Everton 0 Arsenal 2
Welbeck 7, Iwobi 42

Arsenal produced the resilience, the class and the composure to see off Everton at Goodison Park in Saturday’s lunchtime kick off with two first half goals from Danny Welbeck and on his first Premier League start, Alex Iwobi. After the week or so which saw the Gunners bow out of the FA Cup, and then go toe to toe with Barcelona in last Wednesday’s Champions exit at the Nou Camp , the three points against Everton proved to be the perfect response to those who had predicted a total capitulation to Arsenal’s season. One worrying moment for, Arsene Wenger’s side came when Romelu Lukaku clattered into David Ospina. After some obvious discomfort and lengthy on field treatment, the Colombian recovered to finish the match.

Arsenal made a bright start against an Everton side who had comfortably seen off Chelsea in the FA Cup last week end, and would have fancied their chances against a wounded Gunners. Wenger kept faith with Gabriel and Laurent Koscielny at the heart of the Arsenal defence with Nacho Monreal, and playing on his 21st birthday, Hector Bellerin. The midfield steel axis of Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny is proving to be a welcomed plus point in an area which has shown fragility in recent seasons. Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Iwobi were in the front three with Welbeck at trios apex.

With seven minutes on the clock, Arsenal took the lead. Alexis fed Ozil and the German’s return enabled Alexis to put in Welbeck. As Joel Robles came out in an attempt to narrow the angle, Welbeck went to his side before cutting back with a precise finish for his fourth goal in nine games since his return from a near year knee injury enforced absence. It was the perfect start and at a ground which can prove to be challenging, and a perfect way to silence the home support.

The Toffee men’s approach to get service to Lukau was being stifled by a resilient Arsenal defence, with Gabriel in particular coming out well in that particular battle. Arsenal were hungry for the ball. They battled, chased and harassed with Elneny setting the tone. The swift adaptation of the Egyptian to the demands of the Premier League has been a revelation to a midfield now longer reliant on Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini.

Keeping Everton at bay was the key to frustrate the home side who found themselves two goals in arrears three minutes before the break. Iwobi has an energy and a dynamism which Wenger has faith in, and that faith enabled the Arsenal boss to leave Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell on the bench. It was the young Nigerian who broke up an Everton move and with the ball at Bellerin’s feet, raced out of his half.

Bellerin picked out Iwobi with a perfect pass, and despite the strong attentions of Funes-Mori, the 19 year old Arsenal academy product hit low past Robles to double the Arsenal lead. The Arsenal football and the swagger was back, and the way in which Welbeck and Iwobi seem to be setting up a good understanding looks to be the beginning of a productive relationship.

Alexis should have been awarded a penalty as contact was made by his blue shirted marker and replays backed that view.

Roberto Matrinez brought on John Stones for Besic and his recovery as Welbeck sensed a second goal proved to be vital. 2-0 up and with a subdued home crowd, Everton couldn’t respond except when Coleman tried to physically annoy the Arsenal defence.

Giroud came off the bench for Welbeck after 75 minutes and was cruelly denied a headed goal as Funes Mori feel over Iwobi’s legs. However, apart from Ospina’s injury scare, Arsenal were comfortable and duly went on to record their third away win in their last ten away fixtures.

Welbeck summed up what the win meant and the Gunners title ambitions. “It’s been a difficult couple of weeks so it was good to get back to winning ways and have something to build on. Going a goal up early on makes a big difference, and it set the standard for the rest of the game.”

“We just have to worry about ourselves, we can’t affect other teams’ results.”

Having scored his first Arsenal goal, Iwobi described his emotions . ” I enjoyed the moment, but I’m happy the team won. I enjoy training with Danny, he gives me confidence and despite recent results we are all confident in training.”

Wenger was pleased to see his side respond in such positive fashion. ” It was a very significant win for us and a mental test. We continued the level of performance against Barcelona. I like this group, I like the mental attitude – it has been questioned and it hurts me. When you work every day with them you see how much effort they put in.”