Arsenal overcame another stiff test to earn their fifth consecutive win and crucially, the first clean sheet of Unai Emery’s reign.
Goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in quick succession in the second half only told a smidgin of this match’s story, with Everton pushing the Gunners close at times, which adds more lustre to the fact we didn’t concede.
Unai Emery saw enough from Torreira thus far to finally give the Uruguayan his first start of the PL campaign, and he partnered Granit Xhaka in the middle of the park. The Spanish coach also erred toward attack as he named both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in the same eleven. With Henrikh Mkhitaryan carrying a knock, it was Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey selected to ably assist our star strikers.
Marco Silva had starman Richarlison back from suspension and he duly recalled the young Brazilian, and it was he who was chief tormentor in the first half, but on the few occasions Everton did break through our rearguard, Petr Cech was on hand to nullify the threat.
Theo Walcott had scored the second most amount of goals at The Emirates by any player, and he nearly added to that total, running onto a through ball and scorching Nacho Monreal, but Petr Cech again thwarted Everton by diving low at the wingers feet.
It wasn’t one way traffic, we were giving as good as we were getting, but the nearest we came was when Alexandre Lacazette was found in the box but couldn’t adjust his footing, and the chance came and went.
The best chance for either side actually occurred in the second minute, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin wasting a fantastic chance and Cech making the save and showing he was up for the challenge.
We lost Sokratis halfway through the first half, but thankfully, the injury didn’t look too serious, unlike the permanently grave expression etched upon the Greek defender. Rob Holding came on in his stead and he performed as if he had always been in the team.
Nacho Monreal registered our only shot on target in the half, but Jordan Pickford was equal to the Spaniard’s effort, and with a lot of midfield battles fought, the onus on the game was in the centre of the park. As the sides went in for the break, MArco Silva would have been the happier.
The second half began as the first did, with Everton looking dangerous, but it would be Arsenal who would break the deadlock - and in some style.
The Gunners were building up a head of steam and had been enjoying a spell of possession around the Everton third. Aaron Ramsey took the ball and found Lacazette just inside the box. The Frenchman jinked inside and curled a fabulous effort into the far top corner, without even looking at the goal. Pickford had no chance.
Everton were rocked, and less than three minutes later, we had extended our lead.
Ozil blazed forward and Lacazette found him, leaving Everton unarmed in defence with only Jonjoe Kenny to mop up. Ozil ran into the box and found Ramsey. The ball was behind the Welshman, but he managed to divert the ball into Aubameyang’s path who was behind him - and offside.
For once though, the flag didn’t raise and we got away with a bit of luck and Auba didn’t need a second opportunity, slamming home his chance before he could give the linesman a chance to doubt himself.
The striker’s double act had done it again, and the Toffees had their stuffing knocked out of them.
Everton still carried a threat, but all the chances were coming our way, and we smelled blood - but we couldn’t quite finish the job. We made some changes too, with Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck coming on, but it didn’t disrupt our dominance. Iwobi in fact, looked keen to twist the blade in the gut of Everton, but couldn’t quite manage it.
As the minutes ticked by, the fact we were still seeking our first clean sheet of the season became more and more prominent, but we needn’t have worried. Petr Cech was on fine form and there was no shaky moments from playing out from the back. We handled the inevitable up in tempo from an increasingly desperate Everton, and we held out to grab the first blank of the campaign.
Next up is our Carabao Cup encounter with Championship side Brentford, followed by a Premiership tie versus high-flying Watford at The Emirates.
With Aubameyang and Lacazette firing in the goals and Petr Cech showing that he is still up to the challenge, we stand every chance of keeping our run going - just as we did to ensure Everton are still searching for their first win at our home ground since 1996.