Belfast Telegraph

Koeman defiant after Gunners send Toffees into relegation zone

Everton 2 Arsenal 5

By Phil Medlicott

Everton manager Ronald Koeman insists now is not the time to start being "crazy" and believes he is still the man to turn around the club's failing fortunes.

A 5-2 defeat at home to Arsenal dropped the Toffees into the bottom three after just one win in their last eight league matches and increased the pressure on the Dutchman.

He remains adamant he can still arrest a slide which has seen his side win just twice in 13 games in all competitions - with a Caraboa Cup game at Chelsea up next on Wednesday.

"It is not a time to start to be crazy. I am responsible for this team. We lost 5-2. It is a big result," he said.

"The final result is really poor but all these kind of decisions (about his future) is not in my hands."

Asked in his post-match press conference if he could turn it around Koeman added: "Yeah. I think it is not the moment and everybody is so disappointed.

"I still believe I can change the whole situation but everybody knows how it works in football. That is all I answer about this situation."

Everton took an early lead against the run of play when Wayne Rooney recreated a version of his first Premier League goal as a precocious 16-year-old against the same opposition 15 years and three days later.

However, it could not last and Nacho Monreal equalised before the break, after which Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette -after Everton's Idrissa Gana Gueye was sent off for a second bookable offence - put the visitors 3-1 up.

A shambolic finish saw Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez score either side of an Oumar Niasse consolation in added time as the Gunners registered their first away win of the campaign.

It was put to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger it was his side's best performance of the season so far.

"Maybe the most complete defensively and offensively yes but (in other games) we were punished for every mistake," he said.

"Sanchez was on fire and has worked very hard after coming back from injury, Mesut as well.

"The two of them were sharp physically. He (Ozil) was superb, agile, quick, intelligent, always at the service of the team."

Everton: Pickford, Keane, Williams (Davies, 46 mins), Jagielka, Kenny 6, Gueye, Vlasic, Baines, Sigurdsson, Rooney (Lookman, 74 mins), Calvert-Lewin (Niasse, 74 mins). Unused subs: Robles, Mirallas, Martina, Klaassen

Arsenal: Cech, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Ozil (Coquelin, 82mins), Sanchez, Lacazette (Wilshere, 76mins). Unused subs: Macey, Giroud, Walcott, Holding, Iwobi.

Man of the match: Mesut Ozil

Match rating: 8/10

Referee: Craig Pawson

Belfast Telegraph

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