A very much improved Arsenal side proved too much for Everton as they came out 2-0 winners over the Toffees in Saturday’s early kick off. The Gunners attacked with vim and vigor that has been largely missing throughout 2016 and bodes well for the title run in. Can we do it? With performances like this we can certainly give it a good go. But you have to admit we’ll be lucky to face another defence as open and unorganized as Everton’s.
Danny Welbeck opened the scoring after some nice work from Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, then Alex Iwobi netted a fantastic second after running half the pitch on a well executed counter-attack – his first goal for the Gunners and warranted the Man of the Match accolade.
Here’s the player ratings:
GK Ospina: 7 – Had very little to do overall but when called upon did a solid job. Got absolutely clattered by Lukaku after some brave goalkeeping and continued to hobble for the remainder of the match. Hopefully no serious damage done.
RB Bellerin: 7.5 – Combined very well with Alexis on a number of occasions and set up Alex Iwobi for Arsenal’s second with a perfect chipped ball over the out of sorts Everton defence.
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CB Koscielny: 7 – Dealt well with the danger of Lukaku and his comrads. Helped us earn a much needed clean sheet.
CB Gabriel: 7 – Got away with one as he stepped up a little late to play Lukaku offside early on. But defended well and dealt with any dangerous cross that came through.
LB Monreal 7.5 – Some excellent defending from the Spaniard keeping Seamus Coleman relatively quiet sumptuous balls into the box in the opening period of the match but didn’t
CM Elneny: 6 – A number of sloppy passes and poor decisions in Everton’s half unfortunately added little value to his attacking rating, but a solid performance defensively and was often seen sitting deep.
CM Coquelin: 8 – Some excellent, decisive tackling and hard work that greatly aided Arsenal’s first clean sheet in the league for 5 games. Seems to have
CAM Ozil: 7 – His usual mercurial self in the first half. Beautiful one-two with Alexis that led to the opener and found himself in some dangerous positions on a number occasions but his team mates let him down with some poor final balls to the German. Faded in the second half and was replaced in the 74th minute after picking up an ankle injury – hopefully nothing too serious.
LW Iwobi: 8.5 MotM – Wasn’t convinced of Wenger’s decision to start the youngster again considering the options available on the bench in Campbell and Walcott. But my word did he justify his inclusion. A fantastic performance from the youngster. Very energetic and finished Arsenal’s second with some fantastic composure as he ran a half length of the pitch to nutmeg the goalkeeper. Is still a very raw talent but promising signs.
RW Sanchez: 6.5 – Looked lively and energetic, and was rewarded for his excellent movement when he set up Welbeck for the opener. Just doesn’t seem to be clicking for him though and often makes the wrong decisions in the final third. It will come however, as long as he’s causing our opponents trouble he justifies his inclusion in the lineup.
ST Welbeck: 7 – Opened the scoring with a well composed finish after rounding the keeper. As always, battled hard and was seen sprinting back on one of Everton’s counter attacks – that’s the spirit we’ve been missing. Was a thorn in Everton’s backside and will be a very valuable asset for our remaining fixtures this season.
74′ Giroud: 6 – Unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet after a soft foul on Jagielka after Iwobi felled the defender in the Everton box. Squandered a fantastic chance late on to end his horrible run in the league, should have hit the target.
74′ Gibbs: 6 – Excellent battling with Seamus Coleman, helping Nacho keep the flying fullback at bay. That was just about his only notable moment
85′ Chambers: N/A.