Gun­ners cruise over Hull City

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

ALEXIS Sanchez scored twice as Arsenal se­cured three con­sec­u­tive Premier League wins for the first time in nine months with a 4-1 vic­tory at Hull City on Septem­ber 17.

Sanchez could even af­ford to miss a first-half penalty at the KCom Sta­dium – where Hull were re­duced to 10 men – as the Gun­ners con­tin­ued their re­cov­ery fol­low­ing a slow start to the sea­son which saw them take only a point from their first two games.

Sanchez now has six goals in five ap­pear­ances against the Tigers, whose fine early-sea­son form has de­serted them, not helped by the club’s on­go­ing take-over talks and con­tin­ued uncer­tainty over the fu­ture of care­taker man­ager Mike Phe­lan, who is yet to ac­cept an of­fer to take the role full-time.

Arsenal’s prob­lems from the penalty spot con­tin­ued as Sanchez missed the sec­ond of the four they’ve been awarded this sea­son af­ter Hull de­fender Jake Liver­more was or­dered off shortly be­fore half-time for hand­ball.

Theo Wal­cott’s deftly chipped fin­ish 10 min­utes into the sec­ond half as the for­ward sprinted onto a per­fectly weighted back­heel from Alex Iwobi en­sured there was to be no stir­ring come­back from the hosts.

To their credit, Hull made light of their nu­mer­i­cal dis­ad­van­tage and pulled a goal back when Robert Sn­od­grass con­verted a penalty af­ter Arsenal goal­keeper Petr Cech had been pe­nalised for bring­ing down Dieumerci Mbokani.

Sanchez made sure of the points four min­utes later, pow­er­ing home his side’s third af­ter Wal­cott took the Chile for­ward’s pass in his stride, only to see his shot blocked by El­din Jakupovic, the re­bound fall­ing invit­ingly for Arsenal’s out­stand­ing per­former.

Granit Xhaka, a sec­ond-half sub­sti­tute, pro­vided Wenger with a re­minder of his tal­ents with a stop­page­time fourth, the sum­mer ar­rival form Borus­sia Monchenglad­bach find­ing the top cor­ner in im­pres­sive style from 30 me­tres af­ter ac­cept­ing a pass from Mo­hamed El­neny.

Arsenal should have had more than a 17th-minute strike by Sanchez to show for their first-half dom­i­nance.

Jakupovic man­aged only to ap­ply a weak parry to a driven cross from Wal­cott into the path of Iwobi, whose shot from 12 me­tres found the net via a min­i­mal though sig­nif­i­cant touch from Sanchez, who was lurk­ing six me­tres out.

Sanchez had al­ready fired over from close range from Wal­cott›s invit­ing cut-back, and Jakupovic pro­duced a stun­ning save low to his right to block Hec­tor Bel­leriny’s pow­er­fully struck shot, with Me­sut Ozil blaz­ing the re­bound over.

The for­tunes of Jakupovic con­tin­ued on an up­ward curve af­ter Liver­more’s straight red card for block­ing a goal­bound Fran­cis Co­quelin shot five min­utes be­fore the break.

With reg­u­lar penalty-taker Santi Ca­zorla – who has scored his last seven from the spot – look­ing on, Sanchez saw his ef­fort saved by Jakupovic low to his right.

Hull, who be­came the first club since As­ton Villa eight years ago to name an un­changed line-up in their first five Premier League games, rarely looked likely to end their 101-year wait for a home vic­tory against the Lon­don­ers.

They cre­ated only one mo­ment of dan­ger in the first half, Sn­od­grass shoot­ing tamely at the re­called Cech from 15 me­tres at the cul­mi­na­tion of a neat four-man move.

Wal­cott’s first goal since the open­ing week­end de­feat by Liver­pool en­sured Sanchez wasn’t left to pon­der on his penalty miss for too long.

And although Abel Her­nan­dez sent an ac­ro­batic kick against the bar, Hull posed only a spo­radic threat un­til the late penalty from Sn­od­grass as the vis­i­tors made it 26 con­sec­u­tive games with­out de­feat against newly pro­moted teams. –

Photo: EPA

Arsenal’s Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez has his penalty saved dur­ing the English Premier League foot­ball match be­tween Hull City and Arsenal at the KCom Sta­dium in Kingston upon Hull, Eng­land, on Septem­ber 17.

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