Arsenal overwhelm Everton with a five-goal barrage in Premier League

By Hilton Yip Source:Global Times Published: 2017/10/23 23:03:39

The best way for Arsenal to answer a bad loss to a team whose striker publicly mocked them for not having the "cojones" is apparently not to fight fire with fire, but to do it the Arsenal way. That is, pinpoint passing, deadly finishing and relentless attacking, all of which enabled the Gunners to defeat Everton 5-2.

It was a fine away win that saw five Arsenal players score one goal each, including the three starting forwards - ­Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. Despite Wayne Rooney rolling back the years to score the ­opener, Arsenal fought back for the win, the opposite of last week's loss to Watford in which Arsenal had scored first then gave up two goals.

When Arsenal are on, like for most of this game, they are exquisite such as Ozil's goal when he headed in a sublime cross from Sanchez while running into the box. But when Arsenal are off, defeats like last week and the 4-0 battering from Liverpool at the end of August happen, which is frustrating for fans. More wins like this should help force Arsenal into the league title conversation.

Of course, it wouldn't quite be Arsenal if there wasn't any lamentable defensive blunders and so it was in this game. With Arsenal cruising at 4-1 with just minutes to go, Nacho Monreal, who actually scored Arsenal's first goal, and Petr Cech combined to give away the ball to Oumar Niasse who was able to gently nudge the ball into an empty net. ­Despite that, Sanchez put in a superb effort running across half of Everton's defenders to get his goal for Arsenal to have the last word.

This is the first time this season that Arsenal have fielded Lacazette with Ozil and Sanchez, and this formidable trident should certainly be used again. In central midfield, Aaron Ramsey had a decent game as did Granit Xhaka, though he was partly at fault for Rooney's goal after losing the ball when he was tackled by Idrissa Gueye. The latter was a constant menace but his getting sent off for a second yellow after fouling Xhaka in the second half cost his team dearly.

For Everton, the loss led to the firing of manager Ronald Koeman on Monday, compounding their misery this season after a big-spending summer that raised hopes of a top-four challenge. Those expectations seem so cruel now, given Everton's poor run of form and the manner of their defeats, which made Koeman's firing not unexpected. The major issue is whether the next manager can still mold the new signings into a coherent team. Given Everton play Chelsea in the League Cup on Wednesday, things won't be any easier for the team anytime soon.

The author is a Hong Kong-based freelance writer. hcpyip@gmail.com

Posted in: SOCCER,EXTRA TIME

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