Arsenal started the game well and showed no sign of the complacency that has often reared it’s head when the Gunners are on a good run. For the first 20 minutes we were dominating the game with some slick passing and movement, although there were not too many clear cut chances.
Everton came back after that and started to have more of the ball and use it well. Arsenal still continued to probe though, with Ozil and Alexis looking like they could break the solid defence at some point and it was the German that finally did create the opening we needed, with a perfect cross from the right. Giroud had made a great run and came up with a deft header to beat Howard.
We were in dreamland just a minute or so later and it was another peach of a cross, this time a free kick from the right by Cazorla, and Koscielny made it his – and powered another header past the Everton keeper. After that we looked in control and defended well but were undone just before the break when a wicked deflection gave Cech no chance from Barkley’s shot.
Arsenal wobbled a bit for the next few minutes and were glad to hear the whistle. From a dominant position we had a lot of work to do and having Coquelin on a slightly harsh booking meaning that the French midfielder had to be careful did not help. At least the pouring rain had eased up a bit.
Arsenal came back out full of intent and really took the game to the visitors. Howard had to save from Alexis and Giroud as Chamberlain really came into the game and Ozil and Cazorla pulled the strings. The third goal was proving elusive though and with Everton looking dangerous on the counter, the result was definitely in the balance.
When Giroud’s brilliant shot crashed back off the bar it seemed as though luck was not on our side today as we should have been comfortably home and dry. With just over 10 minutes left and after some dodgy decisions, Lukaku should have punished us but his header skidded off the bar.
After that let off Wenger brought Flamini on to shore things up and he was needed as Everton sensed an unlikely point and pushed hard. The Arsenal defence is a tough nut to crack these days though and with Cech brilliantly denying Deulofeu we managed to hold on. Flamini should have sealed it before then but put a point blank header straight at Howard. Ozil shaved the post as well and we really could have had a hatfull of goals.
The win is what mattered though and we got what we deserved.