Everton 0-2 Arsenal: Gunners keep title hopes alive

  • Iwobi scores on full PL debut
  • Everton’s third-straight home loss
  • Gunners eight points off top
  • 8th away win of season for Arsenal
  • Arsenal beat Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park on Saturday, as Arsene Wenger‘s side put in a mature display to ease the pressure on their manager.

    An early goal from Danny Welbeck started things off and teenage talent Alex Iwobi scored just before the break to repay the faith Wenger had shown in him.

    Everton barely threatened and after winning just one of their last eight before this game, Arsenal cruised to victory following a tough week which saw them exit both the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League. The reaction was clear.

    With the win Arsenal move on to 55 points and are eight points behind leaders Leicester City, while Everton remain on 38 points.

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    A very bright start saw Seamus Coleman almost flick a corner in but his effort hit the outside of the post, then at the other end a clearance ricocheted off Welbeck and hit the post.

    The end-to-end nature of the encounter continued and Arsenal took the lead after seven minutes with a wonderful goal. Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil played a lovely one-two and the former then slide in Welbeck who rounded Joel Robles and slotted home 1-0. Majestic movement.

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    Youngster Alex Iwobi had a chance to double the lead soon after but hit it straight at Robles and Everton was on the rocks.

    The Toffess struggled to get back into the game in the first half as Arsenal dictated the tempo but Muhamed Besic did go close with a shot that David Opsina collected at the second attempt. Sanchez went down in the box under challenges from Besic and Ramiro Funes Mori but no penalty was awarded

    Before the first half ended Arsenal went 2-0 up as the impressive Iwobi latched on to a long ball forward from Hector Bellerin and sped away from Everton’s defense. Iwobi then slid the ball under Robles. 2-0 and the 19-year-old Nigerian forward had scored his first Arsenal goal on his first-ever start in the Premier League.

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    John Stones came on at half time for Besic as the Toffees switched to a 3-4-3 formation to try and get back into the game.

    Everton had a few half chances but the tactical switch did little to liven them up in the final third with Gabriel doing a superb job to lock down Romelu Lukaku.

    Welbeck almost got the better of Stones to grab Arsenal a third, while Lukaku collided accidentally with Opsina and after lengthy treatment Arsenal’s goalkeeper was struggling but stayed on the pitch. From a corner soon after, Phil Jagielka headed just over the bar when he should have scored.

    [ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

    Everton pushed hard to get back into the game late on but Arsenal easily closed things out — sub Olivier Giroud slammed an effort into the side-netting — and kept themselves in the title race. Just.