Helpless Hull are shot down by slick Arsenal Alexis Sanchez
Hull City 1-3 Arsenal
Alexis Sanchez tormented Hull as Arsenal stepped up their drive for their highest finish in the Premier League for 10 years.
The Chile international - who had scored in both of his previous games against the Tigers this season - was almost unplayable in a first-half blitz as the Gunners ripped apart a Hull side desperate for points to keep out of the relegation zone.
Sanchez scored twice in the first half, either side of Aaron Ramsey's deflected strike before Steve Bruce's men stemmed the flow with a header from Stephen Quinn in the second half.
The Gunners' travelling fans staged a protest before the match about the ticket prices at the KC Stadium, with a banner asking: "£5billion and what do we get? £64 a ticket".
Yet by half-time they may have seen it as money well spent as Arsene Wenger's side were a class apart and are now level on points with second-placed Manchester City with a game in hand.
The possession stats alone made uncomfortable reading for the Tigers.
Arsenal began to put some snap into their passing and one exchange saw Sanchez skip inside and pull the trigger from 20 yards, but Steve Harper managed to parry.
That was only putting off the inevitable and when Sanchez was chopped down by Jake Livermore in the 28th minute he took sweet revenge, smashing the free-kick home with the aid of a flick off Michael Dawson's head.
Five minutes after the opening goal, Santi Cazorla's stunning long pass picked out Ramsey, who turned and fired past Harper with aid of a heavy deflection off Robbie Brady's leg.
Some breathtaking passing saw Mesut Ozil set up for a chance, but his shot lacked venom, then the impressive Cazorla played in Sanchez who tried to lift the ball over Harper, but the keeper stood his ground.
Sanchez was not to be denied a second, however, and in first-half stoppage time another Arsenal move saw the Hull players like statues while Ramsey played in Sanchez who this time took the ball around 40-year-old Harper and scored into an empty net.
Hull trooped off dejected, having only an ambitious 40-yard effort from Dame N'Doye and a Sone Aluko header - which he tried to play back across goal - to show in their favour.
Bruce's response was to send on Irish midfielder David Meyler for the ineffective Jake Livermore and the Tigers were immediately a tougher proposition.
It was Meyler who played a significant part as Hull pulled one back in the 56th minute. He clattered into Francis Coquelin and while Arsenal protested Ahmed Elmohamady played in a super cross that Quinn met with a stooping header than bounced past Ospina.
Arsenal ended the match in total control with Hector Bellerin, Wilshere, Sanchez and Theo Walcott passing up chances to deliver the mercy blow, while Jack Wilshere made his first return to action since an ankle operation.
Hull City: Harper,Chester,Dawson,McShane,Elmohamady, Livermore (Meyler 46),Huddlestone,Quinn (Jelavic 81),Brady, N’Doye,Aluko (Robertson 65).
Subs Not Used: McGregor,Rosenior,Bruce,Hernandez.
Goals: Quinn 56.
Arsenal: Ospina,Bellerin,Mertesacker,Koscielny,Monreal,Coquelin, Cazorla,Ramsey (Wilshere 68),Ozil,Sanchez,Giroud (Walcott 86).
Subs Not Used: Szczesny,Gibbs,Gabriel,Rosicky,Flamini.
Goals: Sanchez 28,Ramsey 33,Sanchez 45.
Ref: Lee Mason (Lancashire).