Arsenal 3 Hull City 0

Last updated : 19 December 2009 By Footymad Previewer
Arsenal made the most of defeats for two of the supposed top-four, Manchester United and Liverpool, as they beat Hull City 3-0 in an ill-tempered encounter.

After Liverpool had lost at rock-bottom Portsmouth and United had been thrashed by Fulham earlier in the day, the Gunners moved to within two points of Sir Alex Ferguson's side and still have a game in hand on last term's champions.

There still appeared to be some bad blood between Arsene Wenger's side and the Tigers following their controversial FA Cup clash in March which ended with City alleging that Cesc Fabregas had spat in the direction of their assistant manager, Brian Horton.

A frustrating first half for the home side came to life just before the break when Samir Nasri appeared to stamp on Richard Garcia's foot, sparking a fracas among a host of players from both sides.

Almost immediately, and with the three minutes of first-half stoppage time almost up, Denilson curled in a fantastic 30-yard free-kick to give Wenger's side the perfect tonic.

However, Hull had not forgotten Nasri's action and scuffles continued as the half-time whistle went, with Richard Garcia confronting Nasri and stewards being forced to come in to help keep the two sides apart.

The visitors had the perfect chance to equalise eight minutes into the second half when they won a penalty after the hapless Mikael Silvestre brought down Craig Fagan.

However, Manuel Almunia saved Geovanni's weak penalty and from that moment on there was only going to be one winner.

Arsenal soon doubled their advantage when Abou Diaby surged forward before setting up Eduardo to net a simple second.

Abou Diaby lashed in a 79th-minute third goal after exchanging passes with Andrey Arshavin to put a gloss on the final scoreline which flattered the Gunners.

Hull almost snatched a consolation goal when Stephen Hunt was denied by Almunia while, at the other end, Arsenal substitute Theo Walcott sent a lob inches wide and Aaron Ramsay also went close to making it 4-0.