They rode their luck but, at the end of a swashbuckling encounter, Arsenal could revel in something that had eluded their season so far. This win, secured when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the last of five goals in the opening minute of the second half, was in doubt until the last second but Mikel Arteta’s side have momentum now.

It seemed some way off when Dominic Calvert-Lewin struck early on and again when, after Eddie Nketiah and Aubameyang turned the tables, Richarlison equalised. But they are now 10 games unbeaten, with three straight wins, and the head coach’s celebration at the end showed exactly what this meant: it is not improbable that they are now European contenders again. There are few certainties in football, but a nailed-on bet presented itself here: anything on offer would surely be an improvement on the dire goalless draw these sides contested four days after Christmas, both stuck in suspended animation while their newly-appointed managers watched from the Goodison Park directors’ box.

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