Nigeria forward Alex Iwobi was benched for Arsenal who came from a goal down to beat 10-man Everton 5-2 in the Premier League to hand their manager Arsene Wenger a pleasant 68th birthday gift on Sunday.
Iwobi has made four Premier League appearances this season, scoring once.
The result piled more pressure on Everton’s underfire manager Ronald Koeman who is without a win in his last four games in charge of the team in all competitions.
Nacho Monreal restored parity for Arsenal after Wayne Rooney had curled in a 12th minute opener. Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez were all on target to send the Gunners back to fifth in the English Premier League table despite a late goal from Oumar Niasse.
It was the first time in two years that Arsenal came from behind to win a game in the English Premier League and the fifth defeat in nine EPL games for Everton who dropped into the bottom three.
Arsenal were out of the blocks with their one-touch passing and they had the game’s first chance when Ozil’s shot went wide of the post.
Sanchez also found space in the box to fire a snap-shot from a tight angle but Jordan Pickford was on hand to make a save.
Lacazette also came close to scoring in the ninth minute when he swivelled in the box with a smart turn but Jordan Pickford was quick to parry his close-range shot.
Against the run of play, Rooney curled in a 20-yard shot for the opening goal in the 12th minute after Granit Xhaka was robbed of the ball by Idrissa Gueye.
It was Rooney’s 15th goal against Arsenal since he first scored in the colours of Everton 15 years ago.
The Gunners reacted to the goal and almost restored parity after Sanchez saw his free-kick spilled by Pickford but the former Sunderland goalkeeper came off his line to save the rebound from Aaron Ramsey.
In the 40th minute, Monreal levelled scores for Arsenal by firing in a the rebound after Pickford yet again spilled Xhaka’s shot from the edge of the box.
Pickford made another save to deny Sanchez from doubling Arsenal’s lead following swift passing around the penalty area of Everton for the last action of the first half.
The second half began with Everton making a change, replacing Ashley Williams who was on a yellow card for Tom Davies. But it was Arsenal who took the lead in the 53rd minute.
Sanchez from the left flank dinked in a lovely ball into the box which was guided in by Mesut Ozil past Pickford.
Ramsey failed to make it 3-1 firing Bellerin’s cut back pass over the bar and afterwards Gueye was sent off for a second bookable offence on Xhaka.
Lacazette soon made it 3-1, finishing off a swift counter-attack from the right flank.
Xhaka almost made it 4-1 when he released a left-footed shot which beat Pickford in goal but smashed the crossbar and the Everton defenders were able to get rid of the ball.
Ramsey made amends for his earlier miss, latching on to a Jack Wilshere pass to score the fourth goal for Arsenal in the 90th minute.Unblock the FIFA World Cup with ExpressVPN the #1 Trusted Name in VPN