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Arsenal 4-0 Everton: Emphatic and Entertaining

Highlights: Arsenal vs Everton - Watch Saka & Martinelli goals - Futbol on  FanNation

Starboy opening the scoring against Everton

Match Report – Match Highlights – Post-Match Press Conference

Final Result: Arsenal 4-0 Everton (Saka 40′, Martinelli 46′, 80′, Odegaard 71′)

Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko (Tierney 82′); Jorginho (Partey 45′), Xhaka (F. Vieira 72′); Saka (Smith-Rowe 82′), Odegaard, Martinelli; Trossard (Nketiah 72′)

Michael Oliver was the man with the whistle when Sean Dyche and his Everton side came to the home of football as Arsenal finally got their world famous game in hand out of the way. That came with its own measure of trouble, as well as some measure of revenge, bearing in mind that Everton was the team that dented Arsenal’s 14-game unbeaten run in the Premier League, handing the Gunners their first defeat since September 2022. 

The initial part of the game was a scrappy affair with Everton soaking up the Arsenal pressure and springing on the break with some counter attacking football that had little or no threat to the Gunners rearguard. Neal Maupay lead the Everton attack in the absence of the always-injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but his much publicized goal drought, 12 games or so, was mentioned by the commentary team, as well as the jabs they took about his confidence. In all honesty, it was on show, as he failed to connect from an attacking standpoint, and his attempt of a flick from a Dwight McNeil cross was quite laughable.

Arsenal attack was spearheaded by Leandro Trossard, as I predicted, and his swaps on the left wing with Gabriel Martinelli was akin to how the Brazilian connected with Gabriel Jesus when he was fit. When it looked like Everton were about to go into the break level on scores after quite a disruptive display, Arsenal turned on the style and had their starboy to thank for such an emphatic finish. Arsenal’s left back-turned midfielder, Oleksandr Zinchenko, made another of his trademark marauding attacking forays and received the ball at the edge of the Everton area before feeding Bukayo Saka, who timed his run well behind Vitali Mykolenko, using his weaker right foot to smash the ball past Jordon Pickford. 

Arsenal doubled their money before the break when Idrissa Gueye had won the ball off Martin Odegaard, but dallied on it before he was robbed by Saka. Martinelli, who was in the center forward position, with Trossard on the left, latched onto the loose ball and placed it past an onrushing Pickford. There was a long VAR check, and Martinelli was adjudged to be onside, much to the delight of everyone at the Emirates Stadium. The last time there was an important VAR check at the Emirates, Lee Mason failed to do his job properly, and we all heard that he resigned following the backlash from that incident.

Premier League: Gabriel Martinelli Stars As Leaders Arsenal Crush Everton  To Go Five Points Clear | Football News

Martinelli celebrating with the Samba boys

Martinelli and Saka’s goals also meant that both players were up to double figures in Premier League goals, and Martinelli became the third Brazilian in Premier League history to reach that figure while aged 21 or under. Only Gabriel Jesus (in 2017/18) and Richarlison (2018/19) had achieved the feat earlier. That was also his third goal since returning from the bench, which meant that the Trossard kick on his arse was what he needed to step his game up.

At the start of the second half, Thomas Partey came on for Jorginho, who had a stinker, if we were being honest, and as expected, the Ghanaian lynchpin added some stability to the center of the park. Gueye was also yanked out at the break for Mason Holgate, but I don’t know whether it was tactical, or whether Dyche was pissed off at him for his part in the second goal conceded. Meh.

Trossard’s switching with Martinelli created so much confusion for the Everton backline, and the Belgian almost made it three when Ben White received Saka’s through ball and swung the ball to the far post, but Trossard failed to connect well with the ball and steer his attempted volley on target. His signing, like Jorginho, was a true inspiration that has galvanized the team’s attack in Gabriel Jesus’ absence, and it’s really funny when you remember that Trossard and Jorginho were backup signings following the failed attempts of the first targets, Mykhailo Mudryk and Moises Caicedo.

Everton made a couple of attacking substitutions with their top scorer, Demarai Gray, replacing the ineffectual Maupay, and the visitors almost pulled on back when McNeil was left unmarked at the edge of the area and blasted a shot that was well parried by Aaron Ramsdale. Ramsdale has to be commended for the vital saves he continues to pull up every week, as his concentration levels are always in check, with his team on the ascendancy all the time. 

