Alexis Sanchez scored twice as title-chasing Arsenal beat relegation-threatened Hull in controversial circumstances in the Premier League.
The hosts had been on top when the ball came off forward Sanchez’s hand and ended up in the net on 34 minutes. He added a penalty in injury-time which was awarded after Sam Clucas was sent off for handball from Lucas Perez’s header.
In between, Hector Bellerin and Sanchez both failed to hit the target and Mesut Ozil volleyed over the crossbar for Arsenal.
Striker Oumar Niasse had Hull’s best chances – his header and low strike forced Petr Cech into sharp saves – while Adama Diomande nodded over late on.
Decision one goes against Hull – the opening goal
Arsenal had been pressing for the opener before Sanchez’s intervention.
The visitors failed to clear Kieran Gibbs’ low shot, and as the ball ricocheted off goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic on the ground it bounced off the Chilean’s hand and into the net.
For a deliberate handball, Football Association laws state:
- there must be “movement of the hand towards the ball”
- the “distance between opponent and the ball” should be considered
On this occasion, Sanchez did not look like he purposefully pushed the ball into the net and he had little time to move out of the way after the ball came off Jakupovic.
After consultation with his assistant, referee Mark Clattenburg awarded the goal, but prior to that in the first half, Theo Walcott had a shot blocked by the hand of Clucas inside the area, for which no penalty was given.
After the game, Hull defender Andrew Robertson told Sky Sports that Clattenburg had apologised to the Hull players after half-time.
Robertson added: “The ref told us he didn’t give it because he wasn’t 100% sure. Not many referees can admit they’re wrong, so it’s good when he does, though it doesn’t make things better.”