But they needed a huge slice of luck, too, with Alexis Sanchez handling the ball into Hull’s net for the 34th-minute opener that rightfully had the visitors fuming.
He then added another from the penalty spot in injury time to momentarily lift the gloom surrounding the Gunners, following a Hull handball which saw Sam Clucas sent off.
Wenger needed it. Hull? They deserved better and Tigers manager Marco Silva revealed referee Mark Clattenburg apologised in the tunnel to his team at half-time for the error regarding Sanchez’s first.
Silva said: “He said sorry. Look, I have no problems with that. He made a mistake. I make mistakes, so does my team. Although not today. I am proud of them.
“We fought hard and if we continue this way then I have every faith we will not be relegated.”
Hull defender Andrew Robertson confirmed Clattenburg had apologised over the opening goal.
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring Arsenal's first goal
“He obviously realises he was in the wrong,” Robertson said.
“The ref told us he didn’t give it because he wasn’t 100 per cent sure. Not many referees can admit they’re wrong so it’s good when he does, though it doesn’t make things better.”
Hull played their hearts out and with better finishing could have altered the whole canvas.
They constantly blocked Arsenal’s one-touch football and were even doing it better than their hosts when they had the ball.
There is no doubt Arsenal have lost their way and a Champions League trip to German giants Bayern Munich is the last thing they want on their calendar.
Sanchez doubling Arsenal's lead from the penalty spot at the Emirates
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Thankfully, they have Sanchez and he got the Gunners out of jail, whether by fair means or foul.
His first came after Kieran Gibbs had a low shot hacked off the line by Robertson. Sanchez’s follow-up was blocked by keeper Eldin Jakupovic and the ball flew up and hit the Chile striker’s right arm and went in.
But Hull showed they are a decent side worthy of the praise being heaped their way and were denied a goal when Petr Cech saved from another Oumar Niasse header after Lazar Markovic had whizzed past Gibbs to cross.
The Tigers were always in the game and in Pole Kamil Grosicki, signed on deadline day, they have a player who could yet be their saviour.
He was menacing down the right flank and caught the eye for more than his bizarre haircut.
Sam Clucas was sent off by referee Mark Clattenburg for handball
Arsenal player ratings against Hull
Sat, February 11, 2017
Express Sport brings you Arsenal's player ratings from their clash with Hull
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Petr Cech – 7.5
But they were unable to fashion an equaliser and in injury time Arsenal sealed the points on the break. Sanchez rounded Jakupovic and crossed for Lucas Perez, whose header was blocked by Clucas’ arm.
Up stepped hero Sanchez to score from the spot with his 17th league goal of the season, and you wonder where Arsenal would be without him.
Wenger said: “We had absolutely to win and we played against a good team. I cannot see any weakness in them. They are strong and well organised, they have good spirit and technically are good.
‘‘Handball? Honestly I don’t know. I’m responsible for many things but not the referee’s decisions.
‘‘I’m sorry for Hull but I feel that we have had as well to cope recently with some decisions where I wasn’t asked this question.”