After beating Arsenal 3-0 at Goodison Park on Sunday, fifth-placed Everton have won their sixth consecutive Premier League game. Roberto Martinez’s men now find themselves just one point behind the fourth-placed Gunners in the table, with the chance to overtake the Londoners should they win their game in hand.
Everton made it the fourth game in a row where they scored three goals. They also picked up their 12th clean sheet of the season, which is their best return in five years. With just one defeat at home all season, Goodison Park has been a fortress for the side this season.
Everton forward Steven Naismith came away with the plaudits after putting in a man-of-the-match showing on Sunday. According to WhoScored.com, only Arsenal’s Bacary Sagna (5) made more tackles in the game than the Scotland international (3).
Today’s victory for the Merseyside outfit also ended their seven-year wait for a victory against Arsenal, and it was their seventh consecutive home win.
If Everton win their next game against Sunderland, they will go two points ahead of Arsenal in the table. The Gunners will then have a chance to peg them back, but the Toffees’ all-important game in hand will be against Crystal Palace in 10 days' time.
For Arsenal, their title hopes have essentially evaporated, as they succumbed to their third defeat in six games—now winless in their last four. Arsene Wenger’s side are still waiting for a league win away to a side currently in the top five in the table, and now only Cardiff (32), Stoke (33), Norwich (39) and Fulham (40) have conceded more away goals this season than Arsenal (30).
Of the 30 goals the Gunners have conceded on their travels, 20 of them have come from just Man City (6), Chelsea (6), Liverpool (5) and Everton (3).
The title race is effectively over for Wenger's men, and they also run the risk of missing out on the coveted fourth-place spot to Everton if Martinez’s men can keep up their winning form.
Everton are now just two points adrift of their highest-ever points tally in the Premier League (65) with another six games in which to surpass it. They are also just one more home win away from matching their best-ever tally in their Premier League history (12).