Arsenal 4 - 1 Everton
After a poor away day at Rugby side Stoke, Arsenal needed to get back to winning ways in the FA Cup against Everton. Both sides were putting out strong sides, with Wembley only a few fixtures away.
The Gunners began the game well, pressing Everton high up the pitch, and causing issues in and around their area.
Cazorla, Ozil and Chamberlain, were all working intelligently in the opposition half…
The Toffees though, were doing well on the counter, opting to lie in wait for Arsenal to lose possession before springing attacks. Cazorla, Ozil and Chamberlain though, were all working intelligently in the opposition half, and it didn’t take long for the goal to come.
It eventually came in the seventh minute, when Chamberlain flicked the ball on to Cazorla, who charged forward, and passed to Ozil who had ran ahead of him. Ozil let the ball run across his body before smashing it across goal. The ball was well placed, and made its way into the bottom corner - despite two Everton defenders sliding in to block.
Arsenal continued with their high tempo Football, but weren’t creating any solid chances, and that always spells trouble.
Everton continued to play on the counter, and in the thirty-second minute, it paid off for them. Following an Arsenal attack, Barkley ran the ball from his own half to Arsenal’s box, where he crossed brilliantly for Mirallas, who played it back into the goal mouth, where Lukaku had an easy tap in.
The rest of the first half was tame, leaving the game wide open, and the scores level when the half time whistle blew.
Arteta re-took the spot kick, and placed it in the top corner of the net - and this time, it counted.
Not much changed in the early stages in the second half, with both teams not doing too much to upset the other. But that all changed in the sixty-eighth minute.
Ozil played a good ball to Chamberlain down the right hand side, and the Englishman got into the box before winning a penalty. Arteta stepped up, and placed it well into the corner.
Yet, Mark Clattenburg called it back to the spot, booking Giroud for shoving an Everton player as the penalty was taken. Arteta re-took the spot kick, and placed it in the top corner of the net - and this time, it counted.
With Arsenal a goal to the good, and Giroud replacing Sanogo, the game opened itself up a little more, allowing some creativity to leak in. Rosicky was also thrown on for The Ox for good measure.
The Gunners had now scored four, with Ozil grabbing a goal and assist for himself. He ad been electric all game.
It took until the eighty-third minute for that creativity to win through though, where Sagna and Rosicky linked up down the right again. Sagna danced into the box, and played a very good ball to Giroud at the front post, allowing the Frenchman to turn it into the net.
Just three minutes later, Giroud got his second. A quick break from Arsenal allowed Rosicky to play Ozil into space, and with a beautiful first-time pass, Mesut found Giroud in space, who only had to put it into an open net.
The Gunners had now scored four, with Ozil grabbing a goal and assist for himself. He had been electric all game.
As the final whistle blew just a few moments later, Arsenal found themselves on their way to Wembley for the FA Cup semi-finals - and that was precisely the good news he team needed going into yet another tough month of fixtures.
Arsenal Player Ratings
Made one or two good stops, and distributed well. Couldn’t do much for the goal. Growing into a very good Keeper.
Started badly, but grew into the game. His crosses were hot and cold, but he was always in a good position to receive the ball from Chamberlain and others. Great assist for Giroud late on.
Per had a comfortable game, dealing with Lukaku well for the most part. You might argue that he should have been better positioned during the build up to Lukaku’s goal though.
Made one error when he missed the ball in a dangerous area, allowing Everton to go on and have a shot at goal. Apart from that though, he was as solidas can be. Sad that a run of games is beyond him.
Didn’t work hard enough to get back during the build-up to Lukaku’s goal, but had a good day going forward. Linked up with Ozil and Cazorla quite well on a few occasions.
Got forward more often than usual, and passed well all game. Scored a good penalty, which he then had the hard task of re-taking. His second though, was even better. Under all that gel, there is a very cool head.
Read the game very well to cut out chances for Everton in the first half, but probably should have done better to stop Barkley’s cross for the Everton goal. Had a solid defensive game regardless.
Santi worked very hard, putting in tackles and churning out beautiful long-range passes. His shooting wasn’t the best today, but he did well to get the assist for Ozil’s opener.
The Ox: [8/10]
Alex was superb. He lost the ball twice in the first half, but on both occasions he won the ball back cleanly. He showed amazing energy at times, refusing to give up on loose balls, closing players down and charging forwards. Must start in Munich.
Ozil: [8.5/10] - MOTM
Arsenal’s most influential player from start to finish. His opening goal was the result of a good run and a confident finish, whilst his assit for Giroud’s second was simply sublime. He oozes intelligence in the final third today, and yet still had the energy to chase back and win tackles. Worth every single penny.
Not the best we’ve seen from Yaya, but there were still some good signs. His movement was positive, he had good ideas, but they just weren’t coming off for him. He was also quite isolated at times.
After a tough month, there’s nothing like coming off the bench to score two goals in three minutes. Well, I would imagine so anyway. They were two very calm finished from the Frenchman today. Great to see him back on form, because we’ll need him in Munich.
Came on to grab to assist-assists, doing well to pass to Sagna for Giroud’s first, and to Ozil for Giroud’s second. Great player to have on the bench.
It’s weird how Semi-Finals ae played at Wembley, but I’m not really complaining - and I’m sure our players won’t either.
Ozil ran the show today, with Chamberlain and Cazorla putting in two very good shifts. Everton weren’t necessarily poor defensively, despite their nervous goalkeeper. Arsenal fully deserved their four goals, and their place in the Semi-Final.
Chamberlain’s form is especially welcome, since Wilshere will now miss a crucial part of the season. Thankfully, Ramsey is also returning, and Kallstrom is out of his body cast.
Next up, Bayern Munich away. *Gulps*.