Nigeria-born Alex Iwobi and Man of the Match Danny Welbeck were instrumental in the 2-0 mauling of Everton by Arsenal in an crucial Premier League match played at Goodison Park Saturday evening.
Arsenal’s opened the score line when Welbeck struck in the seven the minute as a new-look Arsenal side tore Everton apart in a scintillating first-half display.
It was a fine performance from Arsenal and saw them close the gap on the top flight’s top two sides, although they remain eight points behind Leicester and three behind Tottenham with both sides still to play this weekend.
Welbeck’s beautifully-taken opener put Arsenal ahead inside the opening 10 minutes, before Iwobi added a second just before half-time.
Arsene Wenger’s men never looked in trouble thereafter – although their display will no doubt leave Gunners fans wondering why such form had deserted them in recent weeks.
Are Arsenal still in the title hunt?
This season is following the usual Arsenal pattern: start promisingly, fall away in ‘crisis’, and then recover strongly to still take something out of the campaign.
This year could still end the same way – with yet another top four finish at least – but the Gunners need Leicester and Spurs to start slipping up if they are to be in with a chance in the title race.
At least Arsenal themselves seem to have got their house in order. Mohamed Elneny has been an excellent find in midfield alongside Francis Coquelin, and Alex Iwobi gives them energy to go along with his creativity in the advanced midfield position.
It’s better from Arsenal, but is it too late?
Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes his side can yet breathe new life in their title challenge after goals from Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi completed a 2-0 win at Everton.
Wenger watched Arsenal secure only their third win their past 10 away outings courtesy of two goals in the first half to close the gap on leaders Leicester to eight points before Claudio Ranieri’s team visited Crystal Palace later on Saturday.
Spurs are three points clear of third-placed Arsenal before they host Bournemouth at White Hart Lane on Sunday. “We are still in it,” said Wenger on BT Sport. Welbeck and Iwobi fire Arsenal to crucial win at Everton
“We want everyone to be behind the team and to give us a chance.
“We are ready for a battle, for a fight, and just continue to put in the quality of performances that we have put in today.”
Wenger had to endure more Arsenal fans demanding change at the club after Wenger’s side were ousted from the Champions League last 16 by Barcelona and the FA Cup quarter-finals by Watford over the past six days.
Despite the protests about Wenger’s running of the team in his 20th year as manager and the direction the club are heading under American owner Stan Kroenke, who has apparently earmarked the top four and profits as success rather than winning trophies, Wenger was quick to praise his team’s attitude while not getting the full support of the fans.
“I must say honestly that I was very disappointed because the team did not get the support mentally.”
“This team is absolutely outstanding,” said Wenger. “I’ve managed many groups, and this group is top class, so I want them to be rewarded.
“We have gone through a difficult spell, but I must say during that spell we had a very difficult schedule, and we were not helped.”
Wenger saluted the contribution of Iwobi, 19, the nephew of former Bolton and Nigeria playmaker Jay-Jay Okocha, after scoring his first goal for the club.
“He is an intelligent boy who loves football, is very passionate about the game, keen to learn and very humble as well,” said Wenger.
“He is 19 years old and has been at our club since the age of eight. “I took him in pre-season and I liked what he did. After that he improved very quickly. He did very well. I integrated him and played him.”