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A Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang brace was enough to see Arsenal past Everton in a 3-2 goal fest on Sunday that saw Andre Gomes make his return to competitive football after suffering a horror injury in November.
Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin opened the scoring in the first minute of the game, netting an improvised overhead kick after Arsenal failed to deal with a well-delivered free kick.
Arsenal’s teenage emergency left-back Bukayo Saka, who replaced the injured Sead Kolasinac in the opening minutes, delivered a superb cross shortly after that was volleyed in by striker Edward Nketiah to level the score.
Aubameyang then put Arsenal ahead, showing his composure to finish a one-on-one past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, before Everton winger Richarlison made it 2-2 on the stroke of half time.
Aubameyang added his second, Arsenal’s third, moments into the second half with a standing header from just outside the six-yard box to seal the win.
The victory completed an excellent week for Mikel Arteta’s side after their 4-0 Premier League win over Newcastle United and 1-0 win at Olympiakos in the Europa League on Thursday.
“The best thing is the spirit we showed after coming back from Europe – three games in seven days. And coming back after we went behind. The resilience they showed after they were absolutely shattered. Three wins in seven days, for sure it is my best week,” said the Spaniard.
Gomes came off the bench on 59 minutes to make his first appearance in less than four months after sustaining a broken ankle in a 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur earlier this season.
The visitors had a flurry of late chances in the final stages of the game, including a header by Calvert-Lewin and a Richarlison strike, but Everton failed to convert.
It was a fourth win in five matches across all competitions as Arsenal maintain their unbeaten start to 2020 and move up to ninth place in the Premier League, seven points from the Champions League places.
Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton sit in 11th place on 36 points having not won at the Emirates in 24 years.
Ancelotti added that striker Calvert-Lewin was continuing to progress but needed to work on his focus.
“He is doing well but (it is) not enough. If he wants to be a top striker, he has to work more hard, focus hard, work more. He is doing well but he has to have the game to be focused all the time,” he said.
“Defensively, we were terrible. We have to improve. There were three goals we could have avoided. It was too easy for Arsenal to score three goals.
“We had a lot of opportunities at the end of the game to equalise and we did not get it. We are working, we believe in what we are doing. Today was a step down. We need to refocus. We need to re-balance.”