Report: Everton 0-0 Arsenal

78

Result: Everton 0-0 Arsenal
Competition: Premier League
Date: 21 December 2019
Venue: Goodison Park

Starting XI: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Luiz, Saka, Torreira, Xhaka, Nelson, Smith Rowe, Martinelli, Aubameyang

Subs: Martinez, Mavropanos, Mustafi, Guendouzi, Willock, Pepe, Lacazette


Freddie Ljungberg’s final game as head coach saw Arsenal take a point from an exceptionally drab 0-0 draw with Everton at Goodison Park.

On an afternoon of few chances, the broadcast cameras regularly honed in on incoming coaches Mikel Arteta and Carlo Ancelotti. Both men did well to stay awake.

Pre-game

Freddie Ljungberg gave youth the nod in his final game as interim head coach. Shorn of the injured Kieran Tierney, Sead Kolasinac, Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin and the suspended Sokratis, he cobbled together a back four with Bukayo Saka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles wide of Calum Chambers and David Luiz.

Granit Xhaka returned from a concussion to join Lucas Torreira and Emile Smith Rowe in midfield. Gabriel Martinelli and Reiss Nelson played up top with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang.

Pepe and Alex Lacazette had to make do with a place on the bench and when asked about Mesut Ozil, nursing a foot injury, Freddie bluntly replied, “Mesut wouldn’t have been in the squad anyway given what happened in the last game.”

First half

Dull. Boring. Dreary. Shabby. Lacklustre. Bleak. Sombre. Lethargic. Take your pick. The opening 45 minutes was awful. There’s no point sugarcoating it. 

Everton, who had their new coach Carlo Ancelotti also watching from on high, showed a bit more forward intent in the opening stages but we weathered what storm there was. 

Moments of note? Alex Iwobi picked up a hamstring problem and have to go off after 11 minutes in his first game against us since his summer move to Merseyside. David Luiz took out both Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin without getting booked. And Lucas Digne crossed the ball very badly every time he got it; set pieces, open play, literally every time. 

When it came to keeping possession, it felt like the only people on our team were Leno, Luiz, Xhaka and Chambers. They had the ball a lot. As soon as we moved into the final third it was like the pitch turned into a swamp. Suddenly we slowed down, players stopped moving, passes were under-hit. Inevitably we turned backwards. Back. Back. Back. Across. Back. Across. You’ve seen it before. 

Everton were similarly awful. It was almost as if they were lured into an average performance by what they were up against. 

In the closing stages of the half, Tosun fired over from close range and Martinelli snatched wide having been clear on goal. He should have gone across Pickford, instead he sliced into the stands. At the break, neither side had forced a save or hit the target. 

Second half

Thankfully, things got more interesting. For about five minutes. 

Richarlison from a tough angle pulled a shot wide in a crowded box and Pickford acrobatically denied Aubameyang from close range. The striker had another chance not long after but couldn’t get any power on his effort from the edge of the box. In truth, he probably should have left Torreira’s pass for Smith Rowe who seemed to be in a better position. 

As the game opened up, we started to find space to break on the counter. Snippets of promising play included Saka and Martinelli combining down the left and Luiz and Smith Rowe taking charge of situations by carrying the ball forty yards or so before offloading. The latter’s afternoon ended on 65 minutes when he was replaced by Willock. 

There were nervous moments as VAR checked to see if Torreira and Chambers, who’d both put their bodies on the line, had cleared a Calvert-Lewin shot legally. Replays suggested it was off the Uruguayan’s chest. Fine margins, but great defending. 

At the other end, Aubameyang fired high and wide again. He was removed with 13 minutes to go with Lacazette coming on in his place. Duncan Ferguson replied by putting Kean on for substitute Tosun. He loves subbing a sub, doesn’t he?

Chambers, Xhaka and Luiz all gave the ball away in dangerous positions as the game edged towards the 90th minute but aside from a Davies pot-shot that was always going wide we rarely looked threatened by a poor Everton attack. 

A first clean sheet in 15 games is very welcome, as is a point on the road, but there’s no hiding that Mikel Arteta has a huge job on his hands.

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Maniac

The first half was awful, but in the second it actually looked like we were playing some football. Admittedly not the best performance, but keeping a clean sheet away at Everton while having our three first choice fullbacks out of action feels like a step in the right direction.

Adrian

Considering what’s going on around the club. Decent result specially in away match.

rugrat

“ozil wouldn’t have been in squad even if fit”. one more reason to love freddie

Berlingoon

I think once again he tried to hide from the consequences from his own misbehaviour by faking an injury. Have seen it all before and it’s another reason why he shouldn’t be anywhere near our squad. Just get rid of him, if that’s not possible, let him play with the u23 until his contract runs out. He’s finished big time.

Nordin

Yup. We played fantastic without him but with ESR. And yes lots of running around too. Well in case you didnt notice….we didnt score or create anything really worth mentioning. But YES Özil didnt play and he is not good enough to be in the squad. Freddie my mate….your favourtism is killing team…it has killed UE, now it has killed you too. There is U23 competition for a good reason!!

Arsenalista

Huh?????

Limpar from the halfway line

Are you Özils mum?

DaDude

I begin to suspect that Özil uses his 350k salary to pay off parts of our fanbase. Maybe he does the bank transfers while being at home “injured” during the matches. I mean this guy is “injured” more often than the average tortured Uighur in China.

Hiiiii guys

Well today without Ozil we created NOTHINGGGGG! Nelson Smith Rowe and Willock do very little. Pepe and Ozil need to be starting these games. The hate is ridiculous from our fan base. Just because you have problems in your own life don’t take it out on Ozil. He is by far the most talented midfielder in our squad. so what if he earns 350K. You guys dont own Arsenal.

