Everton v Arsenal Review – Arsenal hang on for narrow win despite dominant display

Well it was certainly an eventful first half with Arsenal going all out to score the opening goal, and after the first 25 minutes the Gunners were well passed double figures for passes in the last third, while Everton had only had one.

The Gunners looked like they were totally dominant as Everton tried to outmuscle our midfield and failed miserably. Gabriel Martinelli scored an excellent goal in the 19th minute after being fed brilliantly by Vieira, but incredibly it was ruled out after a long, very long, VAR check.

It was judged that Nketiah (on the other side of the field) was offside, despite not interfering at all with the run of play, and the ball to Martinelli even came off an Everton player before reaching the Brazilian. Yet another incredible decision by the faceless twats behind the TV screens.

To make things worse, Martinelli was taken down and had to go off injured minutes later. Trossard replaced him and business resumed with Arsenal playing sweet football but not getting the ball in the net.

Everton finally got their first shot on target in the 42rd minute but otherwise we were totally in control, and will be disppointed to go into the break without a clear lead after having 77% of the possession…

Again in the second half it was all Arsenal in attack but Everton were beginning to increase in confidence, we had a scare when Gabriel got fallen upon and may have got a bang on the head. Immediately Arteta replaced Nketiah with Jesus, and Everton brought on Calvert-Lewin at the same time.

In the 68th minute Saka took Arsenal’s 8th penalty and when it came back to him down the line he pinpointed a pass to Trossard and we finally got the breakthrough. 1-0 to the Arsenal at last!

It was good to see Arsenal pushing forward trying to increase their lead, and 10 minutes later Odegaard and Saka broke through but our captain couldn’t get past Pickford, and when the ball broke to Vieira his shot was blocked desperately.

Havertz came on with ten minutes to go, which is only right.

The Gunners certainly look more likely to get another with Trossard working well since replacing Martinelli. But the game is never over to the whistle and Everton started pushing men forward to try and equalize, but Raya and the defence were looking good and solid.

He did make one little fumble in the 87th minute but he was being bundled under pressure, his first error I’ve seen in the game so far.

Calvert-Lewin gave us a little scare in the 89th minute, but nothing serious, but it was a relief to see only 4 minutes added on.

And the Gunners hang on grimly for our first win at Goodison Park in 5 years….

Bring on Tottenham next week!

JustArsenal Show NEO discusses Arteta’s evolving tactics and discusses whether Kai Havertz should be considered a flop or not after his four games…

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  1. So happy with a another win.
    We leapfrog Brentford and go up to 4th.
    hopefully we can keep the winning going.
    For me a win is a win and 3 points. COYG 💝

    1. Have to commend Arteta for the game plan. Arsenal totally nullified Everton’s game plan. Very cautious and mature play by Arsenal today. The kind of performances that Arsenal was never known for. This is the biggest change under Arteta imo. Winning such trickier fixtures.

      1. But we still missed plenty of good chances, especially one on one near the end, we lacked counter attacking when Everton were overloading. Good point was that we dealt rather easily with Everton press and looked never going to concede. But being title challenger we should have been more effective in that area and form of Saka is of concern. Though he got the assist but we have to give credit to trossard for making that goal happen. Our high ball are still average. We still need more calmness, and overall improvement needed if we to really ditch mancity from that top spot.

  2. Points on the board. Nice to see Vieira getting some love hopefully Havertz follows a similar trajectory. Trossard getting a goal is great for him and might be important if Martinelli is out awhile. Ticking over nicely.

  3. Great performance that unfortunately did’nt reflect on the score line against a poor and negative football oriented Everton side. PSV next, COYG!!!

  4. Is it only me that felt a lot calmer with Raya in goal for the last 20 minutes?
    Excellent debut from Raya. Superb performances from Rice Odegaard and Zinchenko meant we bossed the midfield. Trossard looked totally lost on the left wing but what a finish! Saka didn’t beat one player and we missed that. Vieira is so annoying when he disappears like that!
    Good win and except in the final third we were pretty good.

    1. Raya’s ball handling and passing skills were very good

      I think Trossard is more of a shooter and playmaker than a winger, because he isn’t as pacey as Martinelli

      Saka isn’t as good as Martinelli at dribbling, but he seems stronger and taller

          1. Gai, Saka can easily get past players and he does that a lot for England. The fact is Epl teams have learnt to double up on him at times with as much as 3 physical players. But Matinelli is pacier and also a great dribbler but his passes at time leaves little to be desired compared to Saka. We are lucky to have them both.

