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Displays like that are why Aubameyang is in demand, beams Arteta

Arsenal 3 Everton 2


In front: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) takes the acclaim after putting Arsenal 3-2 up

In front: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) takes the acclaim after putting Arsenal 3-2 up


Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti

In front: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) takes the acclaim after putting Arsenal 3-2 up

Mikel Arteta remains hopeful Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be an Arsenal player beyond the summer after the forward's latest goalscoring exploits.

The 30-year-old bagged a brace as the Gunners recovered from conceding after just 49 seconds to beat Everton 3-2 in a thrilling Premier League clash.

Eddie Nketiah cancelled out Dominic Calvert-Lewin's acrobatic early opener before Aubameyang struck either side of Richarlison's equaliser to give the Gunners a third straight win in all competitions.

Aubameyang, who tops this season's Premier League goalscoring charts alongside Jamie Vardy with 17, is out of contract at the end of next season and has been linked with other clubs.

"They are completely right to want him because he is a superb player," Arsenal boss Arteta said.

"He completely deserves to be liked by all the other teams. Hopefully we can convince him that this is the right place for him and that he has a future here.

"I'm so happy with him. Obviously because he's scoring very important goals for us, but as well as a captain, he's a great example to everyone else.

"Hopefully, not just the wins (will convince him to stay) but what we are trying to do.

"Does he really enjoy walking out on to the pitch every time he goes? It's very much part of what we are trying to build here and I think he is with that mindset at the moment."

A quirk of the winter break meant this was Everton's first game in 15 days and Arsenal's third of the week.

That may be the reason the Toffees took a shock lead as David Luiz lost the flight of a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick, the ball cannoning off his shoulder with Calvert-Lewin finishing acrobatically to stun the Emirates Stadium.

Bukayo Saka provided the cross for Nketiah to turn home an instinctive finish to level the game before the half-hour mark.

Six minutes later and Arsenal were ahead, Luiz with an inch-perfect pass to split the Everton defence and find the run of Aubameyang, who made no mistake in notching his 18th goal of the season to turn the tables.

A flashpoint at the start of stoppage time saw Richarlison booked for a late challenge on Dani Ceballos, with plenty of those in red claiming the Brazil international should have been sent off.

Instead, just moments later, he was equalising for Everton as he got the lightest of flicks to Yerry Mina's header to knock the ball past Leno and over the line.

Remarkably, the second half started quicker than the first, Pepe crossing for Aubameyang to head Arsenal back in front just 25 seconds after referee Stuart Attwell got the action back under way.

That proved enough for the hosts to take full points, leaving Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti critical over his side's defensive performance.

"(I am) really disappointed," Ancelotti said.

"I cannot say that the performance was good because to be good you have to attack well - and we did - and you have to defend well - and we didn't.

"So, I cannot be satisfied for this because we want to win here against a strong team and you have to defend well and attack well.

"The attacking play was good, we had a lot of opportunity to score more goals, but defensively we were poor so this is the focus that we are going to have next week because we have to defend better."

ARSENAL: Leno, Bellerin, Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac (Saka, 18 mins), Ceballos (Torreira, 76 mins), Xhaka, Pepe, Ozil (Guendouzi, 82 mins), Aubameyang, Nketiah. Unused subs: Papastathopoulos, Lacazette, Nelson, Martinez.

Everton: Pickford, Sidibe, Mina, Holgate, Baines, Iwobi (Bernard, 60 mins), Schneiderlin (Andre Gomes, 59 mins), Delph (Kean, 82 mins), Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison. Unused subs: Keane, Stekelenburg, Coleman, Davies.

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Man of the match: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Match rating: 8/10

Belfast Telegraph