Arsenal put the game beyond doubt when Granit Xhaka put Trossard in behind the Everton defense on the left hand side, and the Belgian’s side-footed cut back from the byline was finished aplomb by Odegaard. That also turned out to be the last involvements for Xhaka and the brilliant Trossard, who were substituted shortly for Fabio Vieira and Eddie Nketiah. Within minutes of his arrival on the pitch, Nketiah was clean on goal when Partey dinked a sumptuous ball for the for English forward and he hurriedly blasted his shot on Pickford’s body. It was already 3-0 so the Arsenal supporters didn’t mind, but if the tie was still level and we needed that ball to be at the back of the net, there would have been a collective groan from the Emirates faithful. The goals have somewhat dried up for Nketiah, but he has to keep at it. Martinelli had gone eight games without a goal, and even got benched, but now, he has four goals in three. That’s football.

Arsenal put the icing on their well baked cake when Zinchenko threaded a sweet pass to Nketiah on the byline who drilled one at the near post for Martinelli that toe poked it under Pickford’s legs before he could even react. That goal was really good because Nketiah and Martinelli haven’t really worked together post-World Cup, like Martinelli and G. Jesus, which affected the Brazilian’s form. 

Arteta brought on Kieran Tierney and Emile Smith-Rowe, to give them some minutes as the Emirates went into party mode. Smith-Rowe was almost on the scoring act which would taken Arsenal to five, but the Everton defense was on hand to make some important blocks from the English midfielder and Fabio Vieira that had a sniff at goal too. The party was almost spoiled late on when Gray fired a shot that was goal-bound, bringing yet another save from Ramsdale, but the Arsenal defense had to bail their goalie out and preserve his clean sheet when they stopped Tom Davies’ rebounded effort. 

Following the ref’s whistle to end proceedings, the joy was palpable as the Gunners did what was required of them, getting three deserved points, as well as boosting up their goal difference, which may come to the fore in deciding the fate of the Premier League title. Mikel Arteta wasn’t resting on his team’s laurels after the game, stating that there’s more to come, and I must say that I really love the attitude he has instilled on the team, especially with their one-game-at-a-time approach. 

Bournemouth visit the Emirates this weekend, while Man City hosts the deflated Carabao Cup finalists, Newcastle. More on the Bournemouth game as we get closer, but its time to smell that fresh air that’s five points ahead at the top, as well as credit the lads for another top performance.

It was emphatic and entertaining.


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Everton Preview: Trossard as a Number 9 Again?


Takehiro Tomiyasu in action against Everton

Everton visit the Emirates tonight in what would be a crucial encounter for Mikel Arteta and his men in the Premier League. Arsenal know that a victory against a team that defeated them recently will send them five points clear at the top, which will give the Gunners some breathing space from their title challengers, Manchester City.

Mikel Arteta has taken stock from the last time he locked horns with Everton and his pre-match press conference, he touched on it 

“It’s a case of doing things better than we did when we played them a few weeks ago and earning the right to win the game. Obviously with Sean it’s quite clear what he’s done and where the success they’ve had is coming from.

We have to look at certain matches, what they do and try to get the right tactics to beat them – and as well the same mentality and expectation of what we demand in the game.”

The manager also spoke of his delight to have options to rotate, which brings me to one of my leading topics of today’s post – should Arteta retain Leandro Trossard as the center forward in tonight’s game against Everton? The Belgian maverick started ahead of Eddie Nketiah in the 1-0 narrow win over Leicester, and it’s fair to say that he was one of the best attackers for the Gunners on the day. In the 70 minutes he featured at the King Power Stadium, Trossard made 20 accurate passes out of 25, which included the assist to the eventual match winner, Gabriel Martinelli. He also had two shots on target, with one smashing the back of the net, but an infringement spotted by VAR stopped Trossard from having a well deserved goal.

Nketiah has worked very hard and earned his spot in the team following the injury to Gabriel Jesus, but tonight’s game is better suited to a player of Trossard’s abilities, as Arsenal will be looking to exploit spaces with Everton coming with a low block, as well as some good old Satanball.

Regarding other team news, Arsenal will sweating over the fitness of Thomas Partey, that managed to get a couple of minutes under his belt in the last clash against Leicester, and there is more progress regarding Gabriel Jesus’ fitness as he’s itching closer to a return to the pitch. Mohamed Elneny remains the long-term absentee. Everton will be without their injury-prone forward, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, while Andros Townsend and Nathan Patterson are still on the sidelines.

Everton have won only 2 of their last 14 competitive fixtures in all competitions. The wins have come recently and Everton beat Arsenal and Leeds United 1-0 at home in the Premier League. The wins have come in their last four matches but Everton’s away form is poor and The Toffees have failed to win any of their last 9 away games in all competitions, so Arsenal should take advantage of their wretched run of results on the road.

