SOUTH MILWAUKEE WI. (GVE) – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a debut goal for Arsenal and Aaron Ramsey hit his first hat-trick as the Gunners thumped a disorganised Everton 5-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Henrick Mkhitaryan also had a dream debut as he had a hattrick of assists, but French manager, Arsene Wenger, belies Arsenal need to find the right balance between attack and defence if they are to finish the season successfully.
Arsenal have not kept a clean sheet in eight Premier League matches, and finished Saturday’s match five points adrift of a Champions League qualification place and Wenger believes: “Our challenge is to find a balance.
“We’re a very offensive team but need to find a balance between attacking and defending. That will be our challenge until the end of the season.”
Aubameyang, a club-record £56m signing from Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, chipped in from fellow new arrival Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s pass as the home side led 4-0 by half-time.
Television replays showed the goal should have been ruled out for offside, although the visitors could hardly claim the decision made a huge difference to the match.
Everton conceded three times in the opening 20 minutes amid defensive chaos, with Ramsey touching in the opener from Mkhitaryan’s cross.
Laurent Koscielny got in front of Aubameyang to head the second at the far post after Shkodran Mustafi glanced on Mesut Ozil’s corner, before Ramsey scored a deflected third.
Aubameyang struck the fourth before half-time, prompting Everton manager Sam Allardyce to abandon his three-man central defence and revert to a back four.
Substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed an Everton consolation from Cuco Martina’s left-wing delivery, before Ramsey swept in his hat-trick goal from another low Mkhitaryan cross.
Wenger was pleased with Ramsey’s showing, saying: “He is calm in finishing. He used to rush it. Over the years, I think he can get 10-15 goals a season.”
Arsenal however lost goalkeeper Petr Cech to a calf injury in a collision with Oumar Niasse as the striker hit the post in the second half.