Petr Cech stars, earns 8/10 as Arsenal brush Everton aside to move sixth
Arsenal overcame Everton thanks to two goals from their prolific strike pairing of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The win makes it five consecutive victories across all completions for Unai Emery, who will also be delighted to have finally recorded a clean sheet.
Emery must be mightily relieved he is able to call upon two strikers of the calibre of Lacazette and Aubameyang. Even when Arsenal are struggling for fluency, they have the quality to produce goals out of nothing. Their partnership is what Emery should be building his team around.
The goalkeeping position at Arsenal has been the subject of considerable debate in recent weeks, but Petr Cech's performance suggests Emery was right to stick with the former Chelsea man.
Emery must work out why his team are such poor starters. The Gunners have not led at half-time in any of their Premier League fixtures thus far.
The injury to Sokratis Papastathopoulos will be a significant concern to Emery. The former Borussia Dortmund man has been Arsenal's most impressive defender this season, and with Laurent Koscielny already sidelined the Gunners cannot afford to lose another centre-half. It'll be anxious wait to discover the extent of the damage.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Whatever Emery said at half-time clearly worked. Arsenal do seem to have a manager who is capable of altering the pattern of games from the touchline.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Petr Cech, 8 -- The veteran keeper was rested in midweek, but returned here to great effect. He made his first save inside 90 seconds, diving at the feet of Dominic Calvert-Lewin to prevent Everton taking an early lead. Good stops also denied Theo Walcott and, on more than occasion, Richarlison.
DF Hector Bellerin, 6 -- For much of the game Bellerin cut an isolated figure on the right flank. At one stage he went to take a throw in the final third, and had to wait about 30 seconds for a teammate to trot anywhere near him.
DF Shkodran Mustafi, 6 -- A relatively quiet game from the German -- which, as far as he's concerned, is definitely a good thing.
DF Sokratis Papastathopolous, 6 -- The Greek centre-half's match was cut short by injury. As arguably the only reliable central defender at the club, Emery will be hoping it's not a lengthy layoff.
DF Nacho Monreal, 6 -- The full-back has recently been notable for his attacking contributions, and he almost gave Arsenal the lead in this game after a characteristic dart forward. On the defensive front, he had a difficult afternoon up against the pace of Theo Walcott.
MF Granit Xhaka, 6 -- Caught on the ball early on, and his performance never really recovered. He wasn't quite as influential with his passing as usual.
MF Lucas Torreira, 7 -- Emery chose this match to hand the Uruguayan his much-anticipated Premier League full debut. Perhaps he was a little too hyped up: he was booked early on and was arguably lucky to escape a second yellow card shortly before the end of the first half. However, after the break he looked significantly more composed.
MF Aaron Ramsey, 7 -- Currently struggling to settle into his new advanced midfield role. In the first half he was close to anonymous, and it looked likely that he would be replaced. However, he recovered to end the game with two assists.
FW Mesut Ozil, 6 -- This was not Ozil's best game. Like Ramsey, he fared better in the second half when he stuck a little more rigidly to his role on the right-hand side.
FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 7 -- After playing as a central striker in midweek, Aubameyang found himself back on the flank for this game. It didn't stop him getting on the scoresheet -- although replays suggested the goal should have been ruled out for offside.
FW Alexandre Lacazette, 7 -- What a hit from the Frenchman. When Arsenal needed something special to edge them in front, he provided it.
DF Rob Holding, 6 -- Came on for Sokratis (45) and will be pleased to have contributed to the clean sheet.
FW Alex Iwobi, 6 -- Introduced for Aubameyang (69) and added physicality to the front line.
FW Danny Welbeck, NR -- Came on for Ramsey (80) but didn't have time to make any real impact.