Everton 1 - 1 Arsenal
Arsenal dragged themselves to yet another away game at Goodison park to face Everton. Following a bore draw at Aston Villa, Arsenal were in dire need of a good performance, and desperate for three points. Did they get it? You bet they didn’t.
The Gunners could not have asked for a better start. Aaron Ramsey poked the ball through to Theo Walcott who curled his shot into the far post. The shot took a deflection, but in the form Arsenal are in, I don’t think anybody was complaining. It created the perfect foundation to build a traditional Arsenal onslaught.
Of course, such an onslaught never materialised. Everton took Walcott’s goal as a wake up call, and solidified themselves in the face of probing Arsenal attacks. As the half went on, Arsenal gradually slipped back into their recent nonchalant style of play, allowing Everton to penetrate our defence on a number of occasions.[quote_right]”Cazorla & Arteta were collaborating brilliantly in the centre to ensure that Arsenal created absolutely nothing in the final third.”[/quote_right]
On the 27th minute, Fellaini capitalised on sloppy defending to drill a long distance shot past Szczesney. A promising start had yet again been thrown away. It was typical Arsenal.
As the first half continued, Arsenal dominated possession, but Everton were in possession of all the chances. Jelavic turned Mertesacker brilliantly on the edge of the box, only to rifle the ball over the bar. All that was missing was the finish. Arsenal had certainly been let off. The half time whistle blew and Arsenal were in nervy position. Again.
I wish I could tell you that the second half saw a drastic improvement in Arsenal’s passing, moving and attacking prowess. But I simply cannot. Everton were incomplete control of the tempo, and created far more goal scoring opportunities.
Kieran Gibbs, who came on for the injured Koscielny, made a last-ditch challenge on Naismith to avert a certain goal in the 55th minute. Szczesney then parried a powerful Distin header away just moments later. Arsenal were on the back foot, and looked happy to stay there.
Cazorla & Arteta were collaborating brilliantly in the centre to ensure that Arsenal created absolutely nothing in the final third. Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud looked to be the only attackers who wanted to get forward. Unfortunately, they received little of the ball.
The game dragged on as Szcesney made more saves and dealt with more crosses. Fellaini was dancing through our defences and creating space for Jelavic and Baines to run in to. Arsenal were pinned back not just by Everton’s attacks, but also through their own lack of attacking cohesion.
It hurts to say it, but on a night where Everton dictated the game with little resistance, Arsenal were lucky to earn a point. Very lucky.
[title]Arsenal Player Ratings[/title]
MOTM. Did everything he could to stop Everton from doubling their goal tally. Not only did he do well with shots on goal, but he also helped stifle Fellaini when Everton crossed the ball in.
Defensively shaky for the Fellaini goal, and failed to get forward enough. It’s a shame that Sagna has almost no ability to cross. The only thing missing from his game.
As usual our big German intercepted brilliantly and managed to keep Fellaini quiet aerially. Reads the game to perfection.
Subbed off early on due to injury.
Slotting back into the centre following Koscielny’s injury, our skipper had a more settled game. He’ll need to use this as a platform to re-build his trademark performances.
Worked tirelessly all game and did his best to keep possession when all around him were losing it. Needed better support from Arteta & Cazorla.
In games where grit and desire are needed, Cazorla unfortunately fades into a shadow of his real self. For large patches in the game, Santi simply went missing. Needs to show more passion to win. Subbed for Coquelin. Yes, really.
The Spaniard is going through a rough patch of form, along with the rest of the squad. He worked hard. but gave awa many fouls, and almost conceded another penalty against Pienaar.
Surely it’s time to ask some big questions about what the Welshman has to offer. Pass after pass going astray, and his defensive play is below par. got the assist for Theo’s goal though.
As Walcott pleas for a chance down the middle, Wenger decided to move Theo from the right-wing….to the left-wing. He took his goal well and worked hard throughout the game to create chances, but didn’t see much of the ball.
Much like Theo, Giroud saw little of the ball. However the Frenchman constantly made intelligent runs and did the best with what he had.
[title]Not So Goodison[/title]
It’s becoming an all too familiar story. A lifeless draw accompanied by a lifeless performance. Key players such as Arteta, Cazorla & Vermaelen simply don’t show enough leadership when the chips are down. Arsene Wenger yet again threw on Coquelin in place of Cazorla in the dying minutes. Probably just to spite the fans.
One thing is for sure, Arsenal need to beat Swansea at home this weekend.
What did you think of the Everton Vs Arsenal Match? What was the thinking behind another late Coquelin substitution? Share your views below by leaving a comment.