Arsenal thrash Everton 4-0 to go five points clear
- Arsenal open up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League after thrashing of relegation-threatened Everton 4-0 at the Emirates Stadium
Title-chasing Arsenal opened up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League as Gabriel Martinelli's double eased them to a 4-0 thrashing of relegation-threatened Everton at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.
The hosts were initially frustrated by their struggling visitors but goals by Bukayo Saka and Martinelli shortly before halftime put them in command as they took maximum advantage of their game in hand over Manchester City.
Captain Martin Odegaard made it 3-0 with a close-range finish in the 71st minute before Martinelli grabbed his second goal of the evening to complete the rout.
A third victory in succession since losing at home to City lifted Arsenal to 60 points from 25 games with City on 55.
Everton, who now have only one victory from their last 27 league visits to Arsenal, had actually looked capable of taking something from the game.
But once they fell behind a 14th league defeat of the season became almost a formality and they remain third from bottom with 21 points having played a game more than the teams around them.
Everton stunned Arsenal in Sean Dyche's first game in charge in February and for 40 minutes they did an extremely effective job at nullifying them again.
But they caved in with halftime looming.
Dangerman Saka had been relatively quiet but he burst into life to make the breakthrough.
Given far too much time to turn after receiving a pass from Odegaard on the right edge of the penalty area, he smashed an angled shot into the roof of the net.
Everton's Idrissa Gueye then gifted Arsenal a second on the stroke of halftime. The Senegalese midfielder was caught napping by Saka who nicked the ball away from him before poking a pass to Martinelli who slipped his shot past Jordan Pickford.
The visitors thought they had been spared by an offside flag but a VAR decision overturned it and Arsenal went in at halftime to chants of 'we are top of the league' from the home fans.
With only 17 league goals all season it looked a tall order for shot-shy Everton to salvage anything and they offered next to nothing after the break.
Odegaard fired in his side's third from Leandro Trossard's cut back and Martinelli confirmed the gulf between the sides late on by tapping in from Eddie Nketiah's assist.
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