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Published: 20:54 | 8/3/16

Arsenal cruise into FA Cup quarter finals

Giroud and Walcott bag braces in Hull stroll

Arsenal have coasted through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup by registering a routine 4-0 victory over Hull City in their FA Cup fifth round replay.

Having brought the Premier League title-chasers back to home turf after drawing 0-0 at the Emirates 10 days ago, Steve Bruce’s men were confident of completing the job against an Arsenal side who made six changes from Saturday’s 2-2 at Tottenham.

The north Londoners took a while to hit their stride as the Tigers’ disciplined display denied them time and space.

However, once Olivier Giroud had ended his goal drought to put Arsene Wenger’s side ahead four minutes before the break, it was a lead they never looked like relinquishing.

The hosts briefly made a proper argument of it just after the hour-mark but when Giroud bagged his second on 71 minutes they had a mountain to climb.

Theo Walcott then grabbed a brace late on to put an emphatic sheen on the scoreline.

The victory was at a cost however, as Per Mertesacker, Gabriel and Aaron Ramsey were all forced off after picking up injuries.

Arsenal will now host Watford this Sunday still on course for winning the FA Cup for the third time in-a-row.

Having looked so defensively sound, out of nowhere Hull gifted Arsenal the lead; David Meyler’s horrible backpass went straight to Giroud and the striker swept home his finish from eight yards.

The visitors’ tails were up and they almost doubled their lead a minute later when Kieron Gibbs’ superb curled effort beat Eldin Jakupovic but the ball hit the bar and went over.

Hull nearly levelled matters however, just before the break but Alex Bruce headed wide from close range, although the linesman had flagged for offside.

The hosts took a while to threaten after the break but started to push the Gunners back, Nick Powell shooting wide on 64 minutes when a team-mate was positioned much better before a whipped cross saw Aaron Ramsey head inches wide of his own far post.

The threat of a comeback was soon snuffed out though as Walcott – anonymous to that point– did well to cut into the area and cross for Giroud who volleyed home his second from the edge of the six yard box.

It didn’t take long for a third when Walcott finished clinically from Joel Campbell’s excellent pass.

Walcott drilled home on the break with a minute remaining to send the 3,000 vocal Arsenal fans back to London in fine voice.

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