latter played a cross towards the center of the box for Stephen Quinn, who headed into the back of the net.
Instead of sparking a comeback, that goal just served to wake up Arsenal. They started playing much better after that, keeping the ball well enough to prevent Hull from ever looking like they would score another goal.
Hull City: Harper, McShane, Dawson, Chester, Brady, Quinn (Jelavic 81'), Huddlestone, Livermore (Meyler 46'), Elmohamady, Aluko (Robertson 65'), N'Doye
Goals: Quinn (56')
Arsenal: Ospina, Monreal, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Bellerin, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey (Wilshere 68'), Özil, Giroud (Walcott 86'), Sanchez
Goals: Sanchez (28', 45'), Ramsey (33')
1. Hull looked awful from the start -- From the opening couple minutes, it was clear that Hull weren't going to put pressure on the ball, nor were they organized defensively or dangerous on the counter. They were just 11 bodies, and if Steve Bruce did put together any kind of coherent gameplan, his team never looked like they had intentions of executing it. They were just bad, and were always going to be bad.
2. Mesut Özil dominated without getting on the box score again -- An advanced playmaker is expected to rack up assists in big numbers, but Mesut Özil isn't exactly doing that. What he is doing is making the pass before the assist, starting attacks and helping his team keep possession in tough spots. He isn't on the box score, but once again, he was Arsenal's best player.
3. The Tigers need a win this weekend -- Hull finish the season away to Tottenham Hotspur, then at home against Manchester United. They don't want to be in a situation where they absolutely need a win in either of those games. They have to take all three points at home against Burnley.