Arsene Wenger praised a patient performance from his Arsenal side as they saw off Hull City - who they will take on in the FA Cup final - to remain on course for fourth place in the Barclays Premier League, and Champions League qualification.
Hull started brightly at the KC Stadium but Aaron Ramsey gave Arsenal a 31st-minute lead and Lukas Podolski's double secured a 3-0 win for Wenger's men. That was enough to ensure they would hold on to fourth place in the league ahead of Everton. "It was a big win," admitted Wenger. "The first half was very physical, played at a very high pace, our defenders needed to be very strong on crosses in the air.
"We looked dangerous when we went into their half and took advantage of that. In the second half, when we scored the third goal we controlled the game completely."
Ramsey's goal capped an impressive first league start since Boxing Day for the Welshman, while Wenger was also able to recall Mesut Oezil for his first appearance since March 11 following hamstring trouble.
"We were having problems scoring goals away from home and [Ramsey]and Oezil give us a cutting edge in the final third that makes us much more dangerous," said Wenger.
"Oezil has always the timing of the pass; the incisiveness of his passing helps you turn quickly from defence to offence. Football is down to quality of the players and you could see that."
Steve Bruce, the Hull manager, was encouraged by his side's performance but bemoaned missed opportunities and what he saw as a game-changing decision by referee Jon Moss.
In the build-up to Podolski's first goal just before half-time, striker Nikica Jelavic went down under Mikel Arteta's challenge inside the Arsenal half. It looked a foul on first viewing and while replays were less conclusive, Bruce was furious no free kick was given.
"The first goal, you have to say, it's a typical Arsenal goal," he said. "Sometimes you hold your hand up and say it's a real quality goal. But the big turning point in the game, we're talking about a refereeing decision again. Everybody in the ground expected a free kick, we didn't get it and again, a bit of quality from Arsenal - it's a terrific finish from Podolski - and after playing really well we're 2-0 down at half-time."
Shane Long was withdrawn at the break and Bruce explained: "He's got a whack to the back of his calf. He'll be touch and go for the weekend, I would have thought."
Bruce also revealed forward Sone Aluko's absence from the matchday squad was due to a hamstring injury.