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')

Live Commentary: Everton 3-0 Arsenal - as it happened

Relive Everton's blistering display against Arsenal that saw them close to within a point of the Gunners in the race for a top-four finish.

Everton took on Arsenal at Goodison Park earlier today, knowing that victory would see them close to within a point of the Gunners in the top four.

Roberto Martinez's side accomplished just that with a scintillating display, crushing Arsene Wenger's men 3-0.

Read how it all unfolded in our minute-by-minute updates below.

12.31pmHappy Sunday everybody! Today's Premier League double starts at Goodison with a critical clash in the race for the top four. Everton have won five games in a row and a fifth today would really make them believe that they can finish in the top four.

12.33pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS! Roberto Martinez hands Steven Naismith a start after his impressive performance at Fulham last time out, with Kevin Mirallas also in for the home side. Aaron Ramsey is back on the Arsenal bench as Lukas Podolski gets the nod ahead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Full lineups to follow.

12.35pmEVERTON XI: Howard; Coleman, Stones, Distin, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Mirallas, Osman, Naismith; Lukaku

12.36pmEVERTON SUBS: Robles, Hibbert, McGeady, Deulofeu, Barkley, Garbutt, Alcaraz

12.36pmARSENAL XI: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal; Arteta, Flamini; Rosicky, Cazorla, Podolski; Giroud

12.36pmARSENAL SUBS: Viviano, Jenkinson, Bellerin, Kallstrom, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Sanogo

12.38pmThe inclusion of Naismith and Mirallas are the only two changes from Martinez, with young duo Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu dropping to the bench.

12.40pmVisiting boss Arsene Wenger makes just one change to his starting lineup that drew with Manchester City last time out. There's no Kieran Gibbs in the squad today so Nacho Monreal starts at left-back.

12.42pm"I'd expect goals today," Everton midfielder Leon Osman tells Sky Sports News ahead of kickoff. Former Everton man Mikel Arteta adds that Martinez's style of football has been "impressive" this season.

12.46pmREFEREE WATCH: The man with the whistle today is Martin Atkinson, who was in Switzerland on Thursday night refereeing the Europa League tie between Basel and Valencia. He is yet to show a red card in 2014, with his last dismissal happening on Boxing Day when he sent off two players in the Newcastle-Stoke game.

Stoke player Glenn Whelan is sent off by referee Martin Atkinson during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Stoke City at St James' Park on December 26, 2013© Getty Images

12.50pmThese two sides come into today's game in completely different form. Everton have won five on the spin to surge into the race for a top-four finish, while Arsenal are on a winless run of three games. Click here to check out our Premier League form guide.

12.53pmArsenal have just confirmed that Lukasz Fabianski misses out today because of "illness". That means that the back-up keeper to Wojciech Szczesny today is loanee Emiliano Viviano.

12.56pmAlthough Everton have won their last six home games in the Premier League, Arsenal are undefeated in 14 games in all competitions against the Toffees. Something's gotta give etc.

1pmTHE TABLE: Here's how both the Premier League table and form guide look after yesterday's seven games:

As you can see, Everton are just four points shy of the Champions League places and will also have a better goal difference than Arsenal if they win today.

1.03pmMy flatmate is an Everton fan and although he's excited to be in the hunt for a Champions League place, he's not so keen on the red half of Merseyside gunning for the title. It's been a great year for the two Liverpool clubs and Brendan Rodgers's Reds are in action later today against West Ham United. They need to avoid defeat to reclaim top spot and you can follow that game here on SM from 3pm (kickoff at 4).

1.07pmLAST TIME OUT: The Toffees and the Gunners have already met twice this season, but today's game is the first at Goodison between the two for 16 months. In the reverse league fixture at the Emirates back in December, Deulofeu scored a quality late equaliser as it finished 1-1.

The duo also met in the FA Cup quarter-finals just under a month ago, with Arsenal coming through 4-1. It was a flattering scoreline for the Gunners but could give them a bit of an edge today.

