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Arsene Wenger praised Ncho Monreal and Calum Chambers for coping well in central defence during Arsenal's win over Hull City in the fifth round replay of the FA Cup at the KC Stadium. The Gunners played for over 30 minutes with a make shift back four which included Mathieu Flamini at right-back and Monreal at centre-back following injuries to defensive the duo of Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista.
The former Germany international left the field after 33 minutes with a mild concussion following a nasty head collision with Nick Powell that left a big gash on top of his left eye, while the Brazilian limped off with a muscular injury just over 10 minutes into the second-half. The Gunners were at a one-goal advantage at the time, and it looked like the Tigers had a good chance of upsetting the cart and hand Arsenal their first defeat in the FA Cup since 2013.
The back four however, held strong despite it being comprised of two full backs, one midfielder and one versatile defender in Chambers, who started the night at right-back, but moved to his preferred central role following Gabriel's injury. They were helped by a clinical performance up front with both Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott grabbing a brace and killing off the game with three goals in 17 second-half minutes.
The French manager was pleased with the duo's performance and with games coming thick and fast in the coming week, the duo could find themselves deputising for Mertesacker or Gabriel depending on the extent of their injuries.
"We lost two centre backs in the game and when you play away from home that is not easy to cope with. We did quite well because Monreal came on as a centre back where he has played a few times last year and Chambers was moved in. I thought they coped well," Wenger said following their 4-0 win at the KC Stadium, as quoted by Arsenal's official site.