- Arsenal hosted relegation-threatened Everton at the Emirates on Wednesday in the Premier League
- The Gunners needed a win to extend their lead at the summit of the Premier League to five points
- A brace from Gabriel Martinelli and a goal each from Saka and Odegaard sealed the win for the league leaders
Gabriel Martinelli scored twice as troubled Everton was destroyed 4-0 at the Emirates Stadium, giving Arsenal a five-point advantage at the top of the Premier League.
When Arsenal lost to Everton 1-0 last month, it was undoubtedly their worst performance of the year. However, on Wednesday, they took control thanks to a quick-fire double just before halftime.
Bukayo Saka first helped the second goal happen by stealing the ball from an unprepared Idrissa Gueye and setting up Martinelli to score. He did this after breaking Everton’s opposition with a superb finish into the top-right corner of the net.
After the break, Martin Odegaard and Martinelli added close-range goals, further damaging Sean Dyche’s struggling team and assuring Arsenal put some serious distance between themselves and Manchester City.
For the first 40 minutes, Everton held Arsenal at bay, and when Neal Maupay flicked the ball into Aaron Ramsdale’s hands from six yards out, Everton may have been entitled to the lead.
Nevertheless, the Gunners scored on their first meaningful opportunity when Saka pounced on Oleksandr Zinchenko’s defence-splitting pass and blasted past Jordan Pickford at the near post.
Six minutes later, Martinelli scored a one-on-one goal against Arsenal, and six minutes later, they added a second goal thanks to video assistant referee Michael Oliver overturning his original call for offside after Gueye was fouled by Saka.
After the break, Arsenal attempted to score a third goal but Leandro Trossard missed his shot, and Ramsdale successfully stopped Dwight McNeil’s 20-yard attempt.
With 19 minutes remaining, Trossard sprinted to the byline to find Odegaard, whose side-footed effort was diverted in by James Tarkowski, giving Arsenal a well-deserved third goal.
Eddie Nketiah tested Pickford with a close-range volley after Everton’s confidence had been shaken, and then he drove to the left to find Martinelli, who poked in for his second.
ArseArsenal get back control of the title race
A collapse by Arsenal might have started after their loss to Dyche’s team last month, especially after the Gunners responded by drawing with Brentford and falling to title rivals Manchester City.
However, Mikel Arteta’s squad is unquestionably the favourite to win the Premier League after a run of three straight victories, the latest and most convincing of which came against their favourite rivals. With their victory on Wednesday, Arsenal became the first club in English league history to defeat a particular team 100 times.
Martinelli’s performance has been crucial to Arsenal’s recovery from a string of defeats in February. The 21-year-old has scored in three straight Premier League games in the same season for the first time after recent victories over Aston Villa and Leicester City.
Saka hits 50 goal involvement
Saka appeared to be the most likely to score the crucial goal early on as Everton held Arsenal at bay. The Englishman’s potent drive marked his 50th goal involvement in the Premier League.
Saka’s perseverance eventually led to Martinelli’s second, and only Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Robbie Fowler, Cesc Fabregas, and Chris Sutton accomplished that feat at a younger age than Saka.
On Saturday, Arsenal will play host to Bournemouth in their next Premier League match, while Everton will journey to fellow relegation candidates Nottingham Forest for a crucial match the following day.
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