Arsenal deserved to beat Everton

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Arsenal had a point to prove after a disappointing 3-1 loss to Monaco in the Champions League in midweek.

They were undisciplined and fell apart on the counter against their French opposition.

Because of this result Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger shook up the formation slightly by putting Per Mertesacker on the bench and selecting new signing Gabriel for Sunday's match against Everton.

Ospina saves the day

Wenger's decision almost proved costly in the opening minutes.

After failing to deal with an Everton clearance Gabriel gifted Everton striker Lukaku with a clear chance on goal.

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Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina however stuck a hand out at the last second to push the ball out wide. He then chased down Lukaku and made a wonderful defensive challenge to push the ball out for a throw. 

After losing such a pivotal match in the Champions League Arsenal oddly started the match slowly and allowed Everton to dictate play.

It hardly seemed that Arsenal were confident they could take the three points from a struggling Everton side. As the match progressed Arsenal found more and more success on the right flank through right-back Hector Bellerin and England international Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain.

Giroud's ninth

Arsenal were up 1-0 in the 39th minute after Giroud turned in a Mesut Özil corner on the volley.

The goal came against the run of play but seemed to lift Arsenal and give them a massive confidence boost. Soon after the goal Arsenal pressed Everton all over the pitch. The visitors from Liverpool hardly had a second on the ball before an Arsenal player was in for he challenge. 

The tale of one half

The second half was no better for Everton. Arsenal harassed them when ever they had the ball. For most of the half Everton were pinned back in their own end.

They barely posed a threat on the odd time they ventured forward. By the 89th minute Arsenal scored their second after a Tomas Rosicky shot took a deflection of Everton captain Phil Jagielka and passed a helpless Tim Howard.

Everton came close to getting on the score sheet as Tottenham loanee Aaron Lennon had a close range effort saved by Ospina. But that was to be as close as Everton would come to being a factor in the match.

Diverging narratives

With the win Arsenal can effectively put to bed any sort of bad feelings after their most recent loss. The victory puts them in third, a point clear of Manchester United and well in the hunt for a Champions League place for the following season.

For Everton the story is much more bleak. The loss keeps them dangerously close to the relegation zone. A position that was unthinkable after last seasons fifth place finish. Everton manager Roberto Martinez has to change something if they are to save their season and his job.

Where will Arsenal finish in the Premier League table this season? Have your say in the comments below!

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Roberto Martinez
Premier League
Arsene Wenger

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