Hull City have been making an honest attempt to escape the relegation zone, but they were unlucky to meet a Arsenal team in devastating form in last night’s clash at the KC Stadium. Alexis Sanchez’s two goals and Aaron Ramsey’s strike put Arsenal comfortably into a 3-0 lead at the break, and the second half was played out at a sedentary pace.
Arsene Wenger was understandably pleased after the match: “We set ourselves the target to continue our run but also to continue to make progress as a team, because we feel we have made progress during the season. Tonight was a demonstration that we can improve and that we can keep the quality very high. We played the kind of football we love to play and we played it for long periods of the game with the quality we desire.
“The surprising thing of the night is that we scored the goal that we didn’t necessarily deserve to score and we missed the chances we should have scored.
“Before the game I thought that it would be a very difficult game. We certainly had a few turning points – the fact that we scored first, the fact that our defenders were calm on the ball and that we could always dictate our technical level. Never were we under real pressure. We got out of tight situations with good technical skills and that took the pressure off our team, and we always looked like we could create something with the speedy movement of our players.”
We are now eleven games unbeaten, and with a five point gap down to Manchester United and a game in hand over City, it looks like we only have to avoid defeat at Old Trafford to secure second place. Is Wenger happy with that? “Yes, for me, yes. We want to finish as high as you can. Our competitive attitude is to finish looking at ourselves thinking that we have given the maximum until the last day – that’s what it is about. It will be tight. Tonight we only secured top four but let’s see if we can maintain the run and the quality.”
And of course the reporters just had to ask Le Prof if he thought the Gunners could go on to win next seasons’s title? “Ask me that question in August.” he replied. “Give me a little breather until August. What is at stake now is to finish the season well. If we maintain our run then we will finish second and we still have the FA Cup final – we will see where we are after that.
“We gave absolutely everything to come back into it and there were a few turning points. The first one was us not starting the season well and the second was maybe the QPR game where Chelsea never had any doubt in their mind. Sometimes when you go for the title and you win these types of games, it convinces you that it is your year. Chelsea didn’t drop points at QPR or against Manchester United – they were very consistent and only lost two games.
“We need to continue to win our games like we’re doing now. I’m not a prophet. That is unpredictable and nobody knows how strong the team will be at the start of the season. What’s important is that you go out of the season by thinking we have made progress, we have moved forward and that the confidence is high. We need to start strong again next year. Who will be there fighting for the championship next season? It’s difficult to know.”
All we want now is to keep the run going, pick up the FA Cup again, and start next season the way we are finishing this one. In style!