Arsenal bought Petr Cech this summer to help them challenge for the Premier League title this season, and the Chelsea recruit played a key role in sending the Gunners top of the table tonight.
With the hosts 2-1 up and Everton applying late pressure at the Emirates Stadium, the 33-year-old goalkeeper made a crucial save from Gerard Deulofeu to help his side clinch three vital points.
A fourth straight top-flight victory sends Arsenal to the summit of the Premier League for the first time in 20 months, although a City win in tomorrow’s Manchester derby would make it a brief stay.
First-half headers from Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny put the Gunners two up before Ross Barkley’s deflected effort pulled one back for Everton in a mad 10-minute spell prior to the break.
Giroud’s third goal in as many games came from a delightful Mesut Ozil cross on 36 minutes and capped a fantastic week for the Frenchman in which he also scored in the conquering of Bayern Munich.
A set piece from Santi Cazorla 90 seconds later was attacked with hunger by Koscielny, and Everton were facing another drubbing at the hands of a title contender after last week’s 3-0 loss to Manchester United.
But the Toffees halved their deficit on the stroke of half time. On a night when Cech proved his worth to the Gunners, it needed a huge deflection off Gabriel Paulista for Barkley’s strike to wrong-foot him.
Giroud nearly restored Arsenal’s two-goal advantage when the crossbar denied him what would have been a deserved second goal, while substitute Mathieu Flamini passed up a couple of good chances.
Arsenal had failed to kill Everton off and the visitors finished strongly, but Romelu Lukaku headed against the woodwork and Cech reacted superbly to foil Deulofeu five minutes from time.
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