- Sanchez’s handball, PK seals win
- Arsenal up to third in PL table
- Hull go close through Niasse
Arsenal labored to a 2-0 victory against Hull City on Saturday at the Emirates Stadium as Arsene Wenger‘s men got back to winning ways following two-straight defeats.
The only goal of the game came in controversial fashion as Alexis Sanchez knocked the ball over the line with his hand from close range.
Hull huffed and puffed against a nervous looking Arsenal side but the Gunners held on and then grabbed a penalty kick in stoppage time which Sanchez scored after Sam Clucas was sent off for handling on the line.
Watching on from the stands, Wenger saw his side seal their first PL victory in three games to stay in the top four hunt and restore some confidence. With the win Arsenal momentarily move up to third in the PL table and have 50 points, while Hull remain in 18th place and in the final relegation spot with 20 points.
[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]
Arsenal dictated play early on as Sanchez was set free but hit his shot straight at Eldin Jakupovic. At the other end Hull spurned a glorious chance early on as Lazar Markovic raced free down the right and crossed for Oumar Niasse but the on-loan striker from Everton got his run wrong at the pivotal moment.
Hull continued to look dangerous on the break and a wonderful cross from Kamil Grosicki on the left found Niasse but his header was tipped over by Petr Cech.
Arsenal finally started to wake up as Hector Bellerin drove a shot just wide of the near post on the right side of the box, then Sanchez pulled an effort just wide of the far post.
Theo Walcott had a shot blocked by Clucas before half time as Arsenal pinned Hull back and eventually broke through in the 34th minute. Kieran Gibbs‘ shot was blocked on the line by Andrew Robertson and Sanchez bundled the ball home after Jakpuovic tried to clear.
On closer inspection the ball appeared to accidentally strike Sanchez on the hand and go in, but the goal stood and Arsenal went in 1-0 up at the break.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
In the second half things got lovely as Francis Coquelin was clattered into and then Walcott got fired up when he thought he was fouled, earning himself a yellow card. Hull had a decent chance as Markovic found Niasse but Cech saved his effort.
Markovic was also taken out by Gibbs who was booked but Hull felt that referee Mark Clattenburg could have sent Gibbs off as he was the last man. The Tigers had a point.
Alex Iwobi curled an effort just over the bar as Arsenal started to find gaps on the break but there was nervous tension around the Emirates as the Gunners entered the final stages with just a one goal advantage.
[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]
Niasse headed into the side-netting late on as Hull pushed for an equalizer, with substitute Adama Diomande heading over from a corner.
With the final major action of the match Sanchez raced clear and Jakupovic came off his line to try and close the Chilean down. The Arsenal forward sent in a perfect cross for Lucas Perez to head into an empty net but his header was blocked by Clucas’ arm on the line and he was sent off and the Gunners had a penalty kick.
Sanchez dispatched the spot kick for his and Arsenal’s second in a timely yet somewhat unconvincing win.