LONDON (AP) — Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Jamie Vardy as the leading scorers in the Premier League by grabbing goals either side of halftime in Arsenal’s end-to-end 3-2 win over Everton that kept his team in contention for Champions League qualification on Sunday.
Arsenal recovered from conceding a goal inside the first minute at Emirates Stadium, with an equalizer from Eddie Nketiah and a double from Aubameyang earning the hosts victory.
Aubameyang moved onto 17 goals, a tally all the more impressive given the fact he is playing as a left-winger this season. The Gabon striker finished tied with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane as the league’s top scorer last season.
Arsenal climbed to ninth and is four points behind fifth-place Manchester United, which occupies the final qualifying spot for the Champions League now that second-place Manchester City has been banned from European competition for the next two seasons for breaching financial rules.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored an acrobatic volley after David Luiz failed to clear a corner to give Everton an early lead in an open game full of chances.
Nketiah steered in substitute Bukayo Saka’s left-wing cross to make it 1-1 before Luiz made up for his earlier mistake by playing a superb pass through to Aubameyang, who curled home a 33rd-minute finish from the left in the same manner Arsenal great Thierry Henry used to do so regularly.
Back came Everton and in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time, Yerry Mina flicked on Gylfi Sigurdsson’s mis-hit shot from the edge of the area and Richardson got the faintest of touches to prod the ball through the legs of Bernd Leno and over the line.
Aubameyang earned Arsenal the win by heading home Pepe’s cross in the first minute of the second half, but it needed a serious of great saves and interventions from Leno to preserve the home side’s lead as Everton piled on the pressure late on.
Everton is one of the many teams fighting for European qualification. It is in 11th place, but only five points behind Man United.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports