Goals from Olivier Giroud and Tomas Rosicky were enough to send Arsenal back into third place and condemn Everton to their seventh defeat in their last eight away league games. After defeat to Monaco in midweek, Arsene Wenger wanted a response and although they were never in control of the game, the Gunners got the job done and keep their top-four ambitions in tact.
Giroud’s opener was as simple as they come as some slack marking resulted in the Frenchman being left free from a Mesut Ozil corner. Although he missed plenty of chances against Monaco, he made no mistake as he swept home with his right foot. From then onwards Arsenal had their Colombian keeper David Ospina to thank as he ensured that the Gunners maintained their lead. Rosicky eased any nerves in the closing stages, as he doubled Arsenal’s lead with a deflected effort from outside the box to secure the points for the Gunners.
Here are the major talking points from the game.
1. Everton’s domestic woes continue
Although they are six points clear off the relegation zone and are just a couple of wins away from securing another season in the top-flight, there is something worrying about Everton’s domestic form. As the only English club through to the Round of 16 in the Europa League, they are certainly carrying the English flag in Europe, but at home, they are turning into an insipid side who are a shadow of what they were last season.
Sunday’s defeat was yet another example of how far they have fallen off the pace in the league. Their 2-0 loss was as much their own fault, as it was Arsenal’s attacking play. Defensive mistakes once again led to goals and the finger must certainly be pointed at both Roberto Martinez and the players as a side that was so resolute last season is now conceding goals for fun. Europe might well be their main focus for the rest of the season, but they will have to improve their league form, or else they might become the first club to win the Europa League and get relegated.