LIVERPOOL: Everton dropped into the bottom three of the Premier League after Arsenal came from a goal down to earn an emphatic 5-2 victory at Goodison Park on Sunday.
It all started so well for the hosts as Wayne Rooney curled a stunning 12th-minute opener into the net to give his side the lead — the strike coming almost 15 years to the day since a 16-year-old Rooney announced himself to the world with a remarkably similar goal against the same opposition.
Despite trailing, Arsenal dominated from then on, mustering 17 shots on goal in the first half alone, one of which was Nacho Monreal’s equaliser from close range five minutes before the break.
Arsenal continued on the front foot after the interval and took the lead in the 53rd minute via the head of Mesut Ozil.
Idrissa Gueye was dismissed 15 minutes later after collecting a second yellow card, before a goal from Alexandre Lacazette in the 74th minute and late strikes from Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez, coming either side of an Oumar Niasse consolation, capped a victory that moves Arsenal up to fifth but piles the pressure on under-fire Everton boss Ronald Koeman.
The match could not have got off to a better start for Koeman as Rooney, deployed in a deeper role, picked up a loose ball before curling it past the despairing dive of Petr Cech to send Goodison into raptures.
However, with Ozil orchestrating things for the Gunners, it was only a matter of time before the visitors restored parity, with Jordan Pickford keeping them at bay for much of the first period.
The pressure told as Monreal reacted quickest to another Pickford save to level, before Ozil got on the scoresheet himself with a well-timed header on the end of a pinpoint Sanchez cross.
Any chance of an Everton fightback got much harder with Gueye’s dismissal for two needless challenges — the fourth dismissal in the last five meetings between these two sides — with the Toffees falling apart in the final 22 minutes.
Lacazette finished off a sweeping counter to make it 3-1, before Ramsey had all the time in the world to make it four in the 90th minute.
There was still time for Niasse to capitalise on some poor Arsenal defending to salvage some pride, before Sanchez got the goal his all-action display deserved, inciting boos from all around Goodison as the Everton faithful grow more impatient with Koeman.