Premier League - Everton hit three in miserable Gunners defeat

Premier League, Goodison Park - Everton 3 (Naismith 14, Lukaku 34, Arteta 62 og) Arsenal 0

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Premier League - Everton hit three in miserable Gunners defeat
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Romelu Lukaku (R) celebrates scoring with manager Roberto Martinez against Arsenal during their English Premier League soccer match at Goodison Park in Liverpool, northern England, April 6, 2014 (Reuters)

Everton grabbed their fifth straight win in a 3-0 dismantling of Arsenal at Goodison Park that boosts their hope of Champions League football next season.

Roberto Martinez's side are only one point behind Arsene Wenger's fourth-placed side with a game in hand after overwhelming the visiting side with their pace and movement.

They moved ahead on 14 minutes when Steven Naismith tucked the ball into the net after Romelu Lukaku had seen his shot saved by Wojciech Szczesny in the visiting goal.

They shipped a second goal on 34 minutes when Naismith fed Kevin Mirallas, who picked out Lukaku to bound forward before drilling a shot beyond Szczesny with Arsenal's defence backing off.

Everton finished off the scoring for the day when Arteta prodded the ball into his own net in trying to prevent Mirallas from scoring after the Belgian player had robbed Bacary Sagna of possession.

Szczesny saved from Naismith after he had been picked out by Mirallas, but the ball broke for Arteta to complete a miserable day for the visiting side.

KEY MOMENTS

14' - NAISMITH OPENING GOAL: Naismith slides the ball into the net after Szczesny had made a fine stop from Lukaku. Brilliant pass by Baines to get the move going. Everton lead 1-0.

31' - BRIGHT WORK BY MIRALLAS: Szczesny forced to make another smart stop down low to his right hand post after Mirallas had unloaded a shot from inside the visiting box.

34' - LUKAKU SLAMS THE SECOND INTO THE NET: Lukaku with a stunning goal. Naismith to Mirallas, who feeds the Belgian forward. Brilliant run and finish by the on-loan Chelsea man. A 2-0 lead for Everton.

61' - ARTETA OWN GOAL: An Arteta own goal. A 3-0 lead. Arsenal a shambles. Mirallas won the ball from Sagna. Szczesny made the save from Naismith, but Arteta could only force the rebound into his own net.

83' - HOWARD HEROICS DENY OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN: Howard with a stunning finger tip stop to divert a brilliant effort by Oxlade-Chamberlain shot onto his bar. That ball was travelling at some pace from 25 yards.

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KEY STATS

Arsenal have now conceded 40 goals this season, and 20 of them have come away at Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and Everton.

Arsenal have now not won a Premier League match in four, their worst run since they also went four in April-May 2012, which also included a match against a Roberto Martinez side (they lost 2-1 to his Wigan).

Everton have now earned 63 points this season, the total they got in the whole of last season. It is the most they have ever had after 32 PL matches, and their sixth highest total ever in the top flight at this stage – they last had more in 1985/86 when they had 66.

Everton are now one point behind Arsenal with a match in hand – if they win all of their remaining matches they will finish 4th or higher and qualify for Champions League football.

Everton beat Arsenal in the PL for the first time in 13 matches, since 18 March 2007 (1-0).

Arsenal have now conceded 22 goals against the four other top five PL teams (Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton) this season, and have scored just eight. In the seven matches against other top five sides before today, they had won just six points, from a possible 21.

Infostrada

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND PLAYER RATINGS

MAN OF THE MATCH

Steven Naismith (Everton): The Scotland player is a figure of real quality. Is enjoying playing in the hole behind the striker. Arsenal didn't know how to handle him as he proved to be a constaint nuisance to Wenger's side.

TALKING POINT: How demoralising a defeat was this for Arsenal? The London side have not really produced against any of their main rivals on the road, and this result was no different. They visit Wembley to face Wigan in the FA Cup semi-finals next weekend when they must look to rediscover the form that saw them club Everton 4-1 in the last eight at the outset of Match. But then again, that match was at home.

PLAYER RATINGS

Everton: Howard 8, Baines 7, Distin 7, Stones 7, Coleman 7, McCarthy 7, Barry 7, Osman 6, Naismith 8, Mirallas 7, Lukaku 8; Subs: McGeady 7, Deulofeu 7, Barkley 7

Arsenal: Szczesny 7, Sagna 5, Mertesacker 4, Vermaelen 4, Monreal 5, Arteta 6, Flamini 5, Cazorla 5, Rosicky 5, Podolski 6, Giroud 5; Subs: Ramsey 7, Sanogo 6, Oxlade-Chamberlain 7

MATCH IN A TWEET

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