The style and steel went missing for Arsenal, as their unbeaten run since the opening game of the Premier League was brought to an end by Everton on Tuesday. Needing a win to go top of the standings, the Gunners fluffed their lines, allowing a physical Toffees side to come from behind and take all three points at Goodison Park.
Arsenal were coming off three fantastic wins, where they scored a combined 12 goals, but with that Premier League summit calling and at a ground that found their voice, Wenger's side showed all their old failings again.
When Everton went in with a couple of tackles, disrupting the Arsenal rhythm, after it looked quite fine following the opening goal scored by Alexis Sanchez, the away side crumbled, with Seamus Coleman equalising just before halftime and Ashley Williams scoring the winner towards the end of the match.
Both of those goals came from headers, which will raise questions if Arsenal missed Shkodran Mustafi, who is out for three weeks. Gabriel was the one who replaced the Germany international at the heart of the defence, and defending was something Arsenal had very little to do in the opening half hour or so.
The away team deservedly went into the lead on 20 minutes, albeit in fortuitous circumstances. Phil Jagielka brought Francis Coquelin down just outside the edge of the box and Sanchez fired in a low freekick, which took a big deflection off Williams, wrong-footing Maarten Stekelenburg in the process and nestling into the back of the net.
Arsenal took their foot off the accelerator following the goal, allowing Everton to slowly grow into the game. That meant, the home team were given belief and opportunities, with Coleman taking one of them by guiding a deft header into the corner off a cross from Leighton Baines.
The Gunners could not find their usual attacking intent in the second half – Mesut Ozil was not at his best, neither was Sanchez, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott struggled to get into the game – and Everton made them pay as Williams struck another header off a cross from the excellent Ross Barkley on 86 minutes.
Everton went down to ten men at the end, when Phil Jagielka received a second yellow card – which means he will miss the Merseyside derby against Liverpool – and Arsenal nearly equalised as well as Nacho Monreal, Alex Iwobi and Sanchez all came close as the ball pin-balled in the box off a corner.
The Toffees nearly made it 2-0 as they counter-attacked, but they could not find the strike to put the ball into what was an empty net, with Petr Cech at the other end of the pitch. The insurance goal wasn't needed, however, as Everton picked up only their second win in 11 matches and Arsenal lost their chance to put pressure on leaders Chelsea.