Arsenal 4 – 0 Everton – Match Report (045)

The Premier League leaders had the chance yesterday to extend their lead to five points, and they pulled through! The boys certainly didn’t disappoint in making a statement as we recently lost away at Goodison Park, which cost us in terms of the battle for the Premier League trophy. Arteta made no changes from the victorious team against Leicester at the weekend, with Trossard keeping his place in the starting XI keeping Eddie on the bench. This match also featured the highly anticipated reappearance of Emile Smith Rowe who has had a place on the bench for the last two games but hasn’t been used, and Kieran Tierney finally got some much deserved game time.

The first forty minutes were largely uneventful. As anticipated, Everton were happy to sit back and allow Arsenal to assert dominance and control the majority of the possession. We had a chance around twenty minutes in, when Martinelli broke away following a great fall in from Xhaka after a clearance, but he hesitated just a little too much in front of goal and that cost him a goal. At the other end of the pitch Gabriel made a crucial tackle to prevent Maupay from having a clear shot at goal. 40 minutes in the deadlock was broken, and it was Arsenal’s first shot on target that opened the scoring as Saka finished on his weaker foot to put the ball in the roof of the net. There was nothing Pickford could do to stop this one. This was Saka’s 50th goal involvement in the Premier League, with 27 goals and 24 assists, making him the sixth youngest player to reach this milestone.

It only took five minutes for Martinelli to double our lead, as Saka cheekily stole it off the defender to play in Martinelli, who never had any doubt where he was going to put that ball. There was a lengthy VAR review, as the linesmen immediately flagged for offside, but VAR found no offside in the build up to goal and it was given. There’s nothing better than the two best youngsters in the league playing so beautifully together. 

In the second half, Ramsdale was much more called upon as McNeil had a strong attempt but he stood strong and nothing found its way past him. In the 70th minute, Captain Ødegaard made it three as Trossard ran into the box and executed a low pass to the captain, who tapped it home. At this point there was no doubt that we were taking all three points, and any more goals were just an added bonus. 

Martinelli provided this bonus with his second of the night. Zinchenko tried to set Eddie up at the near post, who couldn’t get a shot away but instead set up the Brazilian, and the Emirates was buzzing. 

Next up is Bournemouth at home on Saturday, as this game marks the start of a busy run featuring 6 games in just 19 days. Bournemouth are currently battling with Everton to make it out of the relegation zone, so I expect to see a similar type of play with Arsenal largely controlling possession and dominating the opposition. Hopefully, Smith Rowe and Tierney will get some more game time, and maybe even Reiss Nelson could make an appearance after he was substituted off quite quickly in a 2 – 0 defeat in a friendly against Juventus back in December.

Written By: Abby Goodson (@_abbygoodson)

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