Olivier Giroud of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the FA Cup Quarter-Final match between Arsenal and Everton at Emirates Stadium on March 8, 2014© Getty Images

1.10pmRamsey has been missing for Arsenal since Boxing Day and his return for the last month of the season will be a huge boost for the Gunners. As you can see from this Squawka stat, the Welshman is a pest in the middle:

1.13pmWenger tells Sky Sports News that his side won't be playing for a draw today. He insists that they are going for the three points. A point certainly suits the visitors more than the hosts though. Also, the last three league games between the two have finished level so it might be the best bet.

1.17pmThe eight players who have played for both Everton and Arsenal in the Premier League era? @OptaJoe has the answer on Twitter: "8 - Played for both @Everton and @Arsenal in PL - Senderos, Limpar, Keown, S Hughes, R Wright, Arteta, K Campbell & Jeffers. Answer."

1.20pmPREDICTION TIME! Just 10 minutes separates us from the off in Liverpool. Although Osman suggested that there would be goals in his pre-match interview, I think that there's so much at stake that it could be quite cagey. It's going to be a fourth straight league draw between the two - 1-1.

1.24pmThe two teams are currently cramped together in the narrow Goodison tunnel. Ex-Toffee Arteta warmly greets his former teammates.

1.27pmGoodison Park is absolutely rammed and it's a great atmosphere as the players stride out of the tunnel. Who will rise to the occasion most? Can Everton make it six in a row or will Arsenal be able to end their winless streak? Kickoff moments away!

0 minKICKOFF! "Allez, allez, OH!" belt out the Everton supporters as the Toffees, in blue and white, get us underway.

2 minCLOSE! Goodness me, almost an incredible start for Everton as the ball sits up invitingly for Osman on the left corner of the area. He hits it on the volley with the outside of his boot and it has enough to dip to get under the crossbar but swerves agonisingly wide of the post. Fantastic effort and Szczesny had absolutely no chance of stopping it.

3 minArsenal respond with their first shot as Podolski surges forward and is afforded space to let fly from 25 yards. It's struck well enough by the German but isn't troubling Howard, who watches it bobble past his left post.

6 minPodolski tries his luck again but this time pulls his shot even further wide of the target.

7 minChances for Everton as Naismith gets in behind the Gunners' backline and could shoot but instead looks for Lukaku in the middle. The cross takes a nick and goes through for Coleman at the back post. His shot is blocked.

8 minBOOKING! An early yellow card and it's an easy decision for Atkinson to make as Osman was very late with his sliding tackle on Sagna. The Everton man comes off much worse though as it looks like Sagna's boot scoured across his face as blood pours from his left eye area. He might not be able to continue.

10 minEVERTON SUB: Yep, Osman went straight down the tunnel and has been ruled unable to continue. Really unlucky for the Everton skipper, who has been replaced by England youngster Ross Barkley. He should add a bit more zest for the hosts going forward.

11 minSHOT! Whooosh! What a hit by Flamini, who struck the ball on the half-volley from 25 yards and was unlucky to see his vicious rising shot go straight down the throat of Howard.

13 minNaismith is very fortunate not to see yellow after sliding in late and upending Arteta. If Osman's challenge was a booking, then that one has to be too.

14 minDodgy moment at the back from Everton youngster John Stones, who sold Howard short with a back pass but got away with it.


14 minJust moments after surviving a hairy moment at the back, Everton go in front. Naismith was brilliant off the bench against Fulham last week and now opens the scoring today by stroking home after Lukaku's initial shot had been saved by Szczesny. You could place a bit of blame on Mertesacker, who played Lukaku onside from Baines's cross.

16 minPodolski has been the only man to look like scoring for Arsenal and his latest shot is bravely blocked by an Everton man in the box.

18 minThings are looking good for Everton, who have won all three Premier League games in which Naismith has scored. Will they make it four?

