Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang grabbed a match-winning brace as Arsenal came back from a goal down to beat Everton 3-2 at the Emirates on Sunday.
Everton handed Arsenal an early setback as Dominic Calvert-Lewin opened the scoring within a minute after kickoff with an acrobatic effort. However, the Gunners struck back through Eddie Nketiah before captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added a second to put his team in control.
Arsenal were pegged back again, though, as Richarlison poked home from close range on the cusp of half-time to reinstate parity. However, the home team had their lead back within 30 seconds after the restart with Aubameyang scoring his second of the evening.
Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison threatened to equalise, but were unable to beat Bernd Leno as Arsenal held on for an important victory. The win meant Mikel Arteta’s side moved into the ninth place in the Premier League table, three points behind the top six. Here’s how we rated the performances of the Arsenal stars on the day.
Bernd Leno: 8/10
Not a lot the German shot-stopper could have done to keep out Calvert-Lewin’s opener. But, should have done better against Richarlison for Everton’s second. Redeemed himself with a couple of fine stops in the second period denying both the Everton strikers and rushed out to hacked the ball away to deprive the visitors a chance. Played an integral role in keeping Arsenal’s narrow lead.
Hector Bellerin: 6/10
Back into the starting XI after missing the midweek game, the Arsenal right-back still looks like he is working his way back to full fitness. Had a few nice moments linking up with Nicolas Pepe and Mesut Ozil in the right channel, but it was a mixed bag of a performance defensively.
Strong in his challenges, but left Shkodran Mustafi isolated against the dangerous Richarlison at times. Was guilty of playing the Brazilian onside for Everton’s second goal.
Shkodran Mustafi: 7/10
The centre-back was beaten in the air leading to Everton’s opener, but recovered very well from thereon, putting in a solid defensive performance. Won his fair share of headers throughout the game, stepped out to cut out attacks in the bud, while he was positive when in possession. His drastic improvement under Arteta continued on Sunday.
David Luiz: 6/10
Guilty for Everton’s first goal as he missed a chance to head the ball clear, while his positioning wasn’t always on point for the rest of the game. But, highlighted his prowess with the ball at his feet, setting Aubameyang up for Arsenal’s second with a fantastic through ball.
Sead Kolasinac: N/A
Handed a start ahead of Bukayo Saka, the Bosnian left-back started off scratchily. Lasted just 15 minutes on the pitch, as he had to be taken off after injuring himself in a nasty collision with Djibril Sidibe.
Dani Ceballos: 6.5/10
Back into the starting XI, the Real Madrid loanee did not bring his creative game on Sunday, with his passing being awry for most parts. But, Ceballos made quite a contribution in the defensive side of things, working his socks off for the team’s cause, showing the steely side to his game. Came close to scoring with a curled effort in the second half.
Granit Xhaka: 8/10
The former Arsenal skipper had a slow start to the game, but became influential with time. Sent Saka on his way leading up to Arsenal’s equaliser and demonstrated his range of distribution with some delectable cross-field passes, especially in the second half. Always at hand to drop and fill in at left-back, allowing Saka to have an impact in the final third. Enjoying a fine resurgence under Arteta.
Granit Xhaka for Arsenal against Everton:
🔘 Most touches (86)
🔘 Most passes completed (64)
🔘 Most recoveries (10)
🔘 Most take-ons completed (3)
Feeling the love under the new boss. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ntnkGM1ENG
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 23, 2020
Nicolas Pepe: 7/10
Not as impactful as he was in the game against Newcastle United, but the Ivorian speedster still was a potent threat down the right side. Had the Everton defenders back-pedaling each time he was on the ball and had a couple of pops at goal after cutting in from the flank. Set Aubameyang up for his second early after the break with a brilliant cross.
Mesut Ozil: 7/10
Like Pepe, Ozil too wasn’t as influential as he was against Newcastle last time out with Fabian Delph keeping a close watch on him, especially in the early stages. However, once he was able to find spaces, the German began to impact the proceedings, keeping Arsenal ticking with some fine passes. Involved in the build-up to Arsenal’s third goal.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 9/10
Was a threat from the left flank all game long and capped the performance with two very good goals. The first strike, a calmly slotted finish past Jordan Pickford, reminded of Thierry Henry, while the second one was a precise header to win the game. Aubameyang is now joint top scorer in the Premier League for the season along with Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy with 17 goals.
Put in the hard yards defensively as well, especially in the latter stages when Arsenal fought hard to protect their lead. A captain’s performance.
Eddie Nketiah: 7.5/10
Great run and an even better finish to get Arsenal back on level terms in the first period. The youngster worked hard off the ball, pressing the opposition from the front, often forcing Pickford to go long. Almost got a second goal late in the game, but was unlucky to see his effort hit the woodwork. Repaying the manager’s faith with another purposeful performance.
Bukayo Saka: 8/10
Thrown on in place of the injured Kolasinac just 18 minutes into the game, the youngster made immediate impact, setting Nketiah up for Arsenal’s first goal with a sensational cross. Continued to be a constant outlet down the left flank, giving Djibril Sidibe a hard time throughout.
Bukayo Saka’s Last 5 Games
⚽️🅰️ vs Bournemouth
❌ vs Burnley (45 Mins)
🅰️ vs Newcastle
🅰️ vs Olympiakos
🅰️ vs Everton
— Premier League Statman ⚽️ (@EPLStatman) February 23, 2020
Had a couple of hairy moments with the ball in the second half that put his team under a bit of pressure, but nevertheless, it was another fine performance from the teenager.
Lucas Torreira: 6/10
Came on for Ceballos in the 75th minute. Was a solid presence in the middle, helping Arsenal see out the game.
Matteo Guendouzi: N/A
Replaced Ozil with less than ten minutes left. Industrious little cameo from the Frenchman.