Apr 6, 2014 at 1.30pm UK at ​Goodison Park
Naismith (14'), Lukaku (34'), Arteta (61' og.)
Osman (8')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Flamini (44'), Arteta (90')

Match Analysis: Everton 3-0 Arsenal

Steven Naismith of Everton celebrates scoring the first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on April 6, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole casts its eye over Everton's convincing Premier League victory over top-four rivals Arsenal.

Everton closed to within a point of fourth-placed Arsenal by convincingly beating the Gunners 3-0 at Goodison Park in the Premier League this afternoon.

The Toffees flew out of the traps and were in front inside a quarter of an hour when Steven Naismith rolled home from 12 yards after Wojciech Szczesny had parried Romelu Lukaku's initial effort straight to the Scot.

Lukaku himself made it two in the 34th minute by drilling into the corner from the edge of the area, while the icing was put on the cake just after the hour mark when ex-Everton man Mikel Arteta stabbed into his own net.

Everton still have a game in-hand on the Gunners and now look set for a fight to the last to claim the final Champions League spot.

Here, Sports Mole looks over a fantastic afternoon for Roberto Martinez's men, who ended a 14-game winless streak against ailing Arsenal - now four without a win in the league.

Match statistics

Shots: 14
On target: 8
Possession: 43%
Corners: 3
Fouls: 6

Shots: 15
On target: 5
Possession: 57%
Corners: 6
Fouls: 5

Was the result fair?

Absolutely. Although Arsenal look competitive in the stats above, they were second-best all game long and completely outplayed by the home side. With so much at stake today, you might have expected a cagey affair, but Everton went all out and were rewarded for their desire to win.

Everton's performance

A sixth win in a row for Everton, who perhaps put in their strongest display of the season today. In all areas of the pitch they were superb, with Arsenal unable to handle them going forward and frustrated by their energetic defending. They lost skipper Leon Osman to an early facial injury but that meant that Ross Barkley was able to enter. The England youngster certainly has potential, but needs to add polish and intelligence to his game as on several occasions he tried too hard when a more effective, simpler pass was on.

Arsenal's performance

It must have been tough viewing for Arsenal's fans today. They were lethargic and contributed to their own downfall with some slack defending. Further forward, Olivier Giroud was a lonely figure up front as the likes of Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky were completely dominated by Everton's defensive midfield duo of Gareth Barry and James McCarthy. One positive for the Gunners was the return from injury of Aaron Ramsey. It was the Welshman's first appearance in 2014 and he looked bright in the final 20 minutes.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Leighton Baines: An exceptional all-around performance from the home side and it's almost impossible to single out one player in particular. We're just giving the edge to left-back Baines, who was up and down the wing all game long and sent over many a dangerous cross.

Biggest gaffe

Sorry Kevin Mirallas, we're picking on you. The Belgian unnecessarily dribbled into his own area when he should have just cleared the danger. It almost cost Everton a goal but luckily for Mirallas, Tim Howard was alert to deny Giroud.

Referee performance

Martin Atkinson did not have a good game. Although he didn't get anything major wrong, he made a lot of bad calls, irking both sets of fans and players. Everton's second goal also shouldn't have stood as Naismith was standing well offside and obstructing the view of Arsenal keeper Szczesny.

What next?

Everton: Martinez must be confident of making it seven wins in a row as Everton next travel to relegation-threatened Sunderland on Saturday.

Arsenal: Next up for the Gunners is an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday against Championship side Wigan Athletic.

Romelu Lukaku of Everton celebrates scoring the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on April 6, 2014
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