Arsenal’s tough week at last finished off on a good note as the Gunners beat Everton 2-0 courtesy goals from Olivier Giroud and Tomas Rosicky. While this was not quite vintage Arsenal, this was a game where the result would have mattered more than the style to the Gunner faithful after their Champions League drubbing at the hands of Monaco.
The result means that the Gunners go back to third spot on the table, whilst Everton remain winless in 19 games away to Arsenal. The Toffees drop two places down to 14th after both Crystal Palace and West Brom recorded victories yesterday.
Here are the player ratings for the game.
David Ospina (8/10): Slowly but steadily establishing himself as the Arsenal number one. Great starting position to stave off any danger that was posed; equally good in his reflex saves to deny Romelo Lukaku.
Hector Bellerin (7.5/10): Great in his positive runs forward. Should have also had an assist late on, only for Olivier Giroud to get it horribly wrong.
Gabriel (6.5/10): Wobbly first half-an-hour on his first Arsenal start. Lucky to have David Ospina on hand to clear up the mess after he let Romelo Lukaku in on the 17-minute mark because of his indecisiveness.
Laurent Koscielny (7/10): Solid as always, laying the bedrock for the clean-sheet along with Ospina. Will hope to get a better response from his partner as they get to play each other more. The late challenge on Lennon, his only blemish.
Kieran Gibbs (6.5/10): Replaced Nacho Monreal after the Spaniard was taken to task by Wilfried Zaha last weekend. Had a tough ask of keeping Seamus Coleman quiet, which he didn’t always have success with. Others were luckily on hand to wipe away any threat coming from the Everton right.
Francis Coquelin (8/10): His tough tackling attributes at the centre of the field are starting to win the Gunner faithful over. The Frenchman really gives Arsenal the physical presence and toughness that they have longed for since the departure of Alex Song.
Santi Cazorla (8/10): The month might have changed, but no one seems to have told the Spaniard that. Cazorla was again at the heart of all things positive at the centre of midfield.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (6/10): Arsene Wenger would have been expecting much more from the England international.
Mesut Ozil (7/10): Ended the game with two assists, although largely anonymous during major portions of the game.
Alexis Sanchez (6.5/10): It’s now six games without a goal for the Chilean, but his attitude on the field never lets you second guess that might be the case. Went inside a number of times to his favourite right foot, something which the Everton defence was set up for all night. Even while struggling to get back to his best, he put in a shift defensively to help Kieran Gibbs out whenever possible.
Olivier Giroud (7.5/10): Vindicated Arsene Wenger’s faith in the Frenchman by sweeping home the openener. Could and should have doubled his tally late on when he failed to make any proper connection to Bellerin’s cross.
Tomas Rosicky (7/10): Came in late and sealed the deal with the second of the game.
Danny Welbeck (5/10): Late sub for Alexis Sanchez. Too little time to make any impact.
Calum Chambers (5/10): Replaced Coquelin late on after the Frenchman was replaced after having a bloody nose and felt too groggy to carry on.
Tim Howard(7/10): Didn’t have any chance at saving either of the goals. Did well to tip over Santi Cazorla’s fiesty effort.
Seamus Coleman(8/10): Venomous runs on the right-hand-side that bugged Arsenal all game long. However, sadly for the Irishman, there was no end product, mostly due to lack of options in the box. Made Sanchez a non-threat as well.
Phil Jagielka(7.5/10): Solid at the back. Unlucky to have had the second goal ricochet off him and into the net.
John Stones(5.5/10): Not the best game for the Englishman at the back. Showed promise but a bit shady in his decision making. This was characterised by the bewildering backpass during the closing stages of the game.
Luke Garbutt(6.5/10): Everton have another left-back who can take as good a set-piece as Leighton Baines. Baines, however, was sorely missed from the open-play context.
Muhamed Besic(6/10): Failed to get the better of Francis Coquelin. Failed to add much in the final third.
Gareth Barry(6/10): Kept things ticking over. Good in possession but failed to create much going forward.
James McCarthy(6/10): Good on the eye, but no thrills to speak of.
Kevin Mirallas(6/10): Replaced on the hour mark after having failed to make his presence felt on the proceedings.
Ross Barkley(6/10): Lively and energetic but failed to produce any kind of penetration or quality in the final third.
Romelu Lukaku(7.5/10): Largely isolated up front. However, his strong running and presence created two great opportunities for the Toffees. Sadly for the Belgian, David Ospina was on hand to clear off any danger posed by the Everton hitman.
Aaron Lennon (6/10): Had a couple of look-ins on goal but nothing to show for the Spurs loanee.
Steven Naismith(6/10): No real impact in the 13 minutes afforded to the Scotsman.
Darron Gibson (6/10): Never really got into the game.