By Walter Broeckx
The injured players didn’t return so no Koscielny and Xhaka in the team. Ramsey got a place on the bench after comming off against Newcastle. Elneny gets a rare start and Guendouzi also comes in the team. Up front Mkhitaryan also starting the match. Aubameyang starts on the bench so we have something in hand if things don’t go as planned.
Arsenal team : Leno, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Guendouzi, Elneny, Özil, Mkhitaryan, Lacazette
On the beach: Cech, Lichtsteiner, Jenkinson, Ramsey, Suarez, Aubameyang, Iwobi.
Lacazette send away but he can’t get a shot away but Özil sends it back in front of goal to Mkhitaryan but Everton can clear for a corner. The late tackle on Lacazette inside the penalty area is ignored by the ref. Guendouzi gets an early yellow card for comming in late on an Everton defender. A long throw is not cleared in the penalty area and falls for Jagielka who can tap in from close range. 1-0 after 10 minutes. Nothing happening in the next 5 minutes so we are still at 1-0 after 15 minutes.
Evetong dominating for the moment with Arsenal playing too slow and not getting forward. Sokratis also gets a yellow card for holding an Everton striker at the half way line. A quick Everton attack has to be cleared by Sokratis. Arsenal can’t create anything and comes out second best in the persoal duels. Still 1-0 after 30 minutes.
Maitland-Niles with a cross but straight at the keeper. Arsenal finally in the Everton penalty area. Each decision from ref and assistant is going in favour of Everton. Arsenal showing nothing going forwardin the first half and some very bad passing from the Arsenal player. We will really have to up our game and our speed in the second half if we want to get anything from this match. 2-0 at half time.
Aubameyang and Ramsey come in at half time and Kolasinac and Elneny go off. Ramsey at the end of a cross from Aubameang and Pickford with a pub fist against the ball that falls back to Ramsey but he misses the rebound. Andre Gomes commits his umpteenth foul and finally gets his card. A corner falls to Ramsey but his left footed shot misses the target by some 10 meters. Arsenal dominating the match now but still the build up from behind is happening at a very slow pace. Mkhitaryan in a promising position but his pass to Aubameyang is terrible and the chance goes away. Mustafi with a ball to Lacazette but the header is stopped by Pickford. Maitland-Niles with a back header that is intercepted and a one on one that is won by Leno who stayed well on his feet. Still 1-0 down after 60 minutes.
Maitland-Niles is really having a terrible match a bit later when he throws a ball straight in to a goal kick… come on Ainsley! You can do better. Everton with a few sharp counters but in the end the shots nowhere near the target. Arsenal losing the ball too deep in our part of the field is still something we have to improve on. Sokratis having to stop a few shots now from Everton as a result by doing some great blocking tackles. Mkhitaryan coming inside from the left but not enough curl on his low shot and the ball just wend wide. Sigurdson with a low shot after an Everton counter but Leno with the stop. Arsenal have to take more risks now. Everton now with the better chances but again Sokratis with the block and then the ball goes wide after Richardlison misses the target. Özil goes off and Iwobi comes on after 73 minutes. Arsenal keep on playing the ball deep in their own half and can’t get out of the pressure from Everton. Still 1-0 after 75 minutes.
Iwobi with a good run and pass to Lacazette but his attempted cross is cleared. Walcott comes on for Everton in the place of Richarlison. Walcott gives a ball to Bernard but Leno stops his shot. Mustafi gets a yellow card for stopping Calvert-Lewin. Again after Everton being more determinted to win the ball. Iwobi is held back by the shirt but this escapes the ref. Friend invents a corner for Everton much to the disgust of Monreal go gets a yellow card. Andre Gomes kicks out against Sokratis without the ball but that escapes the ref. Two fouls from Everton players but they escape the ref. A final corner for Arsenal but Everton can clear.
Everton got an early lucky goal and Arsenal never really got over that. Our bad away record continues and to be honest I don’t see us getting in to the top 4 as long as we keep that away form. A bad performance and it doesn’t seem to matter who is our manager when we play away from home. Our slow build up brings us more in trouble than it does the home team when we play away. Why not go for an adventerous way of playing and play like we do at home?
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