Daily Archives: February 5, 2023

Everton 1-0 Arsenal: Satanball Prevails

Premier League: Arsenal suffers second defeat of season after Tarkowski goal  guides Everton to win - Sportstar

Match Report – Match Highlights  Post-Match Press Conference

Final Result: Everton 1-0 Arsenal (Tarkowski 60′)

Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale; White (Tomiyasu 85′), Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey (Jorginho 59′), Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard (F. Vieira 77′), Martinelli (Trossard 59′); Nketiah

To be honest, I was somewhat concerned when Everton fired the hapless Frank Lampard and hired Satanball’s finest ambassador, Sean Dyche. In his Burnley days, Dyche had a very good record against Arsenal, and his brand of football, widely known as Satanball, worked wonders against certain opposition, till it took its toll on its personnel, which eventually led to their relegation last season, and Dyche’s dismissal. Since signing Vincent Kompany from Anderlecht, Burnley now plays exciting football and are odds on to return to the Premier League, as the Clarets sit pretty at the top of the EFL Championship with 65 points.

There was also the issue of the most publicized ‘new manager bounce’, so Arsenal had to be at their very best to see out this new look Everton side that had enough time over the FA Cup break to blend to Dyche’s Satanball style. Goodison Park has also not been a happy ground for Mikel Arteta, as the Arsenal boss had suffered three defeats in four outings, so the stars had aligned in the direction Arsenal weren’t hoping for.

The game itself was a mess, with Everton executing Dyche’s Satanball plan, looping the ball in the air with every chance and putting up combative outlays in the middle of the park, with the Ginger-haired Satanball squire fielding Idrissa Gueye, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Amadou Onana in midfield. Thomas Partey didn’t seem to look his best, as it was evident that he was still suffering the effects of his rib injury suffered in the FA Cup defeat to Man City, but in general, the players didn’t show up to the party at all. The usually exciting Martin Odegaard had an off day and failed to connect well with his teammates, and when he had a chance to put the ball at the back of the net from a cut back, he skied the ball hopelessly. Eddie Nketiah fed on scraps and couldn’t really cope with the physicality of the game, as one of Satanball’s strong points is to press opponents hard and bully them as much as possible. However, Nketiah had a good chance when he was fed by Saka on the edge of the box but he blasted his shot to Row Z. 

Which brings me to the goal that eventually settled the tie. Everton had a total of seven corners in the game, and they pretty much all had the same template – float it high in the sky towards the far post, then use the physical presence of the big lads to attack the ball, and hope for the best, I guess. Arsenal struggled to deal with the set pieces and there was an inevitability about the fact that the goal could potentially come from a corner, and it didn’t disappoint as it was a goal made in Burnley with Dwight McNeil lofting the ball for James Tarkowski to score his first league goal for the club. Watching the replay made me feel disgusted, as Odegaard was clearly no match for Tarkowski, and with the big lads like Gabriel and William Saliba marking other goons, the Arsenal captain could have done a better job. 

Not having any player on the posts didn’t help at all, because planting a player in that location would have seen him stop the incoming header, just like how Conor Coady was on hand to stop Bukayo Saka’s goal-bound shot that had gone past Jordon Pickford. Oleksandr Zinchenko was his usual vibrant self and trying to make things happen, but it wasn’t to be, as he clearly forgot his shooting boots at home. There was a wonderful chance Saka created to Zinchenko at the edge of the box from a corner, but the Ukrainian fired wide off the mark. 

Since the defeat against Manchester United in September 2022, Arsenal had gone on a 13-game unbeaten streak, drawing just two games against Southampton and Newcastle, so to see the team lose to a team that was in the trenches was painful to watch, but we have to dust ourselves up and move forward to the next game, which is against Brentford next week Saturday.

Irrespective of what happens in the Spurs vs. Man City game today, the Elephant will still remain on top of the tree. 


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