I have watched the Everton 2 Arsenal 5 highlights an unhealthy amount of times so far since Sunday. It occurred to me when watching the match live, that games like these are why the Arsenal obsession still remains after all these years.
We all digest football in different ways, to some people it's all about 3 points and the how is not too important. To some, it's all about silverware at the end of the season otherwise it's all a waste of time. I have promised myself to stop taking it all too seriously and extract whatever joy I can from each individual match and try to ignore the bigger picture, ignore the fact that Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil are running down their contracts, ignore the fact that we may have a limited time to enjoy their talents in Arsenal shirts. At least that is what Ladbrokes betting promo code indicates.
On Sunday at Goodison Park, it was all about those 90 minutes. It was about witnessing something we had never seen before. Mesut Özil, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette on the pitch at the same time.
You can often get a sense of what kind of Arsenal will show up in the first few minutes of a match and from the first whistle, we moved the ball at a speed that I'd love us to play at more often.
Only a few days ago, folk were ready to pack Mesut Özil's bags and replace him with Jack Wilshere but on Sunday, Mesut showed everyone that there is no better player at creating chances for others than Mesut Özil. His deft touches around the box put in Ramsey, Lacazette and Alexis Sanchez. Not only does he have the speed of thought and awareness but the weight he puts on his passes 9 times out of 10 when the game is played so fast is remarkable.
In typical Arsenal fashion, we dominated Everton, could not put away our chances and then concede to the opposition's first effort on goal. It should have been a foul on Xhaka but the referee did not spot in the infringement. Rooney picked up the ball, had an extra look and touch and curled the ball past Cech.
Having looked at the goal once again, I think Xhaka's error started when he did not look around him before Per picked up the ball. As the player who starts many of our moves, he should have been aware of his own players and Everton's players. Mertesacker did not close Rooney down because he was worried about another Everton player that stepped to his left and a simple Rooney pass would have played him in. Like all goals, this was preventable.
Given how we played before that, I told a friend of mine that we would win this 3-1 unless our heads completely dropped and Everton grew in belief. They held us out as long as they could before Nacho Monreal fired us level 5 minutes before half time.
Second half we put Everton to the sword with some wonderful attacking football. Özil made it 1-2 after a breathtaking counter-attack. Alexis ignoring Lacazette's run down the line and instead chipping a pinpoint ball onto the head of Özil, who ghosted across the defender to head high past the impressive Pickford.
All three of our strikers were involved in the 3rd goal. Alexis' wonderful reverse pass to Özil, the German picking out Lacazette who curled effortlessly past the keeper. I find Lacazette such an interesting player. He's not an individualist who will beat three players and score on his own like Alexis or Henry before him but he is such a smart team player. His link-up play is excellent, I didn't know that side of his game was so strong. He is perfect for someone like Alexis who likes to get into scoring positions himself, Lacazette is more than happy to vacate a central position and play a team mate in. I wish he got into scoring positions more often because he is so clean when it comes to his execution.
In many ways, he is opposite to Aaron Ramsey who finds himself in scoring positions so often, especially for a midfielder but his finish often deserts him. But even if Ramsey is missing chances, his presence in the box causes chaos for defenders. Maybe Özil does not score the 2nd if Ramsey isn't making a similar run behind him.
We all hope that Ramsey can become more clinical but even if that does not improve, the likes of Lacazette, Alexis and Özil will benefit from his role in this Arsenal team.
It looked as if Özil took a slight knock in the second half so Arsene replaced him with Wilshere and it didn't take Jack long to get in on the action, slipping a pass into Ramsey who finally applied the finish past Pickford.
I didn't care too much about the Monreal/Cech mix up, as long as it does not happen when the scores are level. I'm sure Cech is experienced enough to not allow that to happen anytime soon. Famous last words perhaps.
Then Alexis scored a similar goal to his goal at West Ham last season. Ramsey flicked it to him again in a dangerous position. Alexis took the scenic route around the Everton defence and fired a shot into the corner from a very wide position. What a goal, what a player he is when he is tuned into the wavelength of the team.
I am now left with withdrawal symptoms. I want to see this attack once more. I keep having little daydreams of us going to Manchester City and picking them apart. Getting ahead of myself, I know but still.
Norwich tonight with what I assume will be a different 11 so I am going to enjoy that team before we play Swansea City at home on Saturday.
If you haven't already listened to the post Everton Podcast, have a listen here