Arsenal moved level on points with second placed Manchester City with a comfortable 3-1 victory over relegation threatened Hull City at the KC Stadium on Monday night.
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A first half brace from Alexis Sanchez and a deflected Aaron Ramsey effort proved to be enough for the Gunners, who were given a slight scare in the second half when Stephen Quinn pulled on back for the Tigers.
Arsene Wenger named an unchanged side to that which held recently crowned champions Chelsea to a goalless draw at the Emirates last weekend but was without the services of Danny Welbeck, who was ruled out with a knee problem.
As expected the Gunners dominated possession early on and went close to an opener as Tom Huddlestone almost diverted a Hector Bellerin cross into his own net but his miscue landed in the grateful arms of Steve Harper, who then produced a fine stop to keep out a powerful Alexis effort from the edge of the box.
Sone Aluko wasted a good opening to break the deadlock for hosts but he made a mess of a free header from close range after a brilliant left-wing cross from Robbie Brady.
The whole nature of the game changed within five minutes mid-way through the first half as Sanchez found the break-through when his free-kick from the edge of the area took a touch off former Tottenham defender Michael Dawson and wrong-footed Steve Harper in goal.
Then a few moments later Ramsey doubled the lead after controlling a brilliant pass from Santi Cazorla and his effort took a nick of Robbie Brady and looped up over Harper and into the net.
On the stroke of half-time Alexis grabbed his brace as he latched onto a perfectly weighted pass from the Welshman to round the veteran keeper and slotted the ball into an empty net to give the visitors an unassailable lead.
Arsenal took their foot off the pedal in the second half and conceded early on as Quinn guided a header past David Ospina to give the Tigers slight hope of a comeback.
The Gunners were able to sail through the remaining minutes with little difficulty and had numerous chances to extend their lead, with the best falling to the returning Jack Wilshere, who was denied from close range and Sanchez failed to complete his hat-trick when he shot wide from the rebound.
The result means the Gunners are virtually assured a top-four finish and their attentions will now turn to securing automatic qualification for the Champions League next season.