Giroud gets back on target as Arsenal defeats Everton
LONDON (AP) — Olivier Giroud bounced back from a wretched midweek performance in the Champions League to set Arsenal on its way to a 2-0 win over Everton that trimmed the gap to second-place Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday.
The France striker, who missed several chances and was substituted early in a 3-1 home defeat to Monaco on Wednesday, volleyed in Mesut Ozil's corner to give Arsenal a 39th-minute lead at the Emirates.
Substitute Tomas Rosicky added a second goal from a deflected shot in the 89th to seal a seventh win in eight league games, keeping Arsenal in third place and only four behind City. The champions lost 2-1 at Liverpool earlier Sunday.
"The result was very significant for the rest of the season," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "It is tight at the top of the table. It is down to consistency."
Giroud started despite his woes against Monaco and the striker responded with a fourth goal in his last four games.
"Arsene Wenger gave me the possibility to bounce back," Giroud said. "We wanted to do that together and I think we did well."
Everton was challenging for Champions League football last season but now is in danger of being sucked into the relegation scrap. With only one win in the league since Dec. 20, Roberto Martinez's team is six points off the bottom three and only threatened sporadically against Arsenal.
"We didn't deserve the score line, that is for sure," Martinez said. "I thought we did many good things.
"It will take a bit of momentum in terms of results. If you get two or three wins everything changes."