Arsenal have returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a comprehensive 5-2 victory away to Everton at Goodison Park, this afternoon.
The Gunners had to come back from a goal down to defeat Ronald Koeman’s outfit, as Wayne Rooney’s strike within the first quarter of an hour promised to complicate their day.
Nacho Monreal would equalise for Arsenal going into half-time, whereas goals from Mesut Özil, Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey in the second half tipped the scales in the Londoners’ favour prior to Oumar Niasse’s consolation goal.
Alexis Sanchez landed Everton their final blow to move his side back up to fifth place in the league table, with the hosts now languishing in 18th.
Arsène Wenger reserved no marquee player for the encounter versus the Toffees, as both Sanchez and Özil returned the starting line-up to join Lacazette in Arsenal’s front three.
The Gunners demonstrated their new-found fluidity early, as Özil slipped a pass in through for Aaron Ramsey to take aim towards the far post from inside the area, forcing Jordan Pickford into action in the 3rd minute with a fingertip save.
Pickford was required soon after following Özil’s cutback and Lacazette’s calculated turn inside the six-yard-box, as the Frenchman looked to fire away on his left foot before seeing his effort blocked on the spot by the oncoming English goalkeeper in the 9th minute.
The mood would soon change at the Goodison, however, as Granit Xhaka succumbed to Idrissa Gueye’s strong tackle on the edge of his own box, gifting Wayne Rooney the time and space to pick his spot with a curling effort and place Everton ahead against the run of play.
Arsenal’s response came as late as the 40th minute, with Pickford parrying Xhaka’s combed effort right into Nacho Monreal’s traps and failing to keep out the Spaniard’s first-time hit to equalise the score.
Pickford was quick to cut out another close-range effort following Özil’s knock into Sanchez’s path in the 43rd minute, as the visitors recaptured their groove going into the half-time interval.
With Everton adding an extra body in midfield at the expense of their third centre back, Özil was able to find a gap between the remaining two defenders to head the Gunners into the lead in the 53rd minute, courtesy of Sanchez’s looping cross into the box.
Ramsey had all the time in the world to add a third to Arsenal’s accounts just two minutes later, as good work from Laurent Koscielny on the right flank set the Welshman up on the edge of the box before the midfielder could raise his effort over the bar with a first-time shot.
The problems began the mount for the hosts when the already yellow-carded Gueye lunged in late on Xhaka in the 69th minute, subsequently earning himself a second booking and leaving the Toffees reduced to 10 men.
Sanchez was quick to spot Özil’s run once again with a blind pass, this time with the German playmaker roaming wide to form a three versus one on the counter and set Lacazette for Arsenal’s third, with the former Olympique Lyonnais striker casually side-footing his finish past Pickford in the 73rd minute.
The North Londoners neared their fourth goal through Sanchez’s near-post header that would thrash into the side-netting in the 82nd minute, with Xhaka going one better to rattle the crossbar soon after with a speculative effort from range.
Goal number four would eventually come, courtesy of Jack Wilshere’s threaded pass into Ramsey’s path, who was smart enough to wait for Pickford’s guesswork before picking his spot at the near post in the 90th minute.
The goals wouldn’t end there, as Oumar Niasse took advantage of Monreal’s all-too-casual pass-back to Čech to tap in a consolation goal in stoppage time, but the day would belong to Arsenal, as Sanchez found the time to make it 5-2 at the other end with a solo effort and drive across goal before the final whistle.
By Patrick Ribeiro
Petr Čech (6) – Laurent Koscielny (7), Per Mertesacker (5), Nacho Monreal (8) – Héctor Bellerín (6), Granit Xhaka (6), Aaron Ramsey (7), Sead Kolasinac (5) – Mesut Özil (9), Alexis Sanchez (8) – Alexandre Lacazette (7)
Subs: Jack Wilshere (6), Francis Coquelin (5)