An ineffective Arsenal suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Everton with Richarlison and Demarai Gray lifting the hosts from their slump.
Arsenal suffered their third straight away defeat, this time going down to Everton at Goodison Park. The game grabbed headlines as Everton fans had threatened a pre-advertised walk-out in protest against the club and their recent slump. Those who did walk out might have come to regret their decision as their team played superbly.
Richarlison was deemed unfortunate twice as VAR ruled two of his goals for offside, either side of a Martin Odegaard opener. The Brazilian did get lucky the third time of asking with a brilliant headed finish after Demarai Gray’s shot rebounded off the bar. It resulted from a lapse by Thomas Partey and Nuno Tavares in the build-up, and with 10 minutes left, things looked grim for the Gunners.
Arsenal kept the pressure in the final 10 minutes, with Eddie Nketiah missing a golden opportunity to take the lead again. The substitute squandered a fine pass from Bukayo Saka and could not apply the finishing touches from two yards out.
Gray turned hero for the Toffees in stoppage time as the attacker sent in a brilliant curling ball past a stranded Aaron Ramsdale. who was unmoved by the final effort. However, at the very end, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang squandered the opportunity to equalise, missing an easy shot from inside the box, which compounded his recent woes.
Everton's Premier League record with Mikel Arteta against Arsenal:
🔵 11 games
🔵 2 wins
Everton's Premier League record against Mikel Arteta's Arsenal:
🔵 4 games
🔵 3 wins
The unlucky charm. 🙃 pic.twitter.com/J7AAW3q5tX
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) December 6, 2021
Everton ended their eight-game winless streak with a solid win over Arsenal, who seem to have re-developed old habits. The pressure is now on Mikel Arteta after a third successive away loss in the Premier League, with the top-four challenge now an uphill task again. Here is how the players fared as Everton beat Arsenal at Goodison Park.
Jordan Pickford: 6/10
Barring a few decent saves, Pickford did not have much to do as Arsenal proved toothless in their attack. The Everton no. 1 had no chance to deny Martin Odegaard, though.
Seamus Coleman: 6/10
Coleman worked hard despite the double threat of Gabriel Martinelli and Kieran Tierney on his side. For the opener, Tierney beat him for pace; however, he did some good work on his flank after that.
Yerry Mina: 5/10
Just half an hour into the game, Mina went down injured, which was a major setback following his recent return from a big injury.
Michael Keane: 6/10
Keane dealt with the physical threat of Alexandre Lacazette throughout and had an average performance at best. He should have done better in stopping the opener by Arsenal, leaving too much space for Odegaard to take his shot.
Ben Godfrey: 4/10
Should this have been a red card for Ben Godfrey? 👀 pic.twitter.com/9ziagh840v
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) December 6, 2021
Godfrey was very lucky to be on the pitch after stamping Tomiyasu in the face. Moreover, he should have seen at least a yellow for early challenges on Bukayo Saka and eventually got substituted in the second half.
Anthony Gordon: 4.5/10
Gordon’s apparent lack of quality prevented him from troubling Arsenal too much on his side. Tierney was always well stationed to stop Gordon from advancing higher up the pitch. He also had a lucky escape as his stamp went unnoticed.
Abdoulaye Doucoure: 7/10
It was a good performance from the experienced midfielder, who worked hard. Doucoure could have opened the scoring, only to direct his shot wide of target. If not for the VAR, he could have had a good assist to his name.
The Brazilian was a mere presence in the team, as he barely contributed to anything in the game.
Demarai Gray: 8.5/10
Demarai Gray for Everton in the Premier League this season:
◉ Most goals (5)
◉ Most shots (31)
◉ Most fast breaks (6)
◉ Most take-ons completed (19)
◉ Most touches in opp. box (50)
£1.7m was a bargain. 🥜 pic.twitter.com/33lzn440Qf
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 6, 2021
What a way to respond and ease the pressure off the manager and the team! Gray played a big hand in the first goal and got the winner in stoppage time in dramatic fashion. That was surely a let-off for Everton. What a signing he is proving to be.
Andros Townsend: 4.5/10
Barring a few good deliveries into the box via set pieces, Townsend was average in his overall display from open play. He did well to support his colleagues whenever possible, but Townsend was ineffective in his role.
A fantastic display by Richarlison, who was extremely unlucky to have two goals chalked off for being narrowly offside. Then, with ten minutes left, the Brazilian was the quickest to react to Gray’s rebound to head the ball home, after a concentrated spell of pressure from Everton. Superb from the forward.
