Saturday's round of Premier League action concluded in emphatic fashion as Arsene Wenger's blunt refusal to reinvest the vast sums of money received from fiscal superpower Manchester City appeared to be vindicated as Arsenal overcame Everton by a 6-1 scoreline.
Joleon Lescott, pursued throughout the summer transfer window by City, was witness to a mixed reception by the Goodison Park faithful as multiple banners begging the Englishman to remain on the Mersey were emblazoned across the ground, while others decided to jeer the versatile centre back whenever he received a touch of the football.
Much had been made of Arsenal's formation, as without spearheading striker Emmanuel Adebayor, a 4-5-1 would appear redundant, and with Denilson, Alexandre Song, and Francesc Fabregas all starting, two flat banks of three looked like the desired tactic. However, Nicklas Bendtner and Andrey Arshavin both drifted wide throughout the course of the game.
The initial periods of play brought few talking points forth, as cagey encounters dominated proceedings. Denilson, an oft character for scapegoating and intense criticism from his own fans last season, broke the deadlock in the 26th minute following an in-form Bendtner chesting the ball down and with his neat feet played in the Brazilian, who struck an out-swinging curling effort fizzing into the net from outside the box.
Away fans were treated to a four minute double when Robin van Persie, whose delivery from set-play had been strong throughout the game, found debutant Thomas Vermaelen.
The former Ajax captain evaded his marker with ease and guided the ball into a welcoming net with the brow on his bonce. Everton had little time to compose themselves, as Fabregas, on the left, again found holes in the Toffees' marking, as William Gallas burst through and had Tim Howard picking the ball out of his net for the third time.
There were few plus points for Everton to take heed from at half-time, as Arsenal were winning the battles all over the park. Their passing and movement, as has been characterised during Wenger's occupancy of the north London hotseat, proved tough for David Moyes' side to counter.
The side from N5 scored a fourth within moments of the re-start. Robin van Persie received the ball from deep and drifted down the left flank, only to play in Fabregas who looked far more like his usual effervescent self during the second half.
The Spaniard, who was overshadowed in the first half due to some good work from Denilson - who scored and prevented a goal on his own line - as well as Alex Song who enjoyed some good aerial tussles with the talismanic Fellaini, came to life deep into the second 45 when Manuel Almunia took it upon himself to make his own play and launch a thrown ball toward his fellow national. Fabregas then found himself up against Howard again and the result was the same. Five nil to the Arsenal, with twenty minutes left.
Everton supporters had been steadily departing the ground since the 55th minute, but the fifth goal proved a catalyst for further exits. Those exiles may have missed the post-match traffic, but they also missed a sole goal that they could have cheered, as Louis Saha gave Moyes & co a consolitary strike after stoppage time, and a sixth goal for Arsenal, as Eduardo - making his first Premier League appearance since his horrific leg break in 2008 - pounced on an Arshavin effort that hit the foot of the bar.
For Moyes, an early trip down the training ground on Sunday will beckon, while for Wenger it is a case of the joy of six.
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