Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored two goals, including the winner almost immediately after halftime, and Arsenal edged Everton 3-2 in a wildly entertaining Premier League affair at the Emirates.
While the Gunners are still ninth and seem rooted to the middle of the table, they’re only four points back of Manchester United in fifth and have avoided defeat in 10 games across all competitions since the calendar flipped.
This one appeared tenuous early, as David Luiz’s howler of a deflection off a free kick set the stage for Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s terrific finish:
But there’s promise in Mikel Arteta’s uprooting of Arsenal. By the 33rd minute the Gunners had bounced back to take the lead, and they held off Everton’s furious push for an equalizer for much of the second half.
Two bright academy prospects, 20-year-old Eddie Nketiah and 18-year-old Bukayo Saka, hooked up for Arsenal’s first goal in the 27th minute:
It marks Nketiah’s first goal for the club, and Saka’s third assist of the past seven days.
Luiz helped make up for his early mistake with a nice through-ball in the 33rd minute to set up Aubameyang, whose expert finish from the left side put Arsenal ahead.
Richarlison nudged the ball over the line to equalize for Everton during a messy sequence right before break, but Aubameyang braved contact in the box to head home a pinpoint cross from Nicolas Pépé less than 30 seconds into the second half:
Arsenal didn’t exactly see out the result with authority from there, as Everton had a couple great chances to score again. But they didn’t, and Arteta has lost just once in 12 games as Arsenal manager, a 2-1 setback against Chelsea on Dec. 29.
A handful of those Premier League results have been draws, which is part of the reason enthusiasm has been tempered. If the Gunners start turning those into wins, then Arteta’s changes — from the relentless pressing to the renewed vigor and everything in between — could bear expeditious fruit.
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