Arsenal 2-0 Everton
A clean sheet at last.
Everton got stuck in Toffee, in the end…..
Everton’s nickname is the Toffeemen since that part of Merseyside was noted for its toffee production. They started well and played well to boot, but they eventually got stuck in their own toffee, as we finally got a clean sheet.
They started well, with old boy Theo and Richarlison adding pressure to our back-line, they had a number of chances that we managed to ride out.
Everton clearly had a strong game plan, and we didn’t really look up to it in the first part of the first half.
We had some half chances through Monreal, Ozil, Lacazette, and Aubameyang, but we weren’t really in the races. Cech made some great saves, from Theo and Calvert-Lewin, that kept us in the game.
The second half started in the same vein, with Everton pressing well and getting forward in numbers. They lacked the cutting edge up top, however, Lacazette scored a wonderful curler to get in.
PEA scored a second soon after, which on TV was offside.
Everton continued, and we looked to get more chances via Welbeck and Ozil.
However, despite a strong performance from Everton overall (and in good part from our old boy Theo), they eventually got stuck in their own Toffee(men).
We got the win, but we have to take some caution from this. Had this been a team with better forwards, like City, Liverpool, or dare I say it Tottenham, we may have not won. Nonetheless, this win showed resilience and in some parts we were lucky.
I don’t care if we were lucky in honesty. It’s three more points towards a top four challenge.
We got lucky today. Yes, we kept a clean sheet at last. And yes, despite Everton playing well, we did win. But then the opening parts were uncomfortable for us. Our better finishing and creative quality up top was the difference. They had a bad result vs. West Ham and they nearly rectified it via a good result here.
Their game plan was to press us up high and get in our faces, and this worked. Theo and Richarlison provided them with some telling width, but then they don’t have a top finisher. We did, and this was the difference ultimately. The fact that both Aubameyang and Lacazette scored was telling, given this was the critical points between the two.
Our second half improved somewhat, but I feel this was due to quicker passing, and bypassing Everton’s press via more direct play. Emery did well in this regard to change tactics mid-game.
I felt despite Torreira’s presence from the start, we were also too open in the midfield, which allowed them to press us well in that section. Torreira though managed this battle well, and I feel the defence individually did fine too. Collectively, as usual, was the key issue and they had their forwards been more clinical we may have been a couple of goals down before half-time.
All the same, I’m happy that we won this game, and we’re now bordering on the top four. Watford at home will be another test of a top-eight side, and if we beat them, then we could be (results pending) in the top four itself. We showed the resilience to weather Everton’s storm, and come out with the victory.
Oh, and we kept a clean sheet. At LAST. This is more than enough reason to be happy.
Cech – 9 – prominent factor in our clean sheet, and made some crucial saves.
Bellerin – 7 – got forward well to support the attacks
Sokratis – 5 – Looked solid, but got injured early. Hopefully, it’s not serious.
Mustafi – 6 – Looked solid overall.
Monreal – 6 – Looked dependable as always. Could have scored in the early moments.
Torreira – 6 – Provided some fight and balance in the midfield
Xhaka – 5 – Got undone a bit by Everton’s pressing, but did well to surpass this via long-balls.
Ramsey – 5 – Wasn’t as effective as he could have been.
Ozil – 5 – Didn’t impact the first half as well as he could have. Second half he got a pre-assist for PEA’s goal.
Lacazette – 7 – Scored a wonderful curler.
Aubameyang – 8 – Beat their defenders a number of times and looked to create. His goal was offside, but his all-round energy was telling in his game.
Holding – 6 –Replaced Sokratis and looked solid overall.
Welbeck – 6 – Looked to get amongst the Everton defence well.
Iwobi – 7 – Pressed well when he came on.
Cech – MOTM
He’s been much maligned in many quarters, but today got us the clean sheet and arguably the win. He answered his critics in fine style.