Premier League - Arsenal easily beat Cup final rivals Hull

Premier League, KC Stadium – Hull City 0 Arsenal 3 (Ramsey 31, Podolski 45, 54)

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Premier League - Arsenal easily beat Cup final rivals Hull
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Lukas Podolski (Arsenal) celebrates after scoring at Hull City - Premier League 2013/14

Arsenal recorded a routine 3-0 victory over Hull City to extend their lead in the race for fourth place to four points.

Aaron Ramsey scored his sixth away goal of the season and Lukas Podolski continued his rich vein of form by notching a brace, his fifth goal in five games, to seal victory for Arsene Wenger's side.

Hull City may have been the better side in the first half but Arsenal's proficiency in front of goal proved to be the difference.

Ramsey opened the scoring on 31 minutes when he completed a vintage Arsenal move latching onto Santi Cazorla's through pass and smashing the ball past Steve Harper in City's goal.

There was a hint of controversy surrounding Arsenal's second goal after Nikica Jelavic fell under Mikel Arteta's challenge in the build up but there was no questioning Podolski's finish after he caught the ball superbly on the half volley to double his side's advantage.

Podolski added Arsenal's third nine minutes into the second-half after Harper initially saved a shot from Ramsey with his feet, but the rebound fell kindly to the German international who tapped home for Arsenal's third.

Victory aids Arsenal's hunt for Champions League football, while Hull are not safe just yet despite experiencing their best season - but one more win should ensure another in the top flight.

KEY EVENTS

5' - PLAY STOPPED! The strong wind blows over a load of advertising boards onto the pitch. Never a dull moment at the KC Stadium. Nice weather for Easter!

11' - PENALTY CLAIM! Ozil is clipped by Elmohamady in the penalty area but the referee waves play on. That could have went either way.

14' - CHANCE! Jelavic latches onto a quick Hull free-kick and unleashes a shot at goal but Szczesny does well to push the ball out for a corner.

18' - CHANCE! Arsenal almost punish Hull from a counter attack as Podolski finds himself with space on the flank, cuts in and powers a shot at goal which Harper blocks.

31' - GOAL! (Hull City 0-1 Arsenal): Brilliant, vintage Arsenal! Ramsey finishes a really good team move with Ozil and Cazorla playing a significant part in the build up.

34' - CHANCE! Livermore strikes the post from distant! So unlucky!

45' - GOAL! (Hull City 0-2 Arsenal): Arsenal double their lead with a fantastic goal! Giroud picks out Ramsey who controls the ball on his chest to line up Podolski who strikes the ball low into the net! Hull are outraged as they felt Jelavic was fouled by Arteta in the build up to the goal and they may have a point.

54' - GOAL! (Hull City 0-3 Arsenal): Game over! Harper initially saves Ramsey's shot with his feet but the rebound falls kindly to Podolski who taps home for Arsenal's third.

64' - OFF THE CROSSBAR! In a moment of madness, Harper hesitates to clear the ball and Giroud wins the ball but can only hit the crossbar with a sliding effort!

75' - CHANCE! Cazorla fizzes the free-kick delivery in which Mertesacker rises highest to but his header just goes narrowly over the crossbar.

77' - CHANCE! Fantastic strength and pace from Oxlade-Chamberlain allows him to find Ramsey who unleashes a shot at goal but Harper does well to save.

79' - CHANCE! Huddlestone forces Szczesny into a decent one handed save from just outside the area. Corner to Hull.

KEY STATS

Hull City have now lost 10 of their last 11 games against Arsenal in all competitions (W1).

The Tigers had conceded only five first half goals in their last 13 Premier League outings but conceded two in the opening 45 minutes today.

Oliver Giroud’s goal against West Ham in midweek was his 25th in the Premier League. Only seven of them have come away from home.

Aaron Ramsey has scored six away goals in the PL this season, twice as many as he managed in his five previous seasons combined.

Lukas Podolski has now scored five goals in his last five Premier League appearances.

TALKING POINT

Surely fourth place is now Arsenal's to lose? A commanding performance from Arsene Wenger's side means they are now four points ahead of Everton (before the match against Manchester United). The Frenchman has never finished outside of the Champions League spots and their destiny is now in their own hands with just three games to go. A repeat perfomance in the FA Cup final would conclude a successful season for the Gunners.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND PLAYER RATINGS

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MAN OF THE MATCH

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal): The young Welshman has been brilliant when fit and his return was met with yet another fantastic display. He scored one and laid on another and could have added to his tally. He positively contributed in every area of the pitch.

PLAYER RATINGS

HULL CITY: Harper 6, Elmohamady 7, Chester 6, Davies 6, Rosenior 6, Meyler 5, Huddlestone 6, Livermore 6, Boyd 5, Jelavic 6, Long 6. Substitutes: Koren 5, Fryatt 5, Quinn 6.

ARSENAL: Szczesny 7, Sagna 6, Mertesacker 7, Koscielny 6, Monreal 7, Arteta 7, Ramsey 9, Cazorla 8, Ozil 7, Podolski 8, Giroud 7. Substitutes: Flamini 6, Oxlade-Chamberlain 7, Sanogo 7.

MATCH IN A TWEET

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