Everton were the better team on the day in beating Arsenal 2-1, but the game wasn’t untainted by controversy.
Both sides started the game slowly, with neither looking particularly dangerous in attack, and there hadn’t been a single shot on target as we reached the 30-minute mark.
The first strong talking point came as Ben Godfrey was seen to have stamped on the face of Takehiro Tomiyasu, and even after Mike Dean was called to see the incident by VAR, he decided there wasn’t enough to take action. Both Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville agreed at half-time that it was a deliberate action however…
The home side began to grow in confidence as they held us at bay, and they did look to have stolen the lead.
Richarlison leapt high in the box to head Andros Townsend’s free-kick into the net, but VAR moved to rule it our for offside. Almost immediately they was punished as well, when we went from defence to attack to work the ball out to Kieran Tierney out the left who crosses into Martin Odegaard to seal the half-time lead.
There was little change in the game in the second-half either, with neither team initially taking a scruff of the play, although both were getting forward with more urgency.
Richarlison then had the ball in the back of the net a second time after he was played in on the edge of the box before neatly placing his effort to the goalkeeper’s left, but once again the Video Assistant Referee stepped in to call offside.
The Brazilian wasn’t to be denied a third time however, when Demarai Gray’s effort beat Ramsdale onto to come out off the crossbar into the path of the forward who headed it clear of the goalkeeper who was scrambling back to his feet.
Eddie Nketiah should have put us ahead when he was found in the far post, only for his headed effort to come out off the post from close range, before we were duly punished for our lacklustre performance.
Demarai Gray ran at Ben White, before cutting across the defender and firing his shot in off the inside of the post in injury time, but the fun didn’t stop there.
The final kick of the game was to be in attack, with Eddie Nketiah dummying the ball to leave it to fall to Aubameyang inside the box unmarked, only for his effort to go well wide.
This was a match marred by tough fouls, which will mean that both of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli could result in injury, while Tomiyasu will be marked from a stud to the face also.
While it was a tough battle, the performance simply wasn’t good enough today, and there will be little time to work on our issues before our next game.