We moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League thanks to a convincing four-goal win over Everton at a packed Emirates Stadium.
Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli both scored their 10th Premier League goals of the season late in the first half to put us in control, before Martin Odegaard effectively sealed the win when he teed up Leandro Trossard.
Martinelli then scored his fourth goal in his last three outings 10 minutes from time
Double enjoyment before the break
The first half was slow, with few chances created by either side initially. Jorginho saw an effort from a short corner hit the crossbar four minutes later, while Aaron Ramsdale’s only work in the first half saw him comfortably deal with Neal Maupay’s effort from the area.
In a similar vein to the game at Goodison 25 days earlier, the visitors tried to frustrate us by playing a low block and soaking up any pressure, while trying to fight back whenever possible. While these were few and far between, Gabriel had to be alert to make an excellent sliding tackle to prevent Maupai from scoring another goal after a breakaway.
It looked like we would have little to show for our efforts from the opening 45, however five minutes before half-time some Saka magic saw us in front. Oleksandr Zinchenko wandered up the pitch, took possession and immediately played a perfect pass to Saka’s feet.
After controlling the ball, a superb touch saw him slot past Vitalii Mykolenko to open up a shooting opportunity, and despite the narrow angle, he fired a shot into the top corner past fellow international Jordan Pickford to hit double figures for the season in the Premier League. Link.
And then in stoppage time we managed to gain firm control of the game and double our lead. Idrissa Gueye parried Martin Odegaard in midfield but was caught chasing the ball, allowing Saka to nibble and push it into the path of Martinelli, who coolly slotted past Pickford.
The goal was initially ruled out for offside by the referee’s flag, but VAR intervened and showed the Brazilian was narrowly behind his team-mate to score for the third successive game and give us a healthy half-time lead.
Hot Martinelli adds another one
With his side now needing something different to get back into the contest, Dyche shuffled his pack and Ramsdale had to be alert to dive low and palm away a Dwight McNeil shot after a strong run from the winger Toffees but after that brief scare we wrapped up the crucial points on 71 minutes.
Leandro Trossard was sent on his way down the left in acres of space and had enough time to get into the box and cut the ball home for Odegaard to finish off the simple chance.
With confidence running through the team, we were keen to score more and Pickford did well to smother an Eddie Nketiah shot after being met by a wonderful Thomas Partey pass, but 10 minutes later we added a fourth.
Zinchenko was once involved as he nudged the ball into the path of Nketiah and laid the ball on a plate for Martinelli to slot past Pickford at the near post and add more gloss to the win, securing our 100th league win against Everton – a first time in English history – it was unforgettable.
This was the first of six games in a 19-day stretch. We’re at home again on Saturday when we entertain Bournemouth before turning our attention to the Europa League as we head to Lisbon to face Sporting CP in the first leg of their last 16 tie on Thursday, March 8. This follows on from a London derby against Fulham next Sunday.
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