Giroud, Chambers and Elneny impress as Arsenal coast past Hull
Arsenal ended a run of five games without a win with an emphatic victory over Hull to take them into the FA Cup quarterfinals. The result means that instead of a Premier League match with West Brom this weekend, Arsene Wenger's men will now host Watford in the cup on Sunday.
The Gunners are celebrating thanks to two goals apiece from Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott but the win did not come without a cost as Per Mertesacker, Gabriel Paulista and Aaron Ramsey were all forced off with injury.
Player Ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK David Ospina, 7 -- Arsenal's deputy goalkeeper is restoring his reputation in Petr Cech's absence. After an impressive performance in the derby vs. Tottenham, Ospina looked quietly authoritative again against Hull. With a match at Barcelona to come, though, sterner tests lie ahead of the Colombian stopper.
DF Calum Chambers, 8 -- He acquitted himself well in two positions. Having begun the game at full-back, he later switched infield to centre-half. Chambers looked more comfortable in the middle and that's surely where his future will lie.
DF Per Mertesacker, 6 -- Arsenal's giant German centre-back will have a sore head tonight. After an early clash with Nick Powell, he tried to play on but was ultimately substituted and Wenger reported that he had suffered a concussion.
DF Gabriel Paulista, 6 -- He went down with a muscular injury in the second half and Wenger will be praying that Laurent Koscielny is able to make a swift return, to lessen what is becoming a defensive injury crisis.
DF Kieran Gibbs, 7 -- The Englishman will be grateful for another opportunity at left-back. The form of Nacho Monreal have made opportunities difficult to come by but Gibbs looked solid enough. He also almost scored a quite incredible goal but his 30-yard curled shot clipped off the top of the crossbar.
MF Mathieu Flamini, 7 -- The veteran Frenchman showed his adaptability, starting in central midfield before switching to right-back after the injury to Gabriel. It wasn't a particularly eye-catching performance but his versatility helped Arsenal to a welcome clean sheet.
MF Mohamed Elneny, 8 -- This was probably Elneny's best performance in an Arsenal shirt. He was hugely energetic, covering plenty of ground and constantly offering an option to the back four. On the evidence of the last two games, he deserves to be in the first team until Santi Cazorla returns from injury.
MF Alex Iwobi, 8 -- Arsenal have a special talent here. What marks Iwobi out is not just his immaculate technique; it's that he continually wants the ball. For a player so young to take on the No. 10 role with such authority is incredibly impressive. The Nigerian looks as if he could play a major part in the Arsenal squad for years to come.
FW Joel Campbell, 7 -- The Costa Rican has arguably been one of Arsenal's best performers of 2016 thus far and the most surprising thing about his game has been his ability to pick out precise through balls, as he did again with the pass to Walcott for Arsenal's third. Campbell deserves another chance against Watford.
FW Theo Walcott, 7 -- This might seem like a relatively low score for a player who finished with two goals -- both of which he took well -- and an assist to his name, but Walcott was poor for much of the night, dribbling into trouble and losing the ball repeatedly.
FW Olivier Giroud, 7 -- After an 11-game run without a goal, Giroud could not have wished to face a more accommodating opponent than David Meyler. Hull's skipper played a foolish pass right across goal, allowing the simplest of tap-ins. Giroud added a second later, volleying home his 20th of the season with his right foot from Walcott's deflected cross.
DF Nacho Monreal, 7 -- Came on for the wounded Mertesacker and put in a solid performance at centre-half.
MF Aaron Ramsey, 5 -- Replaced Gabriel before succumbing to an injury of his own.
MF Jeff Reine-Adelaide, NR -- Came on for Ramsey and once again looked like an intriguing talent.