Liverpool - Alex Iwobi scored his first Arsenal goal as Arsene Wenger's side won
2-0 at Everton on Saturday to keep alive their outside chance of winning
the Premier League title.
Arsenal won for only the second time in
nine games and the first time in four attempts in the league as they
moved to within eight points of Leicester City before the leaders' game
at Crystal Palace.
After a difficult week in which they had gone
out of the FA Cup to Watford and the Champions League to Barcelona,
prompting some supporters to call for Wenger to go, the Gunners gave the
Victory also took them four points clear of
fourth-place Manchester City, who host Manchester United on Sunday,
tightening their grip on a Champions League berth.
only once to Everton in their previous 17 league meetings, Arsenal could
hardly have picked better opponents against whom to try and launch a
They seized the opportunity in impressive style
thanks to an early Danny Welbeck goal and Iwobi's cool finish, which
gave the 19-year-old Nigeria international a goal on his first Premier
Everton should have been on a high from their FA Cup
quarter-final win over Chelsea last weekend and started brightly, with
Seamus Coleman poking a shot against the outside of the post from a
James McCarthy corner.
But within a minute Arsenal had done
likewise at the other end as an attempted clearance from Muhamed Besic
cannoned off Welbeck and thudded against the woodwork.
the tone for a sustained spell of Arsenal attacking either side of the
opening goal from Welbeck, which came with seven minutes on the clock.
was classic Arsenal as Alexis Sanchez played a neat one-two with Mesut
Ozil before slipping the ball through for Welbeck to round Joel Robles
and roll home his fourth goal of an injury-hit season.
back line struggled to cope with the movement and passing of the
visitors, who had chances to double their lead through Iwobi, the nephew
of former Nigeria international Jay-Jay Okacha, and the lively Ozil.
Merseysiders, who have struggled at home all season with just four
league wins at Goodison, were fortunate not to concede a penalty 11
minutes before the break as Besic and Ramiro Funes Mori both clipped
Sanchez without winning the ball.
But they still went into half-time 2-0 down thanks to the brilliance of Iwobi.
academy graduate showed great pace and composure to sprint onto Hector
Bellerin's ball over the top before sliding the ball under Robles,
justifying his inclusion ahead of Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud.
manager Roberto Martinez sent on England international defender John
Stones at the start of the second half in a re-shuffled formation, but
it did little to stem the tide as Arsenal continued to dominate.
got away with a mistake by robbing Welbeck at the last minute, but
despite living dangerously throughout, the worst home defence in the
Premier League did not concede again.
Everton almost pulled a goal back through a Phil Jagielka header and a fierce Tom Cleverley shot, which was blocked by Gabriel.
But they were isolated threats and Arsenal barely had to break sweat in sealing a timely victory.