Mesut Ozil 9/10 as sensational Arsenal rout sorry Everton at Goodison Park
Arsenal dismantled Ronald Koeman's Everton to record an excellent 5-2 win and get their Premier League campaign back on track.
The Gunners started well but fell behind against the run of play to a Wayne Rooney goal. However, it was only a matter of time until Arsene Wenger's men found the breakthrough, and the equaliser eventually came via Nacho Monreal. Arsenal went ahead through a Mesut Ozil header, and then the game was effectively killed off when Idrissa Gueye was dismissed for a second yellow card.
From that point, Arsenal ran away with it. Goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez meant that Oumar Niasse's scrappy strike was merely a consolation.
For the first time this season, Wenger was able to field the star trio of Ozil, Sanchez and Lacazette together. The results were immediate and impressive: Arsenal conjured 30 attempts on goal, finding the net five times.
After so much debate about Ozil and Sanchez's commitment to the club, it would have been hugely encouraging for Wenger to see them turn in such dazzling performances at Goodison.
For all their attacking brilliance, Arsenal will be disappointed to have conceded two sloppy goals. Both Rooney and Niasse's strikes were preventable, and Wenger will be keen to stress the need for his team to be less careless in the future.
Other than that, this was an overwhelmingly positive day for Arsenal.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- What a relief it must have been for Wenger to see his team come through this fixture so easily. With a run of three fixtures in seven days, the Arsenal boss made nine changes to the side that beat West Brom on Monday. His faith in his squad depth was repaid in style, as Arsenal picked up a valuable three points in their bid to escape their Europa League group. Presumably once they reach the knockout phase, more emphasis will be placed on this competition.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Petr Cech, 5 -- The former Chelsea man could do nothing to stop Rooney bending home the game's opening goal. Everton seemed determined to put him under pressure by closing him down in possession, and that approach finally paid off when Niasse bundled in a late consolation.
DF Laurent Koscielny, 7 -- After looking off the pace against Watford, Koscielny looked much more like himself at Goodison Park. However, the France international was booked late on for a late challenge on Niasse.
DF Per Mertesacker, 6 -- The giant defender will be disappointed with his contribution to the opening goal. Instead of stepping up to close Rooney down, he backed off and afforded the former England international the necessary space to find the top corner.
DF Nacho Monreal, 7 -- Arsenal's most consistent player grabbed his second goal of the season. He showed great alertness and hunger to latch on to a loose ball and lash home an impressive volley. Unfortunately his performance was marred by his part in Everton's second goal.
MF Hector Bellerin, 6 -- His speed and stamina ensures he gets plenty of chances to threaten on the overlap. However, he must work on his final ball and shooting if he is to make the most of those opportunities.
MF Granit Xhaka, 6 -- Right now, Xhaka is a bit of disaster zone. Every mistake the Swiss midfielder makes seems to result in a goal for the opposition. In the build-up to Everton's opener, he dallied on the ball too long, allowing Idrissa Gueye to nip in and steal the ball. Xhaka's performance recovered as the game wore on, but Wenger must be considering dropping the error-prone midfielder.
MF Aaron Ramsey, 7 -- The advantage of Arsenal's system is that it affords Ramsey the opportunity to break forward and get into the box. Ramsey did so regularly against Everton although he had to wait until the 90th minute to get a deserved goal.
MF Sead Kolasinac, 6 -- Arsenal's summer signing is having a slight dip in form after an excellent start to the season. Kolasinac's early appearances at wing-back were memorable for the amount of times he burst to the byline, but he did make a particularly big attacking impression in this game.
FW Mesut Ozil, 9 -- In the week that saw him linked with a move to Manchester United, Ozil produced a performance showing just why Arsenal should still be eager to retain him. He created a string of first-half chances which the Gunners were unable to take, but settled the game after the break with a neat header and typically accomplished assist.
FW Alexis Sanchez, 8 -- This was a busy performance from the Chile international, who provided the crucial second goal for Ozil, clipping in an inch-perfect cross for the German to nod home. For a long time it seemed as if he might not find the scoresheet himself, but he managed it with a brilliant stoppage time strike.
FW Alexandre Lacazette, 8 -- The wait for his first Arsenal goal away from the Emirates Stadium is over. Lacazette threatened a few times in the first half, but could not find a way past Pickford. He will have been pleased with his involvement in Ozil's goal, playing the pass prior to Sanchez's delicate assist.
MF Jack Wilshere, NR -- Came on for Lacazette (77) to create the fourth goal for Ramsey.
MF Francis Coquelin, NR -- Replaced the majestic Ozil (82) and helped Arsenal see out the game.
James McNicholas is one of ESPN FC's Arsenal bloggers. You can follow him on Twitter @gunnerblog.