Arsenal 2-0 Everton: Gunners Win to Retain Top Four Hopes

Goals from Olivier Giroud and Tomas Rosicky helped Arsenal beat Everton and move up to third in the Premier League table.

French striker Giroud turned in Mesut Ozil’s corner in the 39th minute to separate both sides at the break.

Rosicky’s low drive from another Ozil sweeping pass was deflected into the net off Phil Jagielka for Arsenal’s second in the 88th minute.

Olivier Giroud Celebrates After Placing Arsenal Ahead of Everton a the Emirates Stadium. Image: Getty.
Olivier Giroud Celebrates After Placing Arsenal Ahead of Everton a the Emirates Stadium. Image: Getty.

The hard-fought win keeps Arsene Wenger’s men firmly in the race for an 18th successive Uefa Champions League qualification on 51 points, a point ahead of Manchester United- 2-0 winners at home to Sunderland on Saturday.

It is the first time Arsenal have won seven consecutive Premier League games at home since 2005.

Wenger kept faith with striker Giroud in his starting lineup on the back of his blunt showing in the midweek’s home defeat by French Ligue 1 side Monaco in the Uefa Champions League round of 16. The 65-year-old did however make four changes from last weekend’s win at Crystal Palace with winter signing Gabriel Paulisa replacing Per Mertesacker, as well as the inclusion of Hector Bellerin, Kieran Gibbs and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain.

John Stones, Ross Barkley and Muhamed Besic were recalled by Roberto Martinez after missing Everton’s win over Young Boys in the Uefa Europa League on Thursday.

Having trailed at half-time, the visitors posed more problems in the second half but fell short of creating gilt-edged opportunities, though Romelu Lukaku’s near-post volley was tipped over by David Ospina in goal for Arsenal.

Gabriel, making his first Premier League start since arriving in January, owed Ospina some gratitude after misjudging a long clearance, allowing Lukaku some space behind but for the Colombian goalkeeper’s apt ball sense.

The Brazilian centre-back made amend for his earlier fright with a well-timed challenge on the big Belgian while he threatened to part open the Gunners’ defence eight minutes to the interval.

Arsenal soon resurrected from their earlier wobble and Giroud, who earlier couldn’t keep his header within range, turned in a slick low volley from Ozil’s corner.

Everton bossed the game for a significant part of the second period but could not fashion out a goal as Aaron Lennon also steered Seamus Coleman’s low cross straight at Ospina.

The hosts upped the antics in the closing minutes of the game and Ozil got close to getting among the goals but for Jagielka’s crucial tackle, which deflected the German’s shot over.

Rosicky eventually eased the nerves of the expectant home crowd with a low shot that was deflected beyond Tim Howard by the unfortunate Jagielka.

The Toffees have now managed 11 points from a possible 45 and are now six points above the drop zone.

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