          2. This is insanely funny

            Watch the highlight on SuperSport

            The first highlight was him dribbling the SB of Everton

            Oh Really, Saka can’t get past defenders

            I don’t even understand people again

            That’s the best dribbler in our team (Odegarrd a mad boy at dribbling too)

  5. 3 points and job done. Not much to write home about besides the patience and mental fortitude to focus the whole 90, score a goal, and not give them a sniff at goal afterwards. Finally we win at Goodison so even if it wasn’t vintage, its a fixture we typically lose.

      1. Yea we won and 3 point taken. But our front line is yet to click well so many wasted chances up front. Our passing range still not quick enough and sloppy at times the earlier we get it right the better Raya’s ball at his feet is very good. Matinelli needs to recover from his injury in time he is the best we as a left winger.
        I think Saka needs to be rested he isn’t yet in full gear in his performance.

  6. Poor showing against a team with 1 point out of a possible 15, that still hasnt scored a goal at home and in the relegation zone.

    Relieved we won but very little about our play gives me confidence at the moment. We are holding possession but still looking very fragile.

    If we play like this vs Spurs we’ll be in for a very long day.

    1. Too much possession without purpose; we need to be more direct rather than giving defenders time to set up.

      3 points in the end, we’ll done. Unfortunately we are a mere shadow compared to our play last year. We were flashy, slick passing, direct and exciting in attack.

      So far we look slow, Saka is too hesitant on the wings; he always stops and kills momentum rather than going at the defenders.

      Lastly, Raya looked more composed and in command in goal, a change from Ramsdale. I also thought Vieira was great today, like a new signing

      1. Possesion can be a purpose in itself if your playing against teams who aren’t looking to create too many chances but are just looking to make the most out of the few they get, which everton were looking for. When we don’t lose possesion, their probablity of getting those few chances also gets slim. That’s a good strategy against teams that like to park a boeing and just look to break once or twice throughout the game.

      2. Everyone seems to be complaining about Saka but we fail to notice that other teams have improved,they’ve doubled up on players like Saka,
        Our major problem is our midfield, Odegaard is lightweight, he can’t cover ground as Man City RMs would do,
        Did you notice the amount of times Saka was isolated with 2 to 3 Everton defenders,

        IMO, Arteta should have played Jesus as CF as he offers more than Nketiah, since he used Vieira in midfield,
        Jorginho is another great player suited to play against lowblock teams.
        I hope we will increase our shots on goal.

    2. In a way I agree with you and Durand PJSA. But I am looking at it slightly differently – unusually for me!
      Last season we peaked too soon and the wheels came off. Yes it’s slower and more deliberate, but technically we controlled it. It will get better and faster as the season goes on. Four wins and a draw when playing like this means we must have something right.
      Everton are low block and such teams were our kryptonite last season.
      Agree not as much fun so far but I look at the table and I’m not panicking yet!

    3. Have you watched arsenal at all this season. If you have you would have noticed we are so fluid we adapt out game to the opposition and so far it has worked..

      So Spurs are a different team to Everton and will of course play a different pattern and we will plan and play for that..

      They are going to be more open and the goals will flow..

      3-2 to the Arsenal is my prediction for the North London Derby.

      BTW what’s up with the prediction league.. or we not doing that this season?

  7. I never understand one point about Arsenal – When we are without a goal, we will hold the ball very nicely, keep it rolling and will have the maximum control. But the moment we will score a goal we will give away the ball to opponent. We will hardly try to keep the ball. Because of the same issue we drew one game this season. Brighton, City and Liverpool they do it smoothly and effectively…

  8. Fantastic, controlled performance. Rice is a Rolls Royce of a player – brilliant from him again!

    Raya looked good on the ball, although not tested in the slightest, thanks to our defending.

    Hopefully Martinelli isn’t anything too serious.

  9. I think you’ll find that the reason Martinelli’s goal was not given was because Nketiah came from an offside position to collect a loose ball that had deflected off of Beto, who had made NO ATTEMPT to play the ball, so offside was probably correct.

