With the transfer window now over and teams now focused on the second part of the football calendar, Arsenal fans were eager to see how their new acquisition would fit into their system and how they would integrate with the other players.
Since the acquisition of Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, there have been questions raised about how Wenger would fit Aubameyang and Lacazette, and likewise Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere and Xhaka into one team.
Wenger picked his starting XI against Everton, upon the team’s match against Everton with Theo Walcott, making his Emirates return since been sold to Everton. Petr Cech, Hector Bellerin, Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey, Henrik Mkhitaryan, Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made up the starting XI for this fixture.
Ramsey who scored his first ever hat-trick in this match opened the scoring in just six minutes as the Gunners slaughtered the Toffees to a 5-1 victory. Former teammates and new signings Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan combined well to create the opening for the Welshman to open the floodgates of goals for the Gunners, as the Armenian international bagged three assists in this match. Ozil laid a pass into Aubameyang, who freed Mkhitaryan to hit a low cross for Ramsey to tuck home from close-range.
The noise at the Emirates grew louder as there were cheers in the 14th minute, as the Gunners increased their lead, courtesy of a centre-back partnership. Mesut Ozil delivered a corner which was flicked on by Shkodran Mustafi and Koscielny arrived right in front of Aubameyang to send a diving header past Pickford.
Everton looked like a team that couldn’t control Arsenal’s attacking prowess as they fell yet again by the blazing guns of the Gunners. Ramsey got his second goal of the evening and the Gunners third with his effort, which was deflected by Everton’s new boy and debutant Eliaquim Mangala. Iwobi set up the Welshman just outside the box for a shot that deflected off Mangala, making the ball difficult for Pickford to stop.
Aubameyang showed blistering pace in the course of the game, as I was glad the team now have two pacey mobile forwards in Lacazette and Aubameyang. Aubameyang opened his Gunners account and the fourth for Arsenal, though he should’ve been flagged for offside, I’ll take it knowing we’ve been on the wrong end of poor refereeing on countless times this season. Mkhitaryan picked up his second assist of the day, playing a through pass to Aubameyang who was offside but still finished with a delicate chip over Pickford. If the ball could speak, I’m sure it would say, “handle with care”, as it was a beautiful chip to behold from the Gabon international.
In the second half, Oumar Niasse hit the post but should really have done better to score, sliding on to Walcott’s low cross and colliding heavily with Petr Cech, which wasn’t pleasant to watch. Cech carried on playing but had some discomfort as he rumbled into the game.
The away side pulled one back in the 64th minute, with a header from Calvert-Lewin as it proved to be nothing short of a consolation goal. Soon after, Cech had to be replaced with David Ospina as he couldn’t play any part in the remainder of the game. Cech is one clean sheet away from achieving his 200th Premier League clean sheet and has had to wait for nine games and counting to achieve this feat.
The hat trick was complete in the 74th minute with Mhkitaryan linking well with Ramsey again to produce yet another goal between themselves. Mkhitaryan was able to get a low cross into the box, to the strides of Ramsey, who delivered a low shot past Pickford to complete his hat trick, earning himself the match ball in the process.
An all-round display from the Gunners, as they look like a rejuvenated team and one with a terrific attack if played to its rhythm, could help salvage what is seen as a terrible season thus far for the Gunners.