Arteta says Arsenal must keep ‘superb’ Auba after double in win over Everton
Boss speaks out on other clubs' interest in Gunners skipper after classy finishes secured important comeback victory
23 February, 2020 — By Allan Ledward
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice as Arsenal recovered from going behind in the first minute to beat Everton 3-2 at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon
ARSENAL 3 (Nketiah 27, Aubameyang 33, 46),
EVERTON 2 (Calvert-Lewin 1, Richarlison 45+4)
MIKEL Arteta said Arsenal must convince Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that his future is at the Emirates Stadium after the striker’s double secured a well-earned victory against Everton.
The Gunners went behind to a shock first-minute goal by Dominic Calvert-Lewin but hit back and hung on for a win which moves them up to ninth in the Premier League, and within four points of fifth place.
Eddie Nketiah levelled the scores in the 27th minute with a sweet volley after a measured cross from substitute Bukayo Saka, before Aubameyang’s goals in each half settled an even contest between two sides who looked dangerous going forward but wobbly at the back.
And asked about possible interest in his skipper from Europe’s biggest clubs, Gunners boss Arteta admitted: “They are completely right to want him because he is a superb player.
“He completely deserves to be liked by other teams but hopefully we can convince him that this is the right place for him and he has a future here.”
Aubameyang put Arsenal in the lead shortly after the half-hour mark, getting on the end of a defence-splitting pass from David Luiz and comfortably steering the ball past Jordan Pickford.
But Everton’s Richarlison, just seconds after being booked for a dangerous lunge on Hector Bellerin, equalised in the final moments of the half as the Arsenal defence struggled under pressure once again.
The Brazilian, perhaps lucky to still be on the pitch, forced the ball past Bernd Leno after the visitors won two headers from a corner.
Aubameyang then dived low to head the winner just seconds after the restart, converting a Nicolas Pepe cross.
Everton went close to equalising several times in the final minutes, but Arsenal dug deep to take all three points – despite a draining Europa League midweek win at Olympiakos.
Aubameyang’s class proved the difference between the two mid-table sides, with Everton relatively toothless when it came to finishing off their chances.
Arteta added: “I am really pleased with the performance. It’s not easy to play three times in seven days. We came here very late from Greece, and then we conceded an early goal as well.
“But the team reacted straight away and we started to dominate the game, created chances and scored the goals, and then, just before half-time, again, a big disappointment, conceding the goal from another set-piece.
“But again, we were back in the game, we started to play, we started to dominate the game, but in the last 20-25 minutes you could see that, energy-wise, we dropped.
“We had a lot of issues with some of the players on the pitch. I made changes to lift it up but, to be fair, Everton were better than us in the last 20-25 minutes and had some chances to score.”
ARSENAL: Leno, Bellerin, Ceballos (Torreira, 76), Ozil (Guendouzi,82), Aubameyang (c), Pepe, Mustafi, Luiz, Nketiah, Kolasinac (Saka, 18), Xhaka.
Subs: Sokratis, Lacazette, Nelson, Martinez (GK).
EVERTON: Pickford, Holgate, Baines, Richarlison, Delph (Kean, 82), Calvert-Lewin, Sigurdsson, Mina, Iwobi (Bernard, 60), Schneiderlin (Gomes, 59), Sidibe.
Subs: Keane. Stekelenburg (GK), Coleman, Davies.