Created on 08-03-2014 at 15:52 PM
Three days ahead of the Champions League Round of 16 return away to Bayern, Arsenal have posted a confidence-boosting victory. The team lying third in the English Premier League beat Everton 4-1 on Saturday and are through to the FA Cup semi-finals. Man of the Match Mesut Özil, Mikel Arteta and Olivier Giroud (2) scored for the Gunners, who had only won two of their previous six matches.
A week after going down by the only goal of the game away to Stoke in the league manager Arsene Wenger made no fewer than six team changes. Özil, club captain Thomas Vermaelen and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returned to the starting line-up, but Jack Wilshere (hairline fracture of the foot) and Laurent Koscielny (hamstring) missed out with injury.
The reshuffled Arsenal side took their first chance after seven minutes when Özil converted a Santi Cazorla layoff, the Germany international’s first goal for his club since December, when Everton also provided the opposition. Wenger’s men dominated for a long spell and created a string of chances including a shot off the bar after 24 minutes.
Everton equalised against the run of play in the 33rd minute when Romelu Lukaku finished off a counter-attack, and the score remained 1–1 until the interval. Arsenal pushed on after the break and were rewarded in the 69th minute when Oxlade-Chamberlain was bundled over in the box and Arteta made it 2–1 from the spot.
There was to be no late flourish from the Toffees and the Gunners added two more goals before the end, substitute Giroud accepting assists first from Bacary Sagna and then Özil to hit a quickfire brace in the 83rd and 85th minutes, wrapping up the 4-1 victory.
Arsenal line-up against Everton:
Fabianski - Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs (Jenkinson 88) - Flamini, Arteta - Oxlade-Chamberlain (Rosicky 78), Özil, Cazorla - Sanogo (Giroud 61)