Sanchez nets 2 as Arsenal beats Hull 3-1 in Premier League
HULL, England (AP) — Alexis Sanchez scored twice as Arsenal effectively secured Champions League football for an 18th straight year by beating Hull 3-1 Monday in the Premier League.
The win means Arsenal is nine points ahead of fifth-place Liverpool, which has three games left to play. Third-place Arsenal also has a game in hand and a better goal difference.
Arsenal put the game away during a 20-minute span in the first half as Sanchez scored with a deflected free kick in the 28th minute and Aaron Ramsey doubled the lead when he ran onto Santi Cazorla’s long pass to score with another deflected shot in the 33rd. Ramsey then played Sanchez clear just before halftime and the Chile striker rounded goalkeeper Steve Harper to score into an open net.
Stephen Quinn pulled one back for Hull with a header in the 57th but Steve Bruce’s team remained just one point above the relegation zone.
Arsenal is tied on points with second-place Manchester City with a game in hand as it looks to finish in the top two for the first time in 10 years, behind already crowned champion Chelsea.
“We created many chances,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “Overall you could see a good dynamic in the team.”
Arsenal dominated the midfield in the first half with aggressive pressing and a fluid passing game, and the visitors took the lead after Sanchez was fouled by Jake Livermore outside the area. The Chilean’s free kick deflected off Michael Dawson’s head to wrongfoot Harper and fly into the net.
Five minutes later, Cazorla’s perfectly lofted pass picked out Ramsey, who turned and fired past Harper with the aid of a heavy deflection off Robbie Brady’s leg.
The impressive Cazorla played in Sanchez again shortly afterward, but he failed in his attempt to lift the ball over Harper.
Sanchez was not to be denied a second, however, as Ramsey played in the striker, who took the ball around 40-year-old Harper before slotting in a calm finish.
Bruce’s response was to send on Irish midfielder David Meyler in the second half, and he played a significant part as Hull pulled one back. He clattered into Francis Coquelin and while Arsenal protested, Ahmed Elmohamady played in a superb cross that Quinn met with a stooping header than bounced past David Ospina.
Hull could really have been back in the game when McShane sent a bullet header over the crossbar but rarely threatened again.
The Gunners received a further boost when Jack Wilshere made his first return to action since an ankle operation in November, coming on for Ramsey.