Arsenal eased past Hull and into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 0-3 win at the KC on Tuesday night.
Apart from the goal, the first half was a bit of a snooze-fest. Although we had a bit of possession, as usual, we didn’t do a whole lot with it.
Joel Campbell tried a looping shot with left boot but went wide and apart from that, we didn’t look as if we were really going to score.
Play was halted thanks to head collision between Mertesacker and Powell, which forced us into an early change in the 32nd minute for Nacho Monreal.
Arsenal continued to see the majority of the ball but were tentative around the area.
The hairiest moment came when when Hull crossed into the box and we forgot how to defend, sending the ball bouncing around in the danger zone. Luckily we managed to keep it out of the goal thanks to a brilliant save from David Ospina.
A personal highlight of the first half was Theo Walcott taking quite possibly the worst corner I’ve ever seen when he completely missed not only every Arsenal player but the entire area.
Finally a misplaced pass from David Meyler acted as a lovely assist for Olivier Giroud to simply tap in expertly past the goalkeeper. Kieran Gibbs then had amazing go a minute later, rattling the bar.
Arsenal were a little more lively and direct in the second half, despite the referee doing his best to stop play to wave a card in someone’s face every five seconds. However, both teams looked a little leggy and wasteful.
Gabriel was subbed off with what appears to be another muscular injury for the Arsenal squad, leaving the most makeshift defence we’ve perhaps ever played, and an almost-Own goal from Aaron Ramsey, Gab’s replacement, reminded us that we weren’t out of the woods yet.
Despite our patchwork team, Giroud scored a stunner in the 71st minute to bring the scoreline to 2-0. Theo Walcott, who’d been anonymous for most of the match, slid a peach of assist across the box and the Frenchman couldn’t miss. He slammed it on the half-volley into the net to complete his brace.
The mood was tempered somewhat when Ramsey had to replaced in the aftermath of the goal with either a shoulder or thigh injury depending on which media outlet you listened to (we’ll have more on all the injuries on site as soon as we get the info).
Then Theo popped up to score himself, sealing the game with a lovely Henry-esque finish just a few minutes after setting Giroud up for his second. An assist and a goal for the player who had been largely absent from the entire game.
Ole’s started to come from the Arsenal fans as it was clear the tie was done for Hull. They have more important concerns ahead.
But the Gunners weren’t done. There was still time for Walcott to grab his brace, latching on to an Iwobi pass to slam the ball low and hard past Jakupovic’s near post. Somebody had found Theo’s ‘on’ switch.
Next up for Arsenal? Watford in the quarter final – one step away from yet another Wembley appearance.
It was a costly win picking up three injuries, but hopefully one that restores Giroud and Walcott’s belief in themselves.