19 min

20 minCHANCE! Baines is getting so much space down the left and his latest delivery is a wicked one that somehow goes all the way across the six-yard area without getting a touch. It reaches McCarthy, who slaps it low back into the danger area where Naismith can't make good contact and it's an easy save for Szczesny.

21 minSagna delivers a similarly good cross to Baines and this time an attacker does make contact, but Giroud can only get the slightest of touches on it and the ball goes wide.

23 minThe full-backs for both sides have been great so far, with Monreal now whipping over a fabulous cross on the run. It's over Giroud and Cazorla can't arrive in time at the back post.

24 minSloppy play from Flamini as he fails to see Mirallas and effectively tees the Belgian up for a shot with his touch. Luckily for Arsenal, the Belgian shoots straight at Szczesny.

26 minHe certainly will..

30 minSAVE! Lazy from the Arsenal defence as no-one bothers to track Barkley, who does a couple of step-overs on the touchline before shooting low where Szczesny unconvincingly uses his feet to keep it out.

31 minSAVE! The Toffees are all over the visitors here and come close again as Mirallas shoots low to the near post where Szczesny's strong hands keep it out. You get the feeling that Everton have to make this dominance count.


34 minAnd they do get a second! Fantastic finish from Lukaku as he collects Mirallas's pass on the right before cutting inside Monreal and Vermaelen and finishing low into the far corner. Great stuff from the Belgian, who sprints to the bench to give manager Martinez a big bear hug.

36 minLooking back at the goal, it's another one that Wenger will be so annoyed with. Arteta's heavy touch in the middle gifted Everton possession and then you have to wonder what Monreal and Vermaelen are thinking to allow Lukaku onto his much stronger left foot.

40 minShaky goalkeeping from Howard as he opts to punch Cazorla's centre with Giroud lurking. The American could have easily claimed that.

40 minSAVE! And Howard's hesitancy almost costs the home side as Arsenal come forward soon after and come the closest they've been to a goal when Podolski's mishit shot into the ground bobbles up and almost over Howard, who does well to acrobatically arch back and tip over.

44 minBOOKING! Arsenal are ending the half with plenty of the ball but don't like creating anything of note in the final third. Their latest patient spell of possession comes to an end when McCarthy nicks the ball off Arteta, with Flamini then cynically bringing down Naismith and picking up the first Arsenal booking.

45+1 minThe fourth official has signalled two minutes of added time at the end of the first half. What a half it's been for the hosts.


2.19pmMartinez couldn't have wished for much more, while Wenger will wonder what he can say to his players, who have been completely outclassed. The visitors almost halved the deficit just before the half-time whistle, but Giroud couldn't meet Podolski's cross and Howard claimed.

2.22pmIf you're only just joining us and want a quick update on the opening 45, click here to read our half-time report.

2.25pmArsenal may have had 57% of the ball, but they have been second-best in every other aspect of the game. Everton have got four of their six shots on target and could have more than two goals.

2.28pmThere is a big element of luck to the second goal though as Naismith was miles offside and standing in Szczesny's eyeline. He was definitely interfering with play but Arsenal's players didn't seem to notice and didn't appeal.

2.30pmAnother stat, this one from @InfostradaLive, that suggest that there's no way back for Arsenal: "Everton have never lost a PL match having been two goals ahead at the break – W48-D5."

2.32pmAs things stand, Everton are going to close to within a point of Arsenal with a game in-hand.

46 minKICKOFF! Arsenal's players were back out very early and had to wait a good couple of minutes for Everton but now the second 45 is underway. It's a huge half for both these clubs and you feel that Arsenal have to get a quick start if they are to stand any chance of getting something out of the game.

49 minCLOSE! The visitors do start the half well and almost pull one back as they patiently work the ball from right to left before Monreal's cross somehow goes across the face without getting a touch.

