The nice thing about the Premier League is that there are still 5 or 6 teams that are really bad, both in terms of quality and in terms of tactics. So it was that Arsenal were able to make one change from the side that played so awfully against PSG in the week and still run out comfortable winners. It was all fairly easy. Hull stood off Arsenal’s midfielders, and Santi Cazorla revels when he’s got 10 yards of space. Even Francis Coquelin is less infuriating.
Arsenal went 1-0 up after 17 minutes; Coquelin, playing his decoy, box to box what are you doing on the pitch role, mishit a shot, then passed to Theo Walcott. Walcott crossed for Iwobi, and his shot went in off of Alexis Sánchez. Minutes later it should’ve been two; Iwobi’s shot was parried straight out to Mesut Özil, who missed the open goal and fired over.
Hull themselves had a chance: Diomande easily skipped around The Decoy Coquelin at the edge of the D, and played the ball wide to Snodgrad, whose shot was saved by Petr Cech.
Arsenal had the chance to extend the lead at halftime: Coquelin’s goalbound shot, from Walcott’s cross, was blocked by Jake Livermore’s hand. Livermore was sent off, Arsenal had a penalty, but it was poorly taken by Alexis, and easily saved.
Hull were down to 10, though, and even with a B- midfield two, Arsenal should’ve run away with the game easily. It wasn’t quite easy, though: Cazorla was lucky not to be sent off, and was replaced on 63 minutes by Granit Xhaka, whose continued absence from the starting lineup is extremely bewildering.
Arsenal made it two before that, with a swift move that ended with Iwobi backheeling Walcott through, with his shot ending in the net via Harry Maguire’s head. It may have been going on target anyway, but we’ll leave that to the Dubious Goals Panel.
Hull got back into the match when Petr Cech conceded a penalty on 80 minutes, taking down the Hull striker Mbokani. It was poor from Cech, who again looked slow, and Snodgrass put the penalty away. Arsenal re-established the two goal lead, though. Alexis played in Theo Walcott, whose shot was saved, but came out to Alexis, who rounded the keeper then fired his shot into the top of the net.
And as the match came to a close, Granit Xhaka hit a 35-yard screamer. 4-1. Why is this dude on the bench again, Arsène?