Arsenal responded to their exits from both the Champions League and FA Cup with a comfortable victory over Everton at Goodison Park. Danny Welbeck opened the scoring on seven minutes, put through by Alexis Sanchez to round Joel Robles and slot home for his fourth of the season. On 42 minutes, teenager Alex Iwobi marked his maiden Premier League start with a first goal for the club. The result leaves the Gunners 11 points behind leaders Leicester City. It was a first win in four league matches for third-placed Arsenal, who dominated the game. In contrast, Everton failed to test their opponents properly and had just two shots on target as their dreadful home form – now four defeats in five in the league – continued.
Arsenal began the week with a 2-1 home defeat by Watford in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup being knocked out of the FA Cup. Then on Wednesday they lost 3-1 to Barcelona at the Nou Camp as they were knocked out of the Champions League. With only the league to focus on, this looked like a must-win match for the Gunners if they were to stay in touch with Leicester. There are also not yet assured of a Champions League place with fifth-placed West Ham only three points behind before kick-off. In the event, they responded to last week’s disappointments with a positive performance and earned a first league win since beating Leicester 2-1 on 14 February. It was a dream full league debut by Iwobi, the 19-year-old Nigeria midfielder.
He has come through the ranks at Arsenal’s Hale End academy and made his first-team debut in October’s 3-0 League Cup defeat by Sheffield Wednesday and signed a new contract last year. Iwobi was born in Lagos but played for England’s youth teams before deciding to represent Nigeria and has won two caps for the Super Eagles. He boasts footballing pedigree as his uncle is former Bolton and Nigeria legend Jay-Jay Okocha. Iwobi was brimming with confidence in attack and had the most shots of any of his team-mates. He linked well with Welbeck and showed composure and strength to hold off the challenge of Ramiro Funes Mori before scoring his goal.
Some facts – Arsenal enjoyed only their third victory in their past 10 away Premier League games (drawn four, lost three). Welbeck has now scored four Premier League goals against Everton, his joint-best return against any side (along with Aston Villa). Arsenal enjoyed only their third victory in their past 10 away Premier League games (drawn four, lost three). Welbeck has now scored four Premier League goals against Everton, his joint-best return against any side (along with Aston Villa).