Arsenal 2-1 Everton: The Gunners Go to the Top of the League!!!
Arsenal 2 (Giroud 36′, Koscielny 38′) – Everton 1 (Barkley 43′)
Late Premier League fixtures can be quite enjoyable especially when you’ve witnessed what has happened in earlier fixtures. Chelsea’s slump continued with another disappointing defeat to West Ham and one wonders whether Jose Mourinho has what it takes to bring his team out from the very depths they’ve found themselves in. It’s not like I care though.
The Gunners were in a great run of form and with their win against Bayern Munich dominating the back pages, Arsene Wenger had to ensure that the players had their feet on the ground with Everton coming to town. The Emirates was becoming a fortress in the Premier League again with the Gunners failing to concede at home since that shocking opening day reverse against West Ham. I thought it was going to be a case of if it’s not broken don’t fix it, but with Aaron Ramsey out with a hamstring injury, it was a no-brainer seeing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replace the Welsh Jesus. Per Mertesacker had another bout of illness and he was replaced by the ever-ready Gabriel but the major change in the team was seeing Olivier Giroud get the nod ahead of Theo Walcott.
This battle between Giroud and Walcott has brought out the best in both individuals and a Giroud that was struggling to score goals suddenly saw himself with two goals in the week coming off as a substitute and many wondered if he was going to get another goal, now that he has gotten the nod over his English rival. Giroud gladly answered everyone with a peach of a finish from another excellent Mesut Ozil delivery. The German schemer followed the trajectory of Giroud’s path and threaded an inch-perfect lofted effort that was flicked home by the bearded hunky chap. Giroud spoke afterwards of how he’s developing a good understanding with Ozil and it was on show in the game.
Arsenal extended their lead with yet another set piece as Santi Cazorla dinked in a superb ball that was headed home by Laurent Koscielny. The last time the Boss got one was in the home win against Leicester and it’s fair to say that the defender has a penchant for scoring in front of his home fans but I will take nothing away from another wonderful delivery from a player that has curbed his attacking instincts for the good of the team. He was also the skipper of the day with Mikel Arteta and Per Mertesacker unavailable and he put up a combative performance in midfield with the tenacious Francis Coquelin.
Everton pegged one back when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain lost the ball further up the pitch and the Toffees launched a counter attack that saw Ross Barkley fire a deflected effort past Petr Cech in goal. The cross bar and post were made to work for their money too as both chances had efforts that were clipped off by the woodwork. Giroud almost got a brace when his left-footed curler beat Tim Howard hands down but hit the cross bar. Romelu Lukaku had a torrid game for being in Laurent Kosielny’s pockets but he managed to get a header that clipped the cross bar and went over with Cech rooted to the spot. Mesut Ozil almost got the match clincher with a shot that beat Howard but not the post.
It was yet another resilient display from the Gunners and they most be commented for having enough in the tank to defeat following their midweek exertions against Bayern Munich. With the Manchester derby coming up, the Gunners can revel at their new position on top of the league, albeit temporarily.
Download the Gooner Daily BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.
Follow Gooner Daily on Twitter @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back
Visit Gooner Daily’s Facebook page.
Click on the “Follow button” to join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List.