              1. But if the original pass was sideways or backwards, then it can’t be offside? I don’t think they looked at that on var, otherwise it would have been ruled onside… Unless the rules have changed recently?

  10. Positives of the match:

    1. Raya looks very secure and assured.
    2. Rice and Saliba are absolute elites.
    3. We have a new signing in Viera
    4. The everton voodoo is finally over

      1. For Davi
        Ode not MOTM for me. I thought Zinchenko was immense today. Impressed with Vieira for his quick release of through balls (a little bit of Ozil but nowhere that level yet).

        For me I have been impressed by the 2 away performances and underwhelmed by the home performances despite the results.

        1. Agree zinchenko was brilliant. I thought odegaard was fantastic keeping the ball in the tight spaces and knitting things together – also his workrate in the press was immense – but zinchenko was also fantastic controlling the play from deeper.

  11. A very good game, though some frustrating moments and back passes here and there but all in all good game. You could see that Arteta had a plan for this game and everyone played by instructions.
    Thank you Trossard for that goal, you made that goal happen your self on your weaker foot too. Funny how we had so many left footed players on the pitch and non of them thought about shooting the ball the way you did.


    PSV and spurs this coming days.
    Easy points on the board

  12. Let us call a spade a spade. Honestly speaking today football was rather dull that I almost dozed off. First half was just passes with no attacking threat to our opponents. Our midfield was a bit shaky and we’re it not for Everton being shambolic. We were to get punished for loosing possession casually. Our chemistry today was a bit lacking. But all in all,a win is a win. I think Jesus would add more steel upfront as a starter. Also Saka needs to be more direct and purposeful. To get the ball into dangerous areas to get early goals.

    1. I think Saka needs a rest, I thought he was very slow and off the mark, great assist, but apart from that nothing, so rest him Arteta. Raya’s kicking very good, very composed. Gabriel had a bit of a wobble near the end, Trossard is class, Eddie, nothing special today, Jesus almost scored a great goal. Saliba good, I do wish White would hurry up with throw ins, he takes forever, it was a nervous display from us and we could have done with early goals to settle the nerves. Four mins stoppage, very surprised with that. Let’s hope we put in a better display against PSV and Spurs, I hope ESR plays in one of the games. Vieria is getting better, not a bad display. But three points is three points

  13. I think Arteta expected Everton to sit deep and not press us so he could afford to play Viera. Viera is built for this game, that we have all the ball and hardly face any pressure. In those conditions, he did fine, though a little wasteful in front of goal, with some bad shots or weakling efforts.
    This performance does not mean he is now suited to start every game, as a more aggressive and pressing opposition will expose his weaknesses.

  14. Not the best spectacle. Its sometimes a hard watch, watching us and today was that. Everton are a very poor side, right out of form at the moment and we played like we were playing in treacle. BUT as always the win means everything. I thought Trossard brightened (no pun intended) our attack and drove us forward. Odergaard, Viera and Rice struggled to take control of the match after the first 20 mins. Saliba and Gabriel were strong. BUT the way we play is far too slow and deliberate. A win is a win though.

    1. I thought we started fast. The ball was zipping all across the pitch in the first 20 minutes. Infact this was Arsenal’s brightest start this season. The only thing missing was the final goal action.

  15. Everton looked very poor, attack v defense
    A great result considering our record at Goodison.
    Very odd to change the Keeper for no apparent reason. I thought it was a poor decision to drop Ramsdale for this game considering he is trying to take Pickfords England spot.
    I hope Ramsdale is back in goal for the PSV game

    1. We are Arsenal Fc not England Fc and our primary goal is to win matches not train players for England. Ramsdale has unfortunately not progressed in his ability to recycle the ball and retain possession. It was a very astute decision to have Raya who appears to be much more comfortable with the ball at his feet start. Ramsdale goes route one too often for a team that plays possession based football. Take a cue from the few time Raya played safe and punted the ball forward from goal kicks towards the end of the match. Everton have taller players so they quickly recovered the ball and went route one to their tall striker. That’s control out of the window and the ensuing scrap could create chances for the opposing team. We restricted Everton to only 2 corners (which they are dangerous at because of the height of their players) and half chances because we held onto the ball. So Raya impressed me with his composure, vision, and range of passing even though he didn’t have to make many saves. Ramsdale may find himself sitting on the bench more often I fear.

