Everton 2-5 Arsenal: Pressure piled on Ronald Koeman as Gunners run riot
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 22/10/17 8:16pm
Arsenal piled the pressure on Ronald Koeman with a 5-2 win over Everton at Goodison Park on Super Sunday in the Premier League.
Despite Arsenal's early dominance, Wayne Rooney gave Everton the lead on 12 minutes with a fine right-footed effort from 20 yards, before Nacho Monreal equalised with a well-directed rebound on 40 minutes.
Mesut Ozil made it 2-1 with a header on 53 minutes from Alexis Sanchez's cross before Idrissa Gueye was deservedly sent off for a second yellow card midway through the second half.
Everton: Pickford (5), Kenny (5), Keane (5), Williams (4), Jagielka (5), Baines (5), Sigurdsson (5), Gueye (4), Vlasic (4), Rooney (5), Calvert-Lewin (6)
Subs: Davies (5), Lookman (5), Niasse (6)
Arsenal: Cech (6), Bellerin (7), Mertesacker (8), Koscielny (7), Monreal (7), Kolasinac (6), Ramsey (7), Xhaka (6), Ozil (8), Sanchez (7), Lacazette (7)
Subs: Wilshere (6), Coquelin (NA)
Man of the match: Mesut Ozil
Alexandre Lacazette (74) and Aaron Ramsey (90) made it 4-1, and though Oumar Niasse capitalised on a calamitous defensive error to pull one back (90+3), Sanchez rounded off the win with a brilliant individual goal (90+5)
The result means Arsenal - on Arsene Wenger's 68th birthday - are up to fifth in the Premier League, while Everton drop into the relegation zone on goal difference.
Despite two early chances for Arsenal for Ramsey and Lacazette, Everton somehow took the lead against the run of play through Rooney, who found the far corner from 20 yards after Gueye had dispossessed Granit Xhaka, evoking memories of 16-year-old Rooney's first Premier League goal against Arsenal 15 years ago this week.
Morgan Schneiderlin was out, with Everton going for a back five as Ashley Williams came in. Jonjoe Kenny also replaced Mason Holgate at right-back for his first Premier League start. Arsenal made three changes; Mohamed Elneny, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck made way for Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
Arsenal continued to dominate the ball and had 17 shots on goal in the first half, and finally got their goal before the break as Monreal fiercely struck home from 12 yards after Pickford had spilled Xhaka's deflected shot.
Sanchez was then denied at close range by Pickford before half-time, but Sanchez delivered after the break, providing a beautiful cross for Ozil to head home from six yards.
Gueye was then dismissed by Craig Pawson for a second booking after a needless foul on Xhaka, and Everton's task was made harder by Lacazette's first-time finish in the box from Ramsey's pass during a vicious Arsenal counter-attack.
Xhaka hit the bar from long-range as Arsenal looked to add a fourth, and they then got it through Ramsey's clever finish one-on-one with Pickford after sub Jack Wilshere's through ball.
Niasse capitalised on a horrible mix-up between Monreal and Petr Cech in stoppage time, but Arsenal put the icing on the cake through Sanchez, dancing around the edge of the box before brilliantly finding the far corner from a tight angle.
Ronald Koeman: "I don't know [if the result will cost Koeman his job]. I told the players I believe in them, their commitment. That's the feeling that I have [players back me] but I don't know. With every manager working with 28-29 players you cannot work with all of them being happy but there's still enough understanding. That's my opinion but I don't know."
Arsene Wenger: "[Was this Ozil back to his best?] I would say yes. I told him after the game, a fit Ozil at that level is completely different. Today the one comparative thing; if you are not 100 per cent physically at your best, no matter how good you are as a talent you are handicapped.
"He is fit, he works very hard, and you could see that in the game."
The pundit - Thierry Henry
"It was a very good (response from Arsenal). They conceded a goal early but right from the start you could see they were going to mean business today. From Everton's point of view, that's exactly how you don't play against Arsenal - you give them time to play and you're in trouble. They could have scored five in each half, in fairness."
Man of the match - Mesut Ozil
He's been criticised for not turning up in the big games for Arsenal, and although this wasn't against top-six opposition, the clash at Goodison Park had the feel of a must-win for Arsene Wenger.
Ozil turned up, and how. He made eight key passes in the game, double the entire Everton squad and four more than any of his own team-mates, and scored Arsenal's vital second goal after half-time.
He tweeted on Saturday night, saying: "Ignore the noise and stay focused" amid reports linking him to Manchester United. This was Ozil at his best: concentrating, battling and providing.
Only time will tell if Arsenal can continue to benefit from him beyond this season.
- Arsenal have beaten Everton more times than any other club has beaten another in English Football League history (95 wins).
- Mesut Ozil assisted his 43rd Premier League goal in this match - he has more assists than any other player in the competition since his debut in September 2013.
- Wayne Rooney has now scored 12 Premier League goals against Arsenal; more than any other player has against the Gunners in the competition.
- Arsenal had 14 shots on target in this match -their highest total in a Premier League away game since 2003-04.
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