Per Mertesacker was delighted with Arsenal’s showing at the KC on Monday night.

Hailing the display as ‘encouraging‘ he was quick to point out the role luck played in some of Arsenal’s goals but was his usual, straightforward self.

“Away from home, especially at Hull, we had to get the first goal and we were fortunate but we deserved it today because it was very encouraging and everyone contributed a lot”, the BFG told

“We conceded an early goal in the second half but after, we defended very well. I’m very pleased with that. We can be proud of our progress in the year 2015. Everyone is saying we have to finish strong but to deal with that pressure at the moment is really good. I’m really pleased.”

Alexis Sanchez grabbed a brace on the night, his 23rd and 24th of the season, but there’s no denying his first was helped by a massive deflection off Michael Dawson’s ex-Spud head.

“The first one was deflected but the second goal was a really good team effort as well. He went in behind and the ball came from Aaron so everyone contributes a lot,” Mertesacker continued. “I think that’s the most important – that we’re strong as a unit. After that game he stands out but that all comes from a massive unit.”

With Arsenal now in third place on goal, just behind City on a negligible goal difference with a game in hand, second place is within the Gunners grasp for the first time in ten years. Sealing automatic qualification for the Champions League is one of Arsenal’s two remaining priorities, as the vice captain explained

“We want to qualify directly – that’s the target after Chelsea won the league. We want to qualify directly and win the FA Cup. That’s our approach.”