Hull City 0 Arsenal 4
Giroud 41, 71, Walcott 77, 78

Arsenal stormed into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a demolition of Hull City at the KC Stadium in Tuesday night’s 5th round replay. Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott bagged respective doubles as the Gunners recorded their first win in five games in all competitions. With one eye on their first leg Champions League tie against Barcelona, in their encounter at the Emirates stadium against Hull, Arsenal played what appeared to be within themselves, which produced a goal-less draw. Both managers didn’t particularly want this replay, however scoring four, keeping a clean sheet and recording a win will boost the Gunners’ confidence when they now host Watford in the FA last 16 on Sunday. The Premier League game against West Browmich Albion will now have to be re-scheduled as Arsenal continue their ambitions to retain the FA Cup for consecutive seasons and become the first team to win three FA Cup finals in the modern era. Per Mertersacker, Aaron Ramsey, and Gabriel however may not feature at the weekend as the trio sustained injuries at Hull.

Winning has become a rarity of late for Arsene Wenger’s side, as has Giroud’s goalscoring. Not having netted in 11 games, the France striker pounced on David Meyler’s back pass to give the Gunners a lead they would not relinquish. Walcott has been a shadow of the player he has been for club and country, and some sections would concur that Joel Campbell has now usurped the England man as well as the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. On recent form it would be hard to dispute that theory, but the Gunners have to get themselves out of their Premier League muddle, while looking to retain the FA Cup and also try to see off Barcelona at the Nou Camp next week. Tall orders maybe, but Arsenal have it within themselves to dig deep and pull of favourable results when it is absolutely vital. The trick is to do that when it is routine and it is that part which Wenger has to get across.

Hull have their priorities of which the number one is a Premier League return. They sat back and defended despite being a goal behind. The tactic may have frustrated Arsenal, but in the 71st minute, Giroud pounced again to guide Walcott’s cross to double his and his side’s lead. Campbell continued his fine form and will be a valued player at the business end of the season. The Costa Rican set up Walcott who side footed home for a 3-0 scoreline, before rifling in an Arsenal fourth a minute before the end. The win stretches the Gunners FA Cup winning run to 16 games and Giroud – who became a father for the second time on Monday night will be happy not only with the birth of his new son, but also the finding of the net too.

Wenger was pleased with the FA Cup progression and after the match he praised Giroud for his desire to play after his family addition. ” I think in the end you make a decision and you hope it is the right one. I made the decision to play him and he wants to always play and all the other players want to play and that is quite normal. People are sometimes surprised that players want to play. Believe me, you don’t play at that level if you don’t want to play.

” Giroud had gone a while without a goal and that will help him tonight. He became (the father) of a young boy last night and that will certainly give him euphoria. Walcott scored which is good as well,” said Wenger, who will go into their FA Cup quarter-final against Watford on Sunday with the Arsenal manager still demanding the north london derby confidence spirit to see his side through.

” We had a great game on Saturday ( in the 2-2 at Spurs ), and I was quite amazed by the response we got from that game. Overall, I believe that we do not always need confidence, you can play well when your confidence is not at the highest. Our job is to play and I believe that we have a great spirit in the team and we have shown that again tonight.”