A resilient Arsenal dug deep and got a valuable 3-2 win over Everton at Emirates Stadium on Sunday to move themselves up to ninth in the table, just four points behind fifth-placed Manchester United.
This is the first time since August that the Gunners has managed to conjure up consecutive wins in the Premier League, which shows how well this project under Mikel Arteta is running.
A brace from captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and a goal from Eddie Nketiah was enough for the home side to see off the Toffees. The away side got their goals through Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison.
Coming back to the start of the game, Everton took the lead in the first minute when Calvert-Lewin’s bicycle kick went into the back of the net following a set-piece.
Arsenal equalised just before the half-hour mark when Bukayo Saka’s excellent cross was converted Nketiah.
The game was turned around six minutes later when David Luiz picked out Aubameyang with an exquisite through ball. The latter didn’t make any mistake and slotted his effort into the far corner.
The visitors kept playing their game though and got an equaliser in stoppage time of the first half when Richarlison bundled in his effort after another set-piece muddle in the Arsenal box.
Arteta’s men regained their lead just after half-time when Nicolas Pepe’s inch-perfect cross was headed in by Aubameyang.
Thereafter, Everton had chances to level things up again, but they couldn’t.
Here’s how we rated the Arsenal players:
Bernd Leno - 8
Leno couldn’t have done much to save either of the goals conceded, but he made three fantastic saves to keep his team’s lead intact in the second half.
A performance worthy of winning a game of football.
Hector Bellerin - 6
A rather conservative performance from Bellerin, who stayed back and defended his area instead of bombing forward at every occasion.
Some of his defensive works were good, but he could have done better on certain occasions.
Shkodran Mustafi - 8
Apart from a couple of glitches on the ball, Mustafi had an excellent game at the back.
His game-reading and positioning was superb to deal with the constant threat of Everton attackers.
David Luiz - 8
The Brazilian was tremendous at the back on most occasions for the Gunners. He is turning into a leader at the back, who can pass the ball well from the back.
His through ball for Aubameyang’s goal was a peach.
Sead Kolasinac - 2
Started the game by playing everyone onside in the build-up of Everton’s first goal.
A few minutes later, he fell awkwardly on his shoulder and had to be subbed off.
Not a good return for the left-back, who had been out with an injury for the past few weeks prior to this game.
Granit Xhaka - 7
A steady performance in midfield from Xhaka, who continued to be an exemplary passer of the ball.
His work off the ball has improved substantially under Arteta, something which is making him a “close to complete” player in this system.
Dani Ceballos - 8
Ceballos was mainly known for his guile and craft on the ball. But, the Spaniard showed grit, determination and character on and off the ball to help the team remain in command of the game in midfield.
Subbed off in the second half amidst a standing ovation from the home crowd.
Nicolas Pepe - 7
Unlike last week, Pepe had a hit-and-miss game, where he was good in one moment and easy to defend against in the other.
The Ivorian’s inch-perfect cross for Aubameyang’s match-winning goal was quality though. He is impacting games through goals/assists now, which is a positive.
Mesut Ozil - 8
Even though Ozil didn’t score or assist, he was central to most good things Arsenal did in and around the final third.
The attacking midfielder’s class on the ball and his intuitive nature to find the right spaces was something tough to handle with for the Everton defenders.
Arteta subbed off later on in the game amidst raucous applause from the Emirates’ faithful.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - 9
The captain was world-class one more time. Took both of his goals very well and worked extremely hard off the ball to win back the possession for the team.
The Gabon international is now up to 17 goals in the league this season, joint-top with Jamie Vardy. Another Golden Boot is on the horizon.
Eddie Nketiah - 9
Getting his second league start in a row, Nketiah showed his skills as an emerging striker. He was very good in holding the ball up, linking play with the attacking midfielders and making devilish runs in the box.
His ghosting run in the box and an expert finish to bring Arsenal level was top class. The work he put off the ball was admirable as well.
(SUB) Bukayo Saka - 6
Came on early in the first half after Kolasinac was injured off and provided a peach of a cross for Nketiah to score Arsenal’s equaliser.
Thereafter, he was very good going forward but showed his naivety at times by overplaying from the back and gifting possession to Everton.
(SUB) Lucas Torreira - 6
Came on in the second half to add more energy to the midfield and help the team keep their lead intact.
(SUB) Matteo Guendouzi - 6
It was a fantastic short cameo from the youngster, where he pressed higher up the pitch, used the ball well and made some tackles to stop Everton progressing.