Arsenal kept control of the destiny of the fourth and final Champions League spot as Lukas Podolski scored twice in an easy Premier League win at Hull.

Arsenal stay a point clear of Everton - who beat Manchester United - but nearly conceded to a Shane Long effort.

The Gunners took control as Santi Cazorla set up Aaron Ramsey to fire in and Podolski buried a half-volley.

Podolski turned in a loose ball after the break and Hull never threatened to peg back their FA Cup final opponents.

Gunners controlled the game - Wenger

The two teams will meet again at Wembley on 17 May and Hull's fans began the afternoon by reminding their opponents of their 100% record at the venue, having won the 2008 Championship play-off final, and the recent FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield United.

The Tigers will have to perform a lot better if they are to stifle a rejuvenated Arsenal in next month's encounter, though, and still have a faint threat of relegation hanging over them.

Steve Bruce's side are six points above the drop zone but have three away games - at Fulham, Aston Villa and Manchester United - before finishing their league campaign at home to Champions League-chasing Everton.

Still wary of relegation threat - Bruce

Arsenal will hope to finish their own season by not only securing fourth spot but repeating this victory to clinch their first silverware in nine years.

Achieving those aims might be enough to persuade manager Arsene Wenger to extend a contract that expires at the end of the season.

Played in blustery conditions which caused an early hold-up in play as advertising hoardings were blown across the pitch, and against opponents committed to pressing high and hard, this match had the potential to be a tough one for the Gunners.

But apart from a couple of early opportunities for Hull, most notably when Long cleared the bar from a tight angle and Jake Livermore drilled against the post from distance, Arsenal looked secure.

Jake Livermore helps clear the pitch

Hull players clear the pitch after hoardings blow onto the playing surface

The visitors' opening goal arrived as Mesut Ozil, a peripheral figure on his first start in six weeks, fed Cazorla and the Spaniard poked a well-weighted pass through for a surging Ramsey to apply the finish.

Ramsey only returned to action earlier this month after a thigh injury picked up on Boxing Day, and showed the attacking intelligence that Arsenal have often missed in his absence.

With half-time looming referee Jonathan Moss ignored appeals for a foul as Nikica Jelavic went down in a challenge with Mikel Arteta, Arsenal swept upfield and Ramsey's chested lay-off gave Podolski the space to fire a crisp shot into the bottom corner.

Rambo returns

Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey had the most touches (104), shots (four), and the joint-highest number of shots on target (three) against Hull

Nine minutes after the break, the German's second all but ended the game as a contest.

Again Hull failed to shut down the space once Arsenal smuggled the ball through their first line of defence and Cazorla had time to look up at the byeline and pick out Ramsey on the edge of the box.

Steve Harper could only parry the Welshman's first-time effort back out into the six-yard box and Podolski was first to the loose ball to notch his fifth in as many games.

Arsenal could have had more. Olivier Giroud hit the bar after a misjudgement by Harper, Per Mertesacker nodded just over, and Ramsey brought a good save out of the Hull goalkeeper.

Oddly, Arsenal's win makes Hull's qualification for Europe more likely.

If Arsenal make the Champions League, they will no longer need the place in the Europa League which is reserved for the FA Cup winners.

That spot would go to Hull - regardless of whether they are victorious in next month's Wembley showcase.

The race for Champions League qualification

Arsenal Everton

Monday 28 April: Newcastle (a)

Saturday 26 April: Southampton (a)

Sunday 4 May: West Brom (h)

Saturday 3 May: Man City (h)

Sunday 11 May: Norwich (a)

Sunday 11 May: Hull (a)

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

Hull City

  • 22 Harper
  • 27 Elmohamady
  • 02 Rosenior
  • 08 Huddlestone
  • 05 Chester
  • 06 Davies
  • 07 Meyler Booked
  • 14 Livermore
  • 21 Long (Fryatt - 45' )
  • 18 Jelavic (Quinn - 70' )
  • 17 Boyd (Koren - 84' )

Substitutes

  • 03 Figueroa
  • 04 Bruce
  • 10 Koren
  • 12 Fryatt
  • 16 Jakupovic
  • 20 Sagbo
  • 29 Quinn

Arsenal

  • 01 Szczesny
  • 03 Sagna
  • 17 Monreal
  • 16 Ramsey
  • 04 Mertesacker Booked
  • 06 Koscielny
  • 19 Cazorla
  • 08 Arteta
  • 12 Giroud (Oxlade-Chamberlain - 74' )
  • 11 Özil (Flamini - 61' )
  • 09 Podolski (Sanogo - 84' )

Substitutes

  • 07 Rosicky
  • 15 Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 20 Flamini
  • 21 Fabianski
  • 22 Sanogo
  • 25 Jenkinson
  • 29 Källström
Ref: Jonathan Moss
Att: 24,762

Match Stats

Shots

13 12

On target

4 6

Corners

7 0

Fouls

10 7

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Hull City 0, Arsenal 3.

90:00 +3:59 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Hull City 0, Arsenal 3.

90:00 +3:31

Offside, Hull City. Curtis Davies tries a through ball, but Matty Fryatt is caught offside.

