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Arsenal need to show fluency


Time for Wilshere to finally step up

 By Nick Miller

Arsenal rebound from Champions League defeat with win vs. Everton

ESPN FC's Craig Burley talks Arsenal's victory following a rough week in the Champions League.

LONDON -- Goals from Olivier Giroud and Tomas Rosicky gave Arsenal an easy 2-0 win vs. Everton. Here are three quick thoughts from their Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

1. Giroud scores, still not enough for Arsenal

It is quite difficult to know what to make of Olivier Giroud. Watching him against Monaco midweek and even at points in Sunday's game against Everton, when he contrived to miss a virtually free header from about six yards out not once but twice, it's difficult...

David Ospina the unexpected star as Arsenal hold on for victory vs. Everton

ESPN FC's Craig Burley talks Arsenal's victory following a rough week in the Champions League.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: Olivier Giroud goal (40') Arsenal 1-0 Everton
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: Tomas Rosicky goal (89') Arsenal 2-0 Everton

Arsenal edged to a nervous 2-0 win over Everton on Sunday to keep their hopes of a top-four finish intact. After the midweek defeat at home to Monaco, there was an understandable tension in the air at the Emirates. Ultimately, a lacklustre Gunners side struggled for fluency and Everton will feel unlucky to leave north London without a point.

The opening goal came from Olivier Giroud, who achieved a measure of redemption after his miss-laden display against Monaco when he tucked home Mesut Ozil's...

Arsenal picking up the pieces after Champions League horror show

The ESPN FC panel discuss the necessary elements to a potential Arsenal victory over Everton.

Arsenal's disappointment in the wake of Wednesday's Champions League disaster has been palpable.

Striker Olivier Giroud described himself as "hurt and embarrassed" after his profligacy in front of goal was made all the more costly by defensive lapses that the team had worked hard to cut out of their game. Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, was the brunt of heavy criticism for not being able to overcome what was, for once, an opponent in the first knockout round that the Gunners could realistically expect...

 By John Culea

Fantasy preview: Week 27

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson previews a busy week of Premier League fixtures ahead, and suggests top ELP fantasy picks.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini looks ahead to Sunday's Premier League visit to Liverpool.

For the first time this season, all 20 Premier League teams will not be in action for a league game week because of the Capital One Cup Final. Cup finalists Chelsea and Tottenham are idle as are Leicester and QPR.

There is one game to check announced lineups in Week 27 before the ESPN FC fantasy game locks: West Ham-Crystal Palace.

Saturday, Feb. 28

West Ham vs. Crystal Palace

West Ham blew a two-goal lead at Tottenham for a disappointing draw in their last game on Feb. 22. Still, some impressive...

Arsene Wenger should stand by crestfallen Olivier Giroud vs. Everton

The ESPN FC crew debate the lack of quality shown by English clubs in the Champions League and why the Premier League's best seem to falter against 'inferior' opposition.

When the No. 12 was raised aloft on the fourth official's board during Arsenal's 3-1 loss to Monaco on Wednesday, you feared for Olivier Giroud. His performance had drawn groans of frustration from an Emirates crowd that is famously unforgiving -- just ask Emmanuel Eboue, Andrey Arshavin and Nicklas Bendtner, who were booed when coming off after disastrous displays.

Fortunately, the crowd were relatively sympathetic to Giroud. There was an initial outburst of relief when they saw he was to...

 By John Cross

Arsenal players must be picked off the floor by Arsene Wenger

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti reacts to Arsenal's "embarrassing" 3-1 loss at home to Monaco.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley goes position by position to critique Arsenal's 'shambolic' performance against Monaco.
Arsene Wenger laid into Arsenal's performance after his team were beaten 3-1 at home by Monaco in the UEFA Champions League last-16.
AS Monaco forward Dimitar Berbatov warns that Arsenal are not out of the tie despite Monaco's 3-1 first leg lead.
Arsene Wenger and his players reflect on their stunning 3-1 loss against AS Monaco.
Relive the most memorable moments from Wednesday's Champions League Round of 16 action, highlighted by Monaco's 3-1 win over Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger looked more devastated than angry, and no wonder. Defeats don't come much more painful than Arsenal's humiliating loss to Monaco at the Emirates.

It was supposed to be the Gunners' best chance of reaching the quarterfinals of the Champions League in five years.

Instead, it was one of Wenger's worst nights in Europe. Arsenal were taught a painful, cruel and hard lesson as Monaco gave them a European masterclass.

And it's hardly as if the French club are European superpowers in this competition....