Arsenal thrashed a woeful Everton 5-1 at the Emirates to claim a vital three points and ease the pressure on under-fire boss Arsene Wenger.
Aaron Ramsey opened the scoring for the Gunners in the 6th minute, the Welshman tapping in home debutant Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s cross. Arsenal doubled their lead after Laurent Koscielny headed home in the 14th minute, before Ramsey scored his second via a deflection just five minutes later.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang grabbed his debut goal in the 37th minute, when he chipped Mkhitaryan’s through ball over the onrushing Pickford.
Everton improved drastically in the second half and were rewarded with a goal through Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 64th-minute header, but Aaron Ramsey secured his first-ever hat-trick in the 74th minute – Mkhitaryan providing again to ensure his own hat-trick of assists.
Following the win, Arsenal remain in sixth place but are five points off 4th-placed Chelsea – although they have now played one game more than their London rivals. Everton fall to 10th in the table but will be more worried about the performance than the result.
Arsene Wenger made two changes from the side who lost to Swansea in midweek: club record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang replaced Alexandre Lacazette in attack to make his Gunners debut, while fellow newcomer Henrikh Mkhitaryan came in for Mohamed Elneny in midfield for his first start.
Sam Allardyce opted to make five changes following Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over Leicester,
loan signing Eliaquim Mangala made his Toffees debut alongside Ashley Williams in the centre of defence, Jonjoe Kenny came in at right-back for Seamus Coleman – who has recently recovered from a double leg-break which kept him out for 10 months.
Yannick Bolasie and Morgan Schneiderlin both started, with Wayne Rooney, Tom Davies, Phil Jagielka and Gylfi Sigurdsson all dropping to the bench.
Arsenal took an early lead with the first chance of the game in the 5th minute. Aubameyang played a clever reverse pass into the path of Mkhitaryan in the box on the right, the Armenian international hit a powerful low cross which left Ramsey with a simple finish from six yards out.
Mkhitaryan was inches away from marking his home debut with a goal in the 9th minute, after his shot from 20 yards out on the left flew just wide of Pickford’s goal.
Aubameyang was next to go close for the home side three minutes later. Ramsey drove down the right before his pull-back found Aubameyang 12 yards out, the former Dortmund man released a shot but it flew over the bar via a deflection of Mangala.
From the resulting corner, Arsenal deservedly doubled their lead. Ozil’s delivery from the left was flicked on by Mustafi at the near post to an unmarked Koscielny who planted his header past Pickford from a couple of yards out.
Five minutes later and the impressive Gunners trebled their lead. Ramsey was left with way too much space and time just outside the Everton box, the Welshman duly obliged to shoot and his shot deflected off Mangala and past the wrong-footed Pickford.
The impressive Aubameyang nearly grabbed his first Arsenal goal in the 31st minute, after Ozil’s lovely through ball sent the forward clean through on goal, but his shot from a tight angle was too close to Pickford and the ball smacked off the keeper’s foot.
The Gunners made it 4-0 in the 37th minute thanks to a debut goal from the club’s record signing. Mkhitaryan was again involved as his delightful pass down the inside-left channel released Aubameyang in the Everton box, who chipped the ball over the onrushing Pickford and into the empty net – replays did show, however, that the goal should have been ruled out for offside.
Both managers made a change at half-time: midfielder Tom Davies replaced defender Michael Keane for the visitors, while Sead Kolasinac replaced injured Nacho Monreal for the home team.
Everton started the second half as the better team and their more positive approach was nearly rewarded with a goal in the 52nd minute – when Walcott’s cross from the right curled to the far post and found Niasse whose outstretched effort was toed against the post.
Allardyce decided to make a further change in the 61st minute, Walcott was warmly applauded off the Emirates pitch with Calvert-Lewin coming on in his place.
The change paid immediate dividends and the Toffees scored their first goal of the game just three minutes later. Martina got down the left and floated a cross into the Arsenal box, Calvert-Lewin rose above Kolasinac and planted his header into the ground and past Cech from five yards out.
10 minutes later Arsenal made it 5-1 after the excellent Ramsey grabbed his first ever hat-trick. Mkhitaryan won possession off Calvert-Lewin from just inside the Toffee’s half and drove down the Arsenal right before his subsequent cutback found Ramsey, who smashed home his third goal of the game from 12 yards out on the right.