90:00 +2:12

Offside, Hull City. Stephen Quinn tries a through ball, but Matty Fryatt is caught offside.

90:00 +1:32

Attempt missed. Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Bacary Sagna.

87:11

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Per Mertesacker.

85:22

Attempt saved. Matty Fryatt (Hull City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by David Meyler.

83:50 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Arsenal. Yaya Sanogo replaces Lukas Podolski.

83:42 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hull City. Robert Koren replaces George Boyd.

80:14

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

80:14

Foul by Tom Huddlestone (Hull City).

78:01

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Wojciech Szczesny.

77:59

Attempt saved. Tom Huddlestone (Hull City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Stephen Quinn.

77:15

Foul by Lukas Podolski (Arsenal).

77:15

Stephen Quinn (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:58

Attempt saved. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

74:37

Attempt missed. Per Mertesacker (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla with a cross following a set piece situation.

73:55

Hand ball by Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull City).

73:22 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Arsenal. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Olivier Giroud.

72:34

Foul by Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal).

72:34

David Meyler (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:06 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hull City. Stephen Quinn replaces Nikica Jelavic.

66:18

Foul by Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal).

66:18

Jake Livermore (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

65:15

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

65:15

Foul by Tom Huddlestone (Hull City).

63:47

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box.

62:03

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

61:16

Delay in match Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) because of an injury.

60:25 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Arsenal. Mathieu Flamini replaces Mesut Özil.

59:20

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Laurent Koscielny.

59:19

Attempt blocked. Nikica Jelavic (Hull City) header from a difficult angle on the left is blocked. Assisted by George Boyd with a cross.

58:53

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Per Mertesacker.

58:51

Attempt blocked. Nikica Jelavic (Hull City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

53:19 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Hull City 0, Arsenal 3. Lukas Podolski (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

53:17

Attempt saved. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla.

51:14

Foul by Mikel Arteta (Arsenal).

51:14

Matty Fryatt (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

48:13

Foul by Nacho Monreal (Arsenal).

48:13

Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

47:14

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Laurent Koscielny.

47:10

Attempt missed. Matty Fryatt (Hull City) header from the left side of the box misses to the right.

45:36

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:36

Foul by Jake Livermore (Hull City).

45:00

Second Half begins Hull City 0, Arsenal 2.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Hull City. Matty Fryatt replaces Shane Long.

45:00 +4:02 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Hull City 0, Arsenal 2.

45:00 +1:32

Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla.

44:56 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Hull City 0, Arsenal 2. Lukas Podolski (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.

43:55

Attempt saved. Shane Long (Hull City) with an attempt from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Liam Rosenior with a cross.

42:32

Attempt missed. Shane Long (Hull City) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Ahmed Elmohamady with a cross.

41:44

Dangerous play by Mesut Özil (Arsenal).

41:44

James Chester (Hull City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

37:49

Attempt missed. Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a set piece situation.

37:46

Attempt blocked. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from long range on the left is blocked.

37:01

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

37:01

Foul by Ahmed Elmohamady (Hull City).

35:55

Attempt missed. George Boyd (Hull City) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Ahmed Elmohamady with a cross.

34:44

Jake Livermore (Hull City) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by David Meyler.

30:44 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Hull City 0, Arsenal 1. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla with a through ball.

26:31

Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

26:31

Foul by Jake Livermore (Hull City).

25:58

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

25:10

Delay in match George Boyd (Hull City) because of an injury.

23:53

Attempt missed. Shane Long (Hull City) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ahmed Elmohamady with a cross.

22:33

Attempt missed. Shane Long (Hull City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jake Livermore with a through ball.

20:18

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

20:18

Foul by Curtis Davies (Hull City).

19:01

Offside, Hull City. Ahmed Elmohamady tries a through ball, but Nikica Jelavic is caught offside.

17:53

Attempt saved. Lukas Podolski (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.

15:30 Booking

Booking David Meyler (Hull City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

15:25

Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

15:25

Foul by David Meyler (Hull City).

14:44

Attempt missed. James Chester (Hull City) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by George Boyd with a cross following a corner.

14:21

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Wojciech Szczesny.

14:20

Attempt saved. Nikica Jelavic (Hull City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Tom Huddlestone.

14:15

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

13:23

Delay in match Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) because of an injury.

13:07 Booking

Booking Per Mertesacker (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

12:52

Foul by Per Mertesacker (Arsenal).

12:52

Nikica Jelavic (Hull City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

12:26

Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

12:26

Foul by Tom Huddlestone (Hull City).

11:16

Offside, Hull City. David Meyler tries a through ball, but Nikica Jelavic is caught offside.

10:37

Offside, Arsenal. Lukas Podolski tries a through ball, but Nacho Monreal is caught offside.

9:46

Offside, Hull City. Steve Harper tries a through ball, but Nikica Jelavic is caught offside.

5:45

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

5:00

Delay in match (Arsenal).

3:33

Dangerous play by Tom Huddlestone (Hull City).

3:33

Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

1:34

Offside, Arsenal. Aaron Ramsey tries a through ball, but Olivier Giroud is caught offside.

0:43

Corner, Hull City. Conceded by Nacho Monreal.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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