In the race for fourth place in the Premier League and a Champions League qualifying berth, Everton made a huge statement on Sunday, thrashing Arsenal 3-0 at Goodison Park to pull within a point of the Gunners on the league table.
Squawka Football on Twitter breaks down the significance:
That is Everton's biggest ever win over Arsenal in the Premier League, and biggest win since October 1989 (3-0 home win).— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 6, 2014
Arsene Wenger's squad was underwhelming from the opening kickoff. But dismal performances from Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski highlighted the Gunners' woes.
Naturally, Twitter erupted over the course of Everton's dominant 90-plus-minute display.
The eye-opening performance even generated a response from British journalist and television host Piers Morgan:
Humiliated by City, thrashed by Liverpool, shamed by Chelsea..now stuffed by Everton. How much more are we supposed to endure? #WengerOut— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 6, 2014
The Mirror's Darren Richman was among the many who were critical of Giroud's lackluster performance on Sunday:
Olivier Giroud should be seen and not played.— Darren Richman (@darrenrichman) April 6, 2014
Bleacher Report national lead writer Dan Levy pointed out Giroud's lack of focus and determination:
Olivier Giroud had the ball stolen away, probably was fouled, and went after the referee to yell about it instead of trying to get ball back— Dan Levy (@DanLevyThinks) April 6, 2014
Giroud would be replaced by Yaya Sanogo in the 71st minute. The Frenchman would leave the pitch with just 36 total touches and three shots, according to WhoScored.com.
But even the sight of Sanogo wasn't enough to win over Arsenal supporters:
Arsenal Football Club - 3-0 to their rival for 4th place. The master plan: to bring on Yaya Sanogo. Let that sink in.— AFC_Andrew (@PR_WhoRu) April 6, 2014
Squawka Football on Twitter presents another alarming statistic for Giroud:
Meanwhile, Podolski was taken off in the 66th minute, replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The German forward would record five shots in just over an hour of action, but failed to yield any positive results.
As a result of his and the squad's struggles, some even questioned Podolski's leadership abilities:
Podolski the leader of selfie gang but on the pitch he isn’t a leader anymore.— #Rendezvous21st (@IAmOmar_UK) April 6, 2014
The final result was so discouraging that some Arsenal fans suggested Wenger go in a completely different direction for Arsenal's upcoming FA Cup semifinal clash with Wigan Athletic on Saturday:
You've Been Moyesd on Twitter summed up Arsenal's performance in one Photoshopped image:
But despite striking a rough patch, Arsenal are still in the mix to finish inside the top four and earn the right to play Champions League football next season. The Gunners have five Premier League matches left to play and will host three of them at Emirates Stadium.
Not to mention ninth-place Newcastle are Arsenal's toughest remaining opponent.
If there's one major concern, though, it's the fact Everton are coming on strong, having won six straight Premier League matches since the start of March. Unsurprisingly, manager Roberto Martinez was pleased with his team following Sunday's blowout win, via Premier League on Twitter:
Everton boss Roberto Martinez: "The front three were electrifying at times. We managed the game really well... that was really pleasing.”— Premier League (@premierleague) April 6, 2014
But Arsenal can't control how Everton fare the rest of the way and will need to focus on their own problems in order to inspire change.
It will require a turnaround and improved play across the board for the Gunners to secure a top-four finish, but Sunday's debacle at Everton hasn't crushed Arsenal's hopes of finishing strong and building momentum for 2014-15.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.