With rumours about Arsene Wenger vacating the seat at the Emirates after 18 long years in the air before kick-off and the ever-impressive Everton boss Roberto Martinez touted to be one of the favourites to replace him; there couldn’t have been a build-up spicier than it already was for both sides. Arsenal looking to keep in touch with the title-race and Everton looking to sneak into the last Champions League spot, there couldn’t have been any more motivation for the players required.
Everton kicked-off in style. Just like the reverse fixture earlier this season, the Toffees put Arsene’s Arsenal on the back foot right from the first whistle. Everton missed out on their wonder-kid Ross Barkley who was relegated to the bench following a calf problem. That didn’t last too long as the youngster had to strip off and replace Leon Osman in the 8 minute of the game following a nasty bruise to the latter’s eye. What followed for the rest of the game was a passing master-class by the Merseysiders.
Goals were right around the corner as Everton looked pumped up and positive from the first minute. Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, about whom Arsene Wenger had a lot to talk about in the build-up beat the Arsenal back-4 to run onto a perfect pass from Leighton Baines only to fire it against an advanced Szczesny. The industry of Steven Naismith is what had earned the Scot his starting place and that’s what got him the opener. Running onto the re-bound to pass it comfortably into the vacant Gunners goal. 34 minutes on the clock and Lukaku was at it again. This time a far more assured finished away from the Gunners keeper to double the Toffees lead. Mikel Arteta who had a terrible afternoon has no clue that it was going to get even worse when he helplessly turned in an own goal to add to the favour of his former club.
Arsenal’s aims have fallen from title-contenders to title-hopefuls to top-four in the last couple of months and it wouldn’t be to anyone’s surprise if Everton manage to steal 4th place from a lost Gunners side.