Richarlison's game by numbers vs. Arsenal:
8 duels won
6 touches in opp. box
4 chances created
4 take-ons attempted
3 take-ons completed
3 tackles made
2 fouls won
And two disallowed goals. 😅 pic.twitter.com/igQGJ6NoAV
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 6, 2021
Mason Holgate: 7/10
Holgate replaced Mina at the heart of the Everton defence and did a fine job until the end. His numbers were also impressive as he won nine aerial duels.
Andre Gomes: 7/10
Gomes was probably the substitution that turned the tide in Everton’s favour as he gave the team much better control. He played a big role in the build-up to the equaliser.
Alex Iwobi: 6/10
Iwobi came on late and had a brilliant chance to increase Everton’s lead, only for Ramsdale to save his close-range effort.
Aaron Ramsdale: 6/10
It was not the best night for Ramsdale, as he was left stranded when Gray’s winner went past him. The Arsenal goalkeeper saved Iwobi’s late effort superbly.
Takehiro Tomiyasu: 4/10
Somehow, he will be disappointed about Godfrey not getting punished for stamping on his face. Otherwise, Tomiyasu was sturdy enough but should have contributed in the final third far more than he did.
Ben White: 4/10
Be White has not looked all too comfortable in the last two games, although he did manage to make a few key blocks and interceptions. The bigger problem was the movement in front when he tried hard to create from deep.
Gabriel Magalhaes: 4/10
Much like Ben White, Gabriel was inconsistent on Monday and could not align with the lack of energy from the midfielders. He got caught out twice by Richarlison only for VAR to save his blushes. Overall the Brazilian struggled to make an impression.
Kieran Tierney: 7/10
Tierney got the assist for Odegaard’s goal and expressed his ideas smartly in the first half. It was a strange decision to take him off as he was finding plenty of space on the left flank to foray forward.
Thomas Partey: 3/10
Thomas Partey lost more duels (9/14) than any other Arsenal player against Everton.
Struggling in the middle of the midfield.😔 pic.twitter.com/R9EoH6yiCi
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 6, 2021
In an interview with Sky Sports that aired before the game, Partey said his performances for Arsenal have been 4/10, and he went a grade lower here with a 3/10 display. Partey had no control of the midfield, and barring some momentary decent displays, the Ghanaian lacked the impetus to lead the team by example.
Granit Xhaka: 4/10
Was his return rushed? It does seem that way from his performance. Xhaka was very rusty in his approach and was more or less anonymous for large parts during the game. He got booked in the usual silly way, and both he and Partey lacked any level of control in midfield.
Bukayo Saka: 5/10
Saka was fouled constantly whenever he tried to create something. He sent in a telling ball for Eddie Nketiah, who should have scored Arsenal’s second of the game. Otherwise, Saka looked a bit rusty and never really got going.
Martin Odegaard: 6/10
Odegaard scored the opener and showed the talent to penetrate the lines. In the second period, he was as ineffective as the others, as Arsenal squandered their lead and ended with a defeat.
22 – Martin Ødegaard (22y 354d) is the youngest Norwegian to score in back-to-back Premier League appearances since John Arne Riise in August 2002 for Liverpool (21y 328d). Lion. https://t.co/x9GVHcjsFx
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 6, 2021
Alexandre Lacazette: 4/10
Mikel Arteta wanted to shake up things a bit upfront and probably made it look worse with Lacazette leading the line. The Frenchman had no real chance to score all game, and in the last few minutes, the Arsenal manager thought it best to take his leading striker for another out-of-form frontman.
Gabriel Martinelli: 5/10
He looked desperate to make things happen and failed to penetrate the Everton backline for large parts of the game. He tried to take up central positions when Lacazette went deep to receive the ball. Martinelli went off injured, with his injury looking like a muscle problem.
Nuno Tavares: 5/10
A strange introduction at best, as Tavares barely contributed as Arteta would have wanted him to. He made a mess at the back alongside Partey leading up to Everton’s equaliser.
Eddie Nketiah: 3/10
Yet another strange substitution from Arteta, as Nketiah offered close to nothing while squandering a great chance to restore the lead.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: N/A
If there was the provision of a negative rating, Arsenal fans would certainly give Aubameyang one. The Arsenal captain came on late and had a great chances to redeem himself and get an unlikely equaliser, only for him to squander the opportunity.