Arsenal vs Everton Predicted Lineups

Arsenal: Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard; Martinelli, Trossard, Saka.

Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Tarkowski, Coady, Mykolenko; Doucoure, Gueye, Onana, Iwobi, McNeil; Maupay

Injury / Suspension Updates

Arsenal: Mohamed Elneny (knee), Gabriel Jesus (knee)

Everton: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (hamstring), Nathan Patterson (knee), Andros Townsend (knee)

Form Guide

Arsenal Form

  • Last Five Games: L D L W W
  • Last Result: Leicester 0-1 Arsenal (Martinelli 46′)
  • Leading Goalscorer: Bukayo Saka (10)

Everton Form

  • Last Five Games:  L W L W L
  • Last Result: Everton 0-2 Aston Villa (Watkins 63′, Buendia 81′)
  • Leading Goalscorer: Demarai Gray (5)

Gooner Daily predicts a 3 – 0 victory.

Kick Off – 8.45pm (GMT +1) at Emirates Stadium.

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Post-Everton Blues and Thoughts on Man City’s Charges

Sean Dyche's interaction with Mikel Arteta after Arsenal victory sums  Everton boss up - Mirror Online

Everton’s win over Arsenal has seen the Gunners rocked with the naysayers wasting no time in questioning the title credentials of the team that has been the most consistent in the Premier League. Prior to the blip in the ground that has now become the host to regular Satanball, Arsenal had played 19 games, won 16 and had two stalemates against Southampton and Newcastle, which is title winning form if you ask me.

Following the loss to Everton, Mikel Arteta said a lot in his post-match press conference, but I’d lay some emphasis on what he wants his team to do in the next game,

“I want the team to know how much I love them. I love them much more now than three hours ago, a week ago, month ago, three months ago. It’s very easy to be next to the players when they are winning and performing. This is the moment I love my players more, the staff more and now we stick together. This journey is going to be difficult and challenging, and there’s going to be bigger stones in the middle that we’re going to have to overcome that. And now we’re going to prepare really well in the week to get to Saturday in the right emotional level and right spirit to be perfect.”

Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles of 2004 may still be the only team not to lose a game in the Premier League and win the damn thing, but defeats are also part and parcel of the game. The defending champions, Man City, lost three games last season, a shocking home loss to Crystal Palace, and a Spurs home and away double, but their 29 wins and six draws were more than enough to secure the title. 

The title race has always been a marathon, not a sprint and as you expect in a marathon, there are times even the Haile Gebrselassie’s of this world take breaks and reduce their pace, only to surge for the final push at the business end of the race. Arsenal has to play Brentford next week Saturday, before hosting their title rivals, Manchester City, then there are some tough visits to Unai Emery’s Aston Villa and Leicester before hosting Everton in the rescheduled fixture on March 1st

Speaking of Man City, unless you’re living under a rock with no access to internet, Cable TV or social media, you must have heard about the 100 charges labeled against them by the Premier League. Arseblog’s Andrew Mangan covered it in this fantastic piece. Worth a read. 

There have also been talks of the potential sanctions Man City can face, ranging from relegation from the Premier League, fines and my personal favorite, points deduction. I’m not really in support of just fines, because its like water off a duck’s back, with the amount of financial power the club has, but when you’re out there cooking your books and posting irregular numbers, there was to be some ramifications like, you know, points deduction. 

Take a good look at Juventus, a club never far from scandals, if you recall the Calciopoli indicent that saw them relegated to Serie B, but they have been docked 15 points this season by the Italian FA for “financial irregularities” and “false accounting” in relation to historic transfer dealings – the exchange of players between clubs. Those points deductions has seen the club dropped to 10th place this season, a whooping 30 points behind the league leaders, Napoli.

I know Man City has denied all the charges and investigations are ongoing, but some antics are expected to take its toll on the team, and the performances haven’t really helped. There was the strange departure of star defender, Joao Cancelo, that got everyone bemused, especially the FPL universe, and their recent outings haven’t been that impressive on the pitch, to match the mess ongoing off it.

The title race is in full effect, and Man City has to also be mindful of their neighbors, Manchester United, that has been in a rich vein of form, and a win tonight against managerless Leeds will put both Manchester clubs level on points at 45, even though Man Utd would have played a game more, and still have a shitty goal difference.

We will keep enjoying the drama the Premier League continues to unfold and hopefully, it will end with Arsenal being triumphant.


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