WAYNE ROONEY turned the clock back.
But Mesut Ozil made sure the tide could not be turned on the Blue half of Merseyside to give Arsene Wenger the happiest of birthdays.
The German World Cup winner, as revealed by SunSport, is unhappy over what friends call a “campaign” against him with his contract due to expire this summer.
There were suggestions that he had already told team mates that he will be off to Manchester United next summer.
But 90 minutes before kick – off he posted a tweet that read “Ignore the noise and stay focused”.
And he followed up that statement of intent with the goal that sent the Gunners to victory as Wenger celebrated his 68th birthday.
Rooney, who announced himself to the wider football world with his glory winner against the Gunners 15 years ago, grabbed more glory just 12 minutes in.
Just like back in October 2002 he unleashed a wonderful right footer that flew into the top corner.
But by the end Everton, reduced to ten men after Idrissa Gana Gueye was shown a second yellow in the 68th minute, were in disarray and the Everton faithful were calling for boss Ronald Koeman’s head.
Things were a lot, lot better for Ozil and his mates who had begun the game letting fly at Toffees goalkeeper Jason Pickford from all angles.
He stood up to the barrage until being beaten by Nacho Monreal’s deflected 40th minute equaliser.
Ozil, who had dazzled at times in a brilliant all – round attacking display by Arsenal, then headed his first goal of the season in the 53rd minute.
Once Gueye had gone the Gunners were free to run riot and Ozil’s perfect pass made it a simple job for Alexandre Lacazette to score his first away goal since his £60million arrival in the summer.
No4 – to nobody at Goodison’s real surprise – arrived in the last minute, Aaron Ramsey sweeping his shot home as under pressure Koeman saw his side slump to third bottom of the Prem.
Four minutes into time added on Monreal left his back-pass way too short to Petr Cech and sub Oumar Niasse but the deficit before Sanchez scored his first of the season.
INTERACTIVE STATS – CLICK on the categories to find out how the teams fared
FACTS, STATS, GOALS & LOLS
- Ahead of the game, Arsenal had won more Premier League matches against Everton (30) than against any other opponent.
- Everton had just two wins in the last 23 meetings but they triumphed with ten men in this fixture last season.
- Prior to kick-off, the Toffees had won just two games in 12 games in all competitions this season.
- Wayne Rooney had netted 11 times in the Premier League against Arsenal ahead of the game – more than any other player against the Gunners. His opener was his 12th.
- This clash was Arsene Wenger’s 400th away game in the Premier League… on his 68th birthday.
- Arsenal had scored 1,499 goals in the Prem ahead of kick-off, with Nacho Monreal scoring No1,500.
INTERACTIVE LINE-UPS – CLICK on a player’s number below to see their stats
WHAT THEY SAID
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: “We should have been 2-0 or 3-0 up, but we were 1-0 down.
“We didn’t panic and maintained our focus. Once we equalised, it was all us for the rest of the game.”
Everton manager Ronald Koeman: “The final result is really poor but once again, these decisions [regarding his future] are not in my hands.
“It’s not the time to start to be crazy because we lost 5-2 today, its a big result, and OK, we will see what happens.”
DREAM TEAM RATINGS
EVERTON: Pickford 7, Keane 6, Jagielka 5, Williams 5 (Davies 46, 6), Kenny 6, Baines 6, Gueye 5, Vlasic 6, Sigurdsson 6, Rooney 7 (Lookman 74, 5), Calvert-Lewin 7 (Niasse 75, 6).
Subs not used: Robles, Mirallas, Martina, Klaassen.
ARSENAL: Cech 4, Koscielny 6, Mertesacker 6, Monreal 8, Bellerin 7, Kolasinac 6, Ramsey 8, Xhaka 7, Ozil 8 (Coquelin 82, 6), Sanchez 9, Lacazette 7 (Wilshere 77, 6).
Subs not used: Macey, Giroud, Walcott, Holding, Iwobi.
STAR MAN: ALEXIS SANCHEZ (Arsenal)