Nigerian international Alex Iwobi scored on his first Premier League start as Arsenal cruised into a convincing 2-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Danny Welbeck had finished off a fine move to give the Gunners an early lead, following good work from Alexis and Mesut Ozil before Bellerin who was marking his his 21st birthday, lofted a ball over the top for Man of the Match winner Iwobi to chase, holding off Funes Mori to beat Robles for 2-0.
Arsenal arrived at Goodison Park with their Premier League campaign entering ‘must-win’ territory after defeats to Watford and Barcelona ended hopes of a cup parade.
Arsène Wenger took encouragement from a fluent display at the Nou Camp and he kept faith with the side that ruffled Barcelona’s feathers. There was one exception for Arsenal as Francis Coquelin came in for the injured Mathieu Flamini.
Iwobi was handed his first Premier League start after another precocious performance in midweek, and Welbeck continued up front with Olivier Giroud – a regular scorer against Everton – on the bench.
Everton moved into the FA Cup semi-finals last weekend but their Premier League form has been oddly patchy. Four wins in 15 home games had left them down in 12th place, but in Romelu Lukaku they had one of the top flight’s in-form strikers.
Danny Welbeck opened the scoring with a composed finish following fine build-up play from Alexis and Mesut Ozil.
Alexis had a strong penalty shout turned down but Arsenal were rewarded for a dominant first-half showing when Iwobi latched onto Hector Bellerin’s long ball and scored with aplomb.
Iwobi could have had another and substitute Olivier Giroud had a goal ruled out, and at times Everton could not live with the visitors’ fluent football.
The victory was a mightily impressive performance which takes the Gunners into the international break on a high.
Arsenal may need to win their remaining eight Premier League games to have a chance of claiming the title at the expense of in-form Leicester City who play Crystal Palace later in the day.