Everton vs. Arsenal: 6 Things We Learned

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Everton vs. Arsenal: 6 Things We Learned
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Everton crushed Arsenal 3-0 at Goodison Park after goals by Steven Naismith, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas completely dismissed Arsene Wenger's shell shocked Gunners.

Roberto Martinez's team outfought, outthought and utterly outwitted Arsenal in every single area of the pitch in their thouroughly deserved victory.

The victory for the Toffees means the race to finish fourth in the Premier League and qualify for the Champions League is well and truly on. Everton are now just one point behind Arsenal, who have only won three of their last 10 Premier League games.

The game started at a frantic pace, with Everton tearing into Arsenal right from the off. It was clear Martinez's team had targeted Mikel Arteta as a weak link and they dispossessed him more than once in the one-sided affair.

Their opening goal came from the boot of Naismith after he latched onto a loose ball after Lukaku's initial shot was blocked. Once in pole position, Everton never looked back and ratcheted up the pressure with every meaningful pass.

Their second goal came as no surprise to anyone.

Martinez outfoxed Arsene Wenger by starting with a 4-2-3-1 formation, but instead of Lukaku staying central, he drifted out to Arsenal's left. There, he took full advantage of Nacho Monreal's schoolboy defensive positioning.

Mirallas picked up the ball in midfield and immediately looked out to the left to find Lukaku in space. The on-loan Chelsea player drove at the center of Arsenal's defense as they backed off in panic. He then unleashed an unstoppable drive into the bottom corner to give Everton an unassailable two-goal lead.

The most important thing about the second goal, though, was Lukaku's celebration. He immediately ran to Martinez to celebrate. If one reads body language, then Lukaku's celebration can be read as the striker wanting to stay at Goodison after his loan finishes.

Arsenal looked punch-drunk and looked to their manager to change the tide of the game. Wenger, however, could do nothing as his team were second-best in every area of the pitch by a long margin.

The second half continued in the same vein with Everton dominating and dictating the game. James McCarthy—superb in midfield—gave Arsenal's much vaunted midfielders a Masterclass in how to dictate the game. He was ably joined by Naismith, who covered every inch of the Arsenal half and numerous other heroes.

The third goal was only a matter of time and when it did come, the old stadium erupted in a roar that has not been heard since the halcyon days of the mid-'80s.

Mirallas drove at Arsenal's wafer-thin center and set Naismith free, but Wojciech Szczesny's mistimed save knocked the ball back into his path. As he reached to tuck it away, the hapless Arteta got there first and guided it into the back of the net.

If the game was over at 2-0, it was well and truly over at 3-0.

The result leaves Everton one point behind Arsenal in the race to finish fourth, but with a game in hand and a much tougher run in.

However, given Arsenal's form of late, they have no easy games left.

Here, Bleacher Report offers six things we learned from Everton vs. Arsenal...

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