Arsenal earned a fifth consecutive victory in all competitions, and their first clean sheet of the season, when they beat Everton 2-0 at the Emirates in the Premier League on Sunday.
Goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang proved enough to secure the Gunners the points, but Marco Silva’s Everton side did cause a few problems to a shaky Arsenal defence.
Here are four things we learned following the game:
1. Arsenal Still Look Vulnerable at the Back
It was a major talking point of the match beforehand when two questionable defences faced off against each other.
Arsenal hadn’t secured a clean sheet all season – even against Ukrainian side Vorskla – and while they finally managed it against Everton it wasn’t without great difficulty.
The Arsenal defence simply didn’t look like they could deal with the pacy, determined running from the Everton front three of Richarlison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Theo Walcott.
On a number of occasions they were carved open and only survived going behind because their opponents weren’t clinical enough.
2. Unai Emery Leads His Troops by Example
Unai Emery didn’t sit down for a single minute of the match, instead prowling his technical area barking instructions and gesturing what players should be doing.
It was as if he was playing the match alongside his men, rather than managing it from the touchline, and that might just be exactly what Arsenal need.
Should there ever be a lack of characters and figures willing to step up on the pitch and lead the men, all they need to do is look to the dugout and they’ll find one urging them on and directing their every move.
3. Everton Are Considerably Better With Richarlison
Everton were poor against West Ham in their last match, especially going forward. They seemed toothless, and it seems that was in no small part down to the lack of their Brazilian forward.
Richarlison is a Marco Silva player for certain – having played his best football at Watford under the manager too – and he was on top form again against Arsenal.
Throughout the first half he used his strength, skill and determination to bully a shaky looking opposition defence. He has that positive arrogance about himself, where he always back himself to do well, and against the Gunners defence he very often did.
4. Luck Seems to be Falling in Arsenal’s Favour
Arsenal’s first goal through Lacazette was a thing of beauty, but their second with Aubameyang was pure luck.
Everton boss Marco Silva was incensed after the match by the decision, and rightfully so, as the Gabonese striker was at least a yard or two offside when he scored.
However, the linesman on the far side – despite his unobstructed view – did not flag and the goal stood. It’s one of those situations in football, at least without VAR in practice, where you just have to hope lady luck is on your side – and for Arsenal it seems it was.