        1. Raya is only on loan to help Arsenal balance the books. We have an obligation to buy for about the same fee as we paid for Ramsdale, so the “loan” is only a technicality – practically he is an Arsenal player.

  16. Do it deliberately and slowly and you do it automatically and fast as the time goes. I think Arteta has learned a hard lesson last season trying to play aggressively all season. It’s just not possible. Calming things down at the start is a great strategy if you want to finish a marathon with energy.

  17. Viera was not fantastic today but better than Harvertz. In such matches, players like Saka should be rested and come from bench if necessary. It will be cheaper to manage him than to lose him to injury. Arteta should manage his team properly by giving every player game time. Smith Rowe and Nelson are rusting on the bench.

  18. If we draw, some fans will complaints, if we lose, some fans will still lament, we win again, some fans are still saying that we didn’t play very well.
    What else do you guys want them to do again. Tottenham won with a die minute match yesterday against a relegation team in their backyard everybody was praising them and saying that they are title contender blah blah blah but not knowing that we are in the same points.
    At this moment and stage, what matters most and now is the point but some fans are still not satisfied with our win.
    Nice job guys for breaking the jinx against Everton.
    Keep it up guys and get the point again against PSV…. COYG….

  19. I think this was our most balanced game of this season. We looked dangerous, ridiculously comfortable on the ball, and defensively sound. Viera combined well with his teammates and looked like a player reborn. Nketiah did okay, he showed some good touches and combination play earlier on although I think his positioning in the box was a bit off. Raya was cool as ice on the ball and has vision, pass accuracy, and guts to play out from the back. Ramsdale’s place in the team is under serious attack. I was happy to see the team attempt a few more balls over the top. I think it’s an aspect of attacking play that we’ve underutilized previously. Zinchenko is integral to this team whether you believe he’s a good defender or not. His ability to play and receive balls between the line is second to none in the team. He makes Rice’s work easier by taking on the playmaker role and progressing play. Trossard deserves a run out in the starting line up. He always finds a way to contribute and rarely ever give the ball away. Odengard ran himself into the ground and i thought he will be substituted. Saka was Saka. ESR may get his chance in the midweek game. He has to take it if he does, cause the best starting line for the season is nearly sorted.

  20. Hang on for a narrow win?
    Come on give me a break, it was a deliberate and calculated performance, maybe we are entering a different style of winning.

    We were patient, calm and always in control.

  21. I am liking Arteta’s gameplan much more this season.

    Players are patient, calm under pressure, always controlling the tempo, building momentum when required, killing opponent’s momentum when necessary, keeping the possession when not looking to score.

    People are complaining too many passes, too slow, too deliberate etc, but I think that’s a great strategy this season.

    It wasn’t “hard fought” as many are making it look like here, nor Everton made it tough for Arsenal in any way, Raya probably took a nap or two during the game it was so easy. It was a stroll in the park for Arsenal tbh. All Everton did was to just man block the goal as much as possible. If they could, they would have field 11 GKs in a row on the goal yesterday lol. Arsenal just had to be patient and calm and just play with deliberate tempo.

  22. “In the 68th minute Saka took Arsenal’s 8th penalty…..”

    I believe Admin meant to write ‘8th corner kick’. Right ?

    Or am I missing something ?

  23. David Raya is so calm, composed and collected. He makes Gabriel, Saliba and White play better. The two CBs were colossus. No intimidation at all of Everton monsters. Rice, Odegaard and Zinny conquered the midfield with sheer quality and brilliance. Rice played like he is a Gunner for 5 years. Not missing a beat. Viera slowly getting his confidence back, much better than Havertz. The front 3 of Nketiah, Saka and Martinelli made Everton defend for their lives that they just defend in low block. It got worse for them when Jesus came in. Overall, total and absolute control but need to be more ruthless in front of goal. We were capable of winning the first 5 games with 5-0 score line but we lack composure and maturity. Which will flow greatly in time.

  24. I think zinchenko showed exactly what arteta was hoping to get out of partey at RB. He just understands that strange role so much better, knows exactly when to step into cm and when to drop. Very clever.
    Partey is a really great cm/dm/pivot, but i don’t think he quite figured out that inverted RB role. Could also be his teammates not being used to it on that side of the pitch, I suppose.

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