Alexis Sanchez eased some of the pressure on Arsene Wenger as Arsenal managed a 2-0 victory over Hull City
Alexis Sanchez’s fortuitous goal gave the Gunners a first-half lead after Arsenal saw a series of chances wasted. Sanchez clearly handled the ball after a rebound off a Hull City player, although the Chilean arguably had no time to react and did not look to have deliberately handled it.
Referee Mark Clattenburg allowed the goal and Arsenal went into half-time with a 1-0 lead. The Gunners had to fight to hold on against a spirited Hull but were able to put the game to bed in stoppage time after Sam Clucas deliberately blocked a header from Lucas Perez on the line. The midfielder was sent off and Sanchez made no mistake with the penalty.
The result eases some of the pressure on Arsene Wenger after poor showings from Arsenal in recent fixtures and the manager was pleased with his side’s resilience after the game, while admitting that Sanchez’s goal could have been ruled out.
“I felt we were resilient, focused,” Wenger told Sky Sports, according to TEAMtalk. “It was not easy against a good side. There was an edgy atmosphere but as a player you have to cope with that. Maybe (Sanchez’s goal was unfairly given). Sorry for that but I cannot influence that.”
“Our job is not to focus too much on what is said and focus on what we are responsible – the performance on the pitch.”
While the game itself wasn’t particularly exciting, Arsenal did have to overcome some nervy moments as Hull looked to exploit the Gunners’ recent fragility. Even after Sanchez’s opener, the Gunners still looked uncomfortable at times.
Wenger will be glad that his side have finally got some luck coming their way as Arsenal have been in desperate need of some positivity following back-to-back defeats against Watford and league leaders Chelsea.
The result means that Arsenal have now moved into third place in the table tied on points with second-placed Tottenham Hotspurs – albeit temporarily as Manchester City will only play their fixture on Monday against Bournemouth.
Liverpool and Tottenham face off tonight at Anfield and depending on the result there, Arsenal could put some distance between them and the Reds or maintain the pace with their fierce rivals from North London.