Back

Alexis Sanchez inspires Arsenal victory over Hull in FA Cup

Arsenal fans can finally relax. After seven years, the club finally has someone who can adequately replace Thierry Henry. Alexis Sanchez produced a performance of the highest quality, as the Gunners beat Hull City 2-0 in the third round of the FA Cup.

It took only four minutes to carve out a credible chance. Impeccable movement off the ball by Sanchez allowed Joel Campbell to run into his vacated space, as the two combined with neat interplay, only for the Costa Rican attacker’s tame finish to be kicked away by goalkeeper Steve Harper.

Five minutes later, the sublime Sanchez went close again. Chasing back 10 yards to win the ball back with Hull about to mount an attack, Arsenal came forward once more. Superb movement and one touch football from the Chilean culminated in him receiving the ball six yards out. His first effort was blocked, though his second was pure nerve. Dinking the ball over Harper, he narrowly cleared the crossbar as the Tigers heaved a sigh of relief.

On 20 minutes the breakthrough came. A corner, whipped in by Sanchez, no less, was met by the head of World Cup winning centre back Per Mertesacker who nodded in from close range. Two minutes later, Arsenal nearly doubled their lead. Tomas Rosicky played a cute ball through for Sanchez who rounded Harper, only to see his shot excellently cleared off the line by Paul McShane who slid to prevent the goal.

The only clear cut chance for the visitors in the first half came courtesy of Harry Maguire, whose header nearly caught David Ospina out, before the Colombian got down well.

Arsene Wenger’s only worry at half time, was trying to figure out how to fix the zip on his coat, which he had failed to do up in the first period, so it was business as usual after the break. Although Hull did attempt to come back into it, there was the suggestion that maybe the Gunners were happy to settle for a victory by a single goal.

However, with Santi Cazorla, who had been so crucial in the first half, playing to his best and Theo Walcott starting his first match since recovering from injury, it was soon clear that they had other intentions. While Walcott went close, darting through on goal, only to miscue his chip, Sanchez hit the target.

Played into him on the edge of the area with his back to goal, he swivelled and pulled the trigger to fizz the shot into the far corner past the floundering Harper.

A well deserved victory for Arsenal, who go into the draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup.