Arsenal swept Everton aside and put five goals past the hapless Merseyside outfit, but the Gunners remained fifth despite the big win.
Arsenal may have hoped for a win and a favourable result elsewhere in the game between Norwich City and Tottenham game. But Spurs scored five goals past a hapless Norwich to secure fourth spot on the Premier League table, meaning Arsenal’s big win over Everton did not change their position, which was only good enough for UEFA Europa League football next season.
The Gunners gave Everton no breathing room from the first whistle and pinned the visitors inside their penalty box. The pressure soon gave away as Gabriel Martinelli’s shot stuck Alex Iwobi in the arm, and after much deliberation, Andre Marriner awarded a penalty. The Brazilian was the surprise spot-kick taker and made no mistake in giving Arsenal the lead.
Within three minutes of that strike, Martinelli flicked Bukayo Saka’s corner into the path of Eddie Nketiah, who made no mistake from close range to head in the second. With the advantage, Arsenal continued with their pressure tactics and may have had another goal before the break. Instead, their defence fell asleep for a moment to allow Donny van de Beek a simple tap-in for his first Everton goal.
The second half began just as the first one had, as Arsenal continued their dominance on the ball, and soon Cedric Soares found himself on the scoresheet. The Portuguese defender’s curled effort found the back of the net as the Gunners restored their two-goal cushion.
Most wins in a Premier League season for Arsenal since Arsene Wenger left the club:
◉ 22 (2021/22)
◎ 21 (2018/19)
◎ 18 (2020/21)
◎ 14 (2019/20)
But it wasn't quite enough for #UCL football. 😩
— Squawka (@Squawka) May 22, 2022
Soon enough, Arsenal made it four, as Cedric’s hopeful pass found Gabriel Magalhaes, who was lurking in the box and applied a striker’s finish with his shot. That goal was his fifth, and no other centre-back has scored more than the Brazilian this season in the Premier League.
Arsenal later added a fifth as Martin Odegaard wriggled through the box to tenderly slot the ball past Asmir Begovic. Arsenal will play Europa League football next season, while Everton will continue featuring in the Premier League after securing safety from relegation. Here’s how the players fared as Arsenal thrashed Everton 5-1 at the Emirates.
Aaron Ramsdale: 6/10
Ramsdale ended yet another gameday without a clean sheet, even though Arsenal restricted Everton for the most part. His nervy moments in the penalty box continued to overshadow his game, although his distribution was much better than in the last few matches.
Cedric Soares: 8/10
Cedric was at his best as he constantly posed a threat in his forays down the right-hand side. The Portuguese full-back was always available to receive balls and sent in hopeful crosses into the box. For his efforts, he scored and assisted in the match.
Gabriel Magalhaes: 8/10
Gabriel became the highest scoring centre-back in the Premier League this season and has more goals than Alexandre Lacazette. Remarkably, he was solid in defence, as he kept his high line well and always pressured the opposition with his intricate passing.
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) May 22, 2022
Rob Holding: 7.5/10
Holding maintained the high line well and was superb in charging down Everton players and building the pressure on them. There were some nervy moments and a lack of communication at the back at times, but generally, he was good.
Nuno Tavares: 6/10
Tavares possesses pace and power when running down the flank, and at times he was unstoppable. But his finishing and final ball lacked the required nous, and despite getting into promising positions at times, he lacked the end product, probably due to his inexperience.
Mohamed Elneny: 7/10
Elneny kept total control of the midfield zone as his passing was fantastic and dealt with the opposition pressure well in a high line. His movement was precise, which was not the case in the previous two games, and he showed how much of a difference it makes to the attack.
Granit Xhaka: 7/10
Xhaka enjoyed a fantastic first-half performance as the Everton defenders on the left side found it difficult to deal with him. Xhaka was a constant outlet to put balls into the box to cause problems. He was taken off in the second period to give Albert Sambi Lokonga some minutes.
Martin Odegaard: 9/10
Arsenal’s top Premier League chance creators in the last five seasons:
🇩🇪 Mesut Ozil – 84 (17/18)
🇳🇴 Martin Odegaard – 72 (21/22)*
🇩🇪 Mesut Ozil – 45 (18/19)
🇨🇮 Nicolas Pepe – 40 (19/20)
🏴 Bukayo Saka – 38 (20/21)
Impressive first full season. 🙌🎩 pic.twitter.com/B7o6Ph9MEX
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) May 20, 2022
Odegaard wielded his influence on the game from the opening whistle, pulling the strings with his creativity. He was the reason why Everton were torn apart and seemed chaotic at the back. The Norwegian got his reward for the supreme work with a delicately taken goal.
