Arsenal had the chance to go five points clear of Manchester City on Wednesday, and it was an opportunity they took as Everton were routed.
Arsenal opened up a five-point lead at the Premier League summit as Gabriel Martinelli scored twice in a 4-0 rout of struggling Everton at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal produced arguably their worst performance of the season last month in a 1-0 defeat at Everton, but a quick-fire double in the middle of the half allowed them to take control.
Bukayo Saka broke Everton’s resistance with a superb finish into the top right corner before playing a key role in the second when he stole possession from the flat-footed Idrissa Gueye to fire past Martinelli.
Sean Dyche’s men did further damage as Martin Odegaard and Martinelli added close-range finishes after the break to ensure Arsenal put potentially decisive daylight between themselves and Manchester City.
Everton kept Arsenal quiet for the first 40 minutes and perhaps should have gone in front when Neal Maupay poked Aaron Ramsdale into the hands of six yards.
However, the Gunners took the lead on their first real chance when Saka turned Oleksandr Zinchenko’s defensive pass before slotting past Jordan Pickford at his near post.
Arsenal had VAR to thank when they grabbed a second six minutes later, with Michael Oliver overturning his original decision to disallow Martinelli’s one-on-one finish for offside after Gueye was caught by Saka in possession.
Leandro Trossard miscued a volley as Arsenal went three up after the break before Dwight McNeil’s 20-yard effort was brilliantly stopped by Ramsdale.
Arsenal had a deserved third 19 minutes into the game when Trossard ran to the touchline to find Odegaard whose side-footed finish was deflected away from James Tarkowski.
With Everton’s confidence shaken, Eddie Nketiah tested Pickford with a close-range volley before driving down the left to find Martinelli, who nudged his brace.