Theo Walcott has been superb this season, but Arsene Wenger has rewarded Olivier Giroud for his goals off the bench this season by handing the French forward a start. Giroud justified his place in the starting XI by grabbing the opener, putting a deft header past Tim Howard.
Mesut Özil picked up the ball in a dangerous area, with a number of options ahead of him. Hector Bellerin made an excellent overlapping run to give the German playmaker some room, and the former Real Madrid star put the ball into a really dangerous area in the box. Giroud rose high and got the slightest touch on the ball, knocking it just out of the reach of the goalkeeper. 1-0.
Check out the goal below:
Moments later we’d doubled our lead, with Laurent Koscielny the goalscorer. The defender got forward for a free kick, and dove bravely in to meet a Santi Cazorla set piece. His connection was similar to his compatriot Giroud’s, and Howard was again left floundering. 2-0.
Everton then got a bit of a break, with Ross Barkley seeing his fairly tame effort deflected in via Gabriel Paulista. It wasn’t the Brazilian’s fault, but his intervention took the ball past Petr Cech, looping over him and giving him no chance. 2-1.
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It remained that way for the remaining few minutes of the half, with Everton’s goal making the half time team talks very, very different for both sides.