Bukayo Saka: 7.5/10
Saka threatened the Everton flank with his running behind the lines and trickery on the ball. He had a few chances to score in the first period, but he put his shots wide off the mark. He did get an assist for Cedric’s goal to show for his cause.
Eddie Nketiah: 7/10
After two horrendous games, this was a good performance from Nketiah. He scored from a set-piece in the first half. His running and movement caused many problems for the Everton backline, as he generally worked hard. The supporters will hope that was not his last game in an Arsenal shirt.
Gabriel Martinelli: 8/10
A tremendous display from the young Brazilian, as he tormented his side with his direct running and work rate on the ball. Martinelli was on hand to retrieve loose balls and make sure Arsenal always remained on the front foot in the final third. He won and took the penalty to open the scoring, then produced the deftest of touches before Nketiah doubled the lead.
Thank you Arsenal family for the support this season means the world ❤️ pic.twitter.com/LEzehLv5tg
— Gabriel Martinelli (@gabimartinelli) May 22, 2022
Albert Sambi Lokonga: 6/10
Lokonga replaced Xhaka and produced a bright cameo. He even came close to scoring and generally kept a robust presence in central midfield.
Alexandre Lacazette: 5/10
Lacazette curled a shot off target, which summed up his season as the striker came close to scoring on what may have been his final appearance for Arsenal.
Nicolas Pepe: 6/10
Pepe may have kept his best form for the last game of the season as the Ivorian notched an assist and tested Begovic with a stinging effort late in the game. This may have been the winger’s last game, as his future at the Emirates looks bleak.
Asmir Begovic: 4/10
Begovic produced a performance that was nowhere near the heroics of Jordan Pickford in the last few games, as the experienced goalkeeper let in five goals in against the Gunners.
Jarrad Branthwaite: 4/10
Branthwaite had many nervy moments at the back as he failed to contain or compose himself to deal with the fluidity of Arsenal’s attack. Among those bad moments, the 1v1 against Saka epitomised the lack of experience in the defender.
Michael Keane: 3/10
Keane was nowhere near his level and seemed like he was playing without the pressure of getting a result in the game. He is not the leader Everton need at the back, and performances like these will not get the Toffees out of their issues.
Mason Holgate: 4.5/10
Like Keane, Holgate was nowhere near the robust self, like he was in the last few games. He did not put in the effort to make life difficult for the Gunners and struggled when coming up against Xhaka and Martinelli.
Alex Iwobi: 4/10
Iwobi did not have the nicest of returns to the Emirates. Firstly, he found it tough to deal with the pressure on his side and then conceded the penalty. The former Arsenal man did play a role in Everton’s only goal at the stroke of half-time, but otherwise, he endured a match to forget.
Abdoulaye Doucoure: 2/10
A terrible opening period for the midfielder, who was withdrawn in the first half, either for bad performance or due to a knock he may have suffered.
Tom Davies: 3/10
His rustiness was evident after not playing for a long time and then coming up against the fluidity of this Arsenal attack. Overall, he was not good enough on the day and constantly struggled to contain the pressure.
Jonjoe Kenny: 4/10
Kenny’s performance showed how important Vitaliy Mykolenko has become to this team, as he lacked anything of substance to trouble Arsenal’s defence or held their attacking moves.
Dele Alli: 4/10
Alli was booed whenever he touched the ball due to his allegiance to Tottenham. He was nowhere near the player that put on a star showing against Crystal Palace, as he never got to the ball and did not get the chance to influence anything in the final third.
Demarai Gray: 6/10
Gray was frustrated with the game as he could never get the chance to run forward with the ball. He did have Everton’s two best opportunities in the first half before van de Beek’s strike.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin: 6/10
Calvert-Lewin initially struggled for relevance as a lack of chances from his teammates affected his game. Eventually, he grew into the game and provided the assist for van de Beek’s goal. He is the kind of striker who needs good service, and he will give the team the goals it needs.
Donny van de Beek: 6/10
— Everton (@Everton) May 22, 2022
This was not the best time for van de Beek to get his first Everton goal since his January move. The whole loan move may be considered another blot on his time in England, and he returns to Manchester United with his future uncertain.
Anthony Gordon: 4/10
Gordon did not have the necessary impact on the game, as Everton were pinned back in their box.
Isaac Price: 4/10
Price got some valuable minutes under his belt, in what was his debut for Everton.