50 minCazorla and Monreal scream for a penalty as the former's cross clearly strikes McCarthy on the arm. The Everton man was a good few yards away and that could have easily been given.

53 minCHANCE! What on earth is Mirallas doing?! He is closed down by Sagna and instead of safely hoofing out, he travels back into his own box before presenting Giroud with the ball. The Frenchman is closed down quickly by Howard, who spares Mirallas's blushes.

54 minMore hesitant Everton defending as Stones dilly-dallies before having the ball stolen by Cazorla. The Spaniard has three red options ahead of him but gets his centre all wrong as it's too far ahead of Flamini, who can only shoot wide on the stretch.

56 min

58 minMonreal with a clipped cross to the back post where Vermaelen gets up well but can't pick out Giroud with his knock-down and Howard gathers.

61 minSurely Wenger must be thinking about a substitution. He has the likes of Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain on the bench.


61 minThat must be game over as Arsenal yet again shoot themselves in the foot. Sagna is lazily dispossessed on the right wing, with Mirallas streaking away and playing in Naismith. Szczesny gets to the ball first but fails to claim the ball, instead knocking it into the path of Mirallas. The Belgian doesn't actually get to the ball first as Arteta slides in to inadvertently score an own goal for his former club.

65 minBarkley shows off his silky skills with some quick feet before flashing a vicious cross-cum-shot across the face of goal.

66 minARSENAL SUBS: Wenger does introduce Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain, with Podolski and Flamini coming off.

68 minWhat a stat this is for Everton fans: 3 - Everton have scored 3+ goals in four successive league games for the first time since January 1 1987. Bonanza.

71 minARSENAL SUB: Wenger must be thinking about next week's FA Cup semi-final against Wigan and takes off Giroud for Yaya Sanogo.

73 minThey're certainly in a great mood at Goodison today. @Everton on Twitter just now: "Magnificent bit of skill from Coleman has Goodison purring."

75 minArsenal's players must have disappointed their fans so much today. They've shown absolutely no fight and now look set to have a battle right down to the wire to stay in the top four. Just two months ago they were clear at the top of the table!

78 min*It's actually an Arteta OG

80 minEVERTON SUB: A huge roar from the home fans as Naismith is applauded off the field for yet another industrious display. Aiden McGeady on in his place.

84 minNot only are Everton set to close to within a point of Arsenal with a game in-hand, today's result also means that they have a superior goal difference. Could be huge in the race for fourth.

86 minOFF THE BAR! Moments after appearing to be brought down by Barry in the box, Oxlade-Chamberlain almost scores a consolation with a rasping 25-yard drive that gets the slightest of fingertips to before it slams against the face of the crossbar. Great effort.

87 minEVERTON SUB: Third and final change for the Toffees as Lukaku is replaced by Deulofeu.

89 minEverton are switching off a little here and it looks like Arsenal might just grab a consolation. Plenty of pressure late on.

90 minBOOKING! It's ending in an ugly fashion at Goodison as Barkley and Arteta square up. The former thought that he was elbowed by the former Toffee and reacted by pushing him to the ground. I don't think Atkinson saw the shove, as he would have definitely been booked. In the end, it's Arteta who is booked for mouthing off at the ref.

90+1 minThree minutes added on.

90+4 minDISALLOWED! Arsenal should have a goal as Sanogo strokes home. He was flagged offside but replays show that he was in-line with Stones.


3.24pmIt's a fantastic result for Everton as they cruise past top-four rivals Arsenal. They remain fifth but are now just a point adrift of the Gunners, crucially with a game in-hand.

3.27pmWe've got to dash off on SM, but make sure you now follow this link to join us for coverage of the second game of the day between West Ham and Liverpool. Will it be another fantastic day for the two Merseyside clubs on Grand National weekend? Everton have done their bit, over to you Liverpool...

Manager Roberto Martinez of Everton looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Everton at Selhurst Park on November 9, 2013
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