By Walter Broeckx
Arsenal with an almost unchanged team from the one that beat Stoke last Saturday. The only new player from the start was Hector Bellerin who started at right back. Gabriel who started at right back last weekend moved to the middle to replace Mustafi just as he did when Mustafi went off injured.
Holding is the only change on the bench also for this match. That also was rather an expected move.
Team at the start: Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Mustafi, Monreal, Coquelin, Xhaka, Walcott, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexis.
On the beach: Ospina, Holding, Gibbs, Elneny, Iwobi, Lucas, Giroud.
A little delay as the audio equipment of an assistant didn’t function properly but we got underway. Alexis picking up a ball but his pass to Walcott was just over hit so the keeper first on the ball. Monreal with a low cross to Özil but the ball came a bit behind him so he couldn’t direct his shot that went wide. Arsenal trying to keep the ball down and Everton trying to play the long ball game. Everton with a short spell but not really dangerous and then Arsenal with lots of possession but no end product. 0-0 after 15 minutes.
Monreal with a good run but a his cross can’t find Alexis but Coquelin picks up the ball and is fouled just outside the penalty area. Williams from Everton kicked so wild at anything that moved that he injured one of his own players with a kick on the knee. Alexis with the free kick, low and a deflection takes it past the keeper. GOAL!!!! 0-1 to The Arsenal after 20 minutes. The ball deflected between the legs of Williams.
Everton trying to do something back but apart from some possession not really much balls in the Arsenal penalty area. Arsenal do have to be carefull not to overplay it at the back and put themselves under pressure. Still 0-1 to The Arsenal after 30 minutes.
Some high pressure from Everton results in Lennon having a shot but well off target. The result is lots of running but no real football from both teams for the moment as the tempo is too high to play some good football. Lukaku with a shot after Arsenal lost the ball but again off target. After a free kick Monreal miss kicked the ball but the shot from Everton went wide. Everton getting wilder and wilder unpunished most and Arsenal cannot do the same. Finally McCarthy goes over the line and gets a foul against him and a yellow card for a late wild challenge. That happens Mr. Clattenburg when you let kickers kick unpunished. Just before half time Baines can put in a cross and Coleman heads it in goal. 1-1 after 45 minutes. Clattenburg only allowing physical play from one team in this half so far. Özil is rightly furious about the treatment from the Everton players and Clattenburg at half time and the teams have to be separated. That is the result of being one sided Mr. Clattenburg but I think you will not mind it one bit. By now we know your little game and can see through it.
Walcott with the first goal effort but his header went over the goal. Arsenal more going forward again in the opening minutes. Alexis with a low cross to Özil but his shot went over the crossbar. Up and under football most of the time with players getting no time to settle on the ball and thus no real football to be seen. Bellerin sending Özil away but the keeper first on the ball and then got injured by the defender that slid in to him with his studs. Barkley with a low shot but half a meter wide of the goal post. Still 1-1 after 60 minutes.
Clattenburg still following the party line: no physicality from Arsenal allowed. Gabriel with a half clearance but Cech can pick up the ball. Arsenal now pressing Everton back for a long period but only half chances from it. The final ball to a team mate is missing for the moment. Lukaku on a run on the flank but his shot goes for a corner. After 70 minutes Iwobi and Giroud come on for Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain. Alexis on the left flank, Iwobi on the right and Giroud in the middle. Arsenal escape when the ball falls dead in front of the goal but no Everton player on hand. Arsenal struggling now and the passing is below par. Still 1-1 after 75 minutes.
Alexis to Iwobi but his shot from 6 meters out goes wide. He was a bit off balance when trying to shoot. Clattenburg is less fussy also when it comes to stealing meters on a throw in. Very strict against Arsenal but no problem when Everton doing it. Koscielny getting an arm in the face but no foul for Clattenburg then brings Barkley down and the card comes out. Rolling the ball out of the foam circle is a yellow card ref. Baines escapes. Cech with a great save after a corner at the near post. And the next corner is headed over the goal line. 2-1 for Everton after 85 minutes. It looks as if the teams from Liverpool are difficult for us this season.
Alexis tries to find Özil but again the passing is not good enough. Lucas enters the match after 87 for Coquelin. A cross to Giroud but he can’t get on the end of it. Jagielka being sent off with second yellow card in extra time. Arsenal with a free kick. Three shots in a row that are saved on the line, Alexis going down in the penalty area but do you really think Clattenburg would give Arsenal a penalty?
The longer a not losing run goes on the nearer the first defeat is coming. It was a bad day at the office but that is how it goes sometimes. Some players looking tired and not up their usual standard. Maybe the CL match taking its toll in this match. Time to start a new run.