Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott braces see Arsenal through

Tuesday 08 Mar 2016
Olivier Giroud celebrates his first goal - and a new arrival in his family

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger breathed a huge sigh of relief on Humberside as the Emirates FA Cup holders progressed against Hull City thanks to doubles from Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott.

Wenger has experienced a difficult time of late, losing in the Champions League against Barcelona and falling further behind in the Premier League to Leicester City, with the Gunners winless in five prior to the trip to Hull and stuttering in front of goal.

Hull City 0-4 Arsenal

Emirates FA Cup 
Fifth round replay
KC Stadium
Tuesday 8 February 2016

Despite a defensive crisis in which Per Mertesacker and Gabriel both departed with injuries either side of the break, while Aaron Ramsey also limped off, the Cup holders edged into the last eight to face Watford.

Arsenal enjoyed the first sight of goal after 10 minutes – Alex Iwobi created the opening for Wenger’s men but Joel Campbell could only direct his effort wide of goal.

The game was held up on 17 minutes as Mertesacker and Nick Powell suffered a clash of heads, with the giant German defender coming off worse – he was replaced 15 minutes later by Nacho Monreal.

For all of their dominance of possession and territory, Arsenal created very little in the opening 30 minutes and were thankful to goalkeeper David Ospina as he produced a magnificent low save from David Meyler after a goalmouth scramble.

Giroud has been experiencing a lean time in front of goal in recent weeks but the Frenchman could not believe his luck on 41 minutes as a stray backpass from Meyler landed straight at his feet and the striker made no mistake.   

Arsenal, who have won each of their last five visits to Hull, thought they had extended their lead before the break as a long range effort from England left-back Kieran Gibbs crashed against the woodwork from distance.

Mohamed Elneny had an audacious attempt to extend Arsenal’s lead after 51 minutes but his volley from range was tipped over the bar by Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic.

Arsenal’s defensive crisis deepened before the hour mark as Wenger’s only remaining recognised central defender Gabriel limped off leaving a makeshift back four that included Mathieu Flamini at full-back. 

Hull came within a whisker of levelling on 65 minutes but Ramsey’s defensive header flew agonisingly inches wide of the Arsenal goal.

Despite Hull pressure Arsenal effectively wrapped up the Cup tie on 71 minutes as Walcott broke down the left and crossed for Giroud to bury his second of the game from close range.

While the Gunners were still celebrating though the goal came at some cost for Wenger as Ramsey pulled up in the build-up and limped off with an injury.  

Arsenal added their third goal of the night on 77 minutes as Campbell supplied a glorious through ball and Walcott controlled before firing past Jakupovic on the break. 

The visitors dominated the final few minutes of the game, with Walcott adding the gloss to the scoreline, hammering home Arsenal’s fourth game of the night on 89 minutes at the near post.

Hull City (4-2-3-1): Eldin Jakupovic; Curtis Davies, Alex Bruce, Harry Maguire, Ahmed Elmohamady; Tom Huddlestone, Mohamed Diame; Moses Obudajo, David Meyler, Nick Powell; Adama Diomande.

Substitutes: Sone Aluko for Meyler on 58, Andrew Robertson for Obudajo on 81, Ryan Taylor for Diomande on 88.

Substitutes not used: Dusan Kuciak, Josh Tymon, Abel Henandez, Jake Livermore. 

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): David Ospina; Calum Chambers, Per Mertesacker, Gabriel, Kieran Gibbs; Mathieu Flamini, Mohamed Elneny; Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi, Joel Campbell; Olivier Giroud.

Substitutes: Nacho Monreal for Mertesacker on 33, Aaron Ramsey for Gabriel on 57, Jeff Reine-Adelaide for Ramsey on 72.

Substitutes not used: Matt Macey, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Chris Willock.

Goals: Giroud 41, 71, Walcott 77, 89.

Referee: Mike Jones.

Attendance: 20,993.

By FA Staff