Hiiiii guys

On another note Aubaa played horrible today. No point being a captain with performances like that. Hope he leaves in the summer.

Petit's Handbag

Hiiii guys, if you once tongue kissed Mourinho’s under carriage dont reply

James

We don’t create with Ozil in the team, plus we concede more. That’s the whole point.
How do other teams cope who don’t have Ozil in their team, because he plays so well 1 in 60 games. It’s worth it…

Reality check

James

“We don’t create with Ozil in the team, plus we concede more”
Is that your personal opinion or you have data to back it up?

tanned arse

You really miss the point. A new standard needs to be set. Did you listen and hear the words yesterday? How about ‘accountability’? Start now and get the culture and mentality changing. You don’t work, you’re out. You show dissent for a managers decision, you’re out. Because that’s not what you need in a team environment. Freddie is setting the tone and its something everyone one of us should get behind and understand because you can bet that arteta isn’t going to accept that from anyone. And you know what….he’s damn right!

Cechmate

Yet he started Xhaka, who asked the fans to f*ck off’ and didn’t apologize, does that seem like setting the tone? Abuse the fans but play nice with the manager is the tone is it? He should have left both out. I supported him taking over the but was appalled at his selection and tactics, which were clearly in the Emery era. So, it is clear that Freddie got into Emery’s head and being the weakling that he is, Emery played to him and lost his job. Freddie comes in, plays his fav u23 players, when that doesn’t work, he… Read more »

btw

Ozil has done nothing recently to suggest he would have made any difference

HelderHughes

Two clean sheets for Saka at LB. Very much the Flamini of 2019.

Comedian

Just hope he doesn’t end up there. A lot of players start playing in a temporary position and slowly it becomes their permanent one. But he is such a good player, he must be frustrated but he goes about doing his job. Loved the defensive shape we had today. ESR looked nervy today else from what i have seen of him, he usually plays it forward than side ways. Auba did has his movements just hope if anyone had picked his runs but still there is reluctance to play it forward. Martinelli reminds so much of Sanchez, works so hard… Read more »

ricky rick

Nah he’s too good. Has top top top quality and calmness on the ball.

Reality check

Comedian

Naa too much class there. Saka would’ve ended up an attacker even if he had started his career as a left back. Has a better attacking game and end product than iwobi, at only 18..

Pépé Le Pew

I disagree , this position is primordial and Saka has all the attributes to make it his own. He did very well today and I like his behaviour.

Ringoxiii

I can’t see it happening to Saka, it’s not like on the other side where AMN has had several years of playing mostly at right-back because of Bellerin being injured and us going through 4 or 5 transfer windows without getting any cover. We have 2 good left-backs in the squad, and while it’s unfortunate that they’re both injured at the moment Kola is due back in January so i don’t think Saka will play more than a few weeks there

Jack

Everton made so many mistakes and sloppy balls today and what do we do? Don’t take advantage and make the same mistakes ourselves.

Also the decision making by Arsenal was wrong on every single occasion we attacked.

Reality check

Calm down mate be patient, the process haven’t even started. It wont change over night. Enjoy the rebuilding, may be evaluate the process a little. But don’t get in to the results business just yet, don’t do that to your head, enjoy your Xmas..

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

@Reality, don’t you think we really needed three points today to perhaps play Europa League next year, if other club have bad second half of season?

Rich

Smith-Rowe is 19, had injuries and probably a bit rusty

Nelson is 19, has hardly played,so understandable rusty

Martinelli is 18, worked his socks off, but is far from the finished article.

Saka is 18, and being asked to play left back, but he’s not a left back.

Niles is 22, and still learning his trade, in what is usually a chaotic backline.

Let’s cut these lads some slack, support them and give them some space to grow ffs

Winterburns right wand

Absolutely. Nice Post!

RedHotHornBlower

Well said, Rich. It was not an entertaining game, but Arteta will have taken some positives from the performance of these younger players. Much to do though so keeping some perspective is critically important.

Nordin

You know there is U23 Arsenal team taking part in U23 competition rite? They are there for a reason!! FL was U23 coach. Maybe he forgets which team is.which!!

Flash

We are the new Tottenham…

Anonymarse

Let’s not get carried away

Flash

Their emerging talents aim higher (Bale…)
Their best players looking for the biggest clubs… (Modric)
Always having a good squad but left behind at the end of the day…
While their biggest rival seems to have the potential to catch even the best clubs in the world.
Like him or not – having a top class manager.
Having world-class facilities.
Being among the elit clubs in Europe…

Paul Roberts

I bet you are fun at parties. 🙂

Flash

🙂

Striker

A yester-year top class manager
You know there is a reason why the big clubs didn’t come for Mourinho right?

C.B.
Flash

Ohh yes…
The past.

Paul Roberts

Can you see the future Flash? Can you see dead people? Or are you just one of the so called “fans” who see bad in everything?

Flash

I came from a place where the past in football was one of the brightest in this sport’s-history. Still the last 30-40 years was spent with nothing but with continous referencing to that glorious past, while the present looked more and more hopeless.
I hope I will be wrong but the truth is:
We are fighting for an Europa-league spot, and we had maybe 1 or 2 seasons in the last 15 when we had some kind of chance to win the league, while Spurs matched our biggest international achievement in our history only a couple of months ago.

Paul Roberts

Do what??

Flash

Face the truth…

Henkamp

Lots of work still to be done.

But impressed with Torriera, Xhaka and Chambers today.

Reginald

And Xhaka wants out? Including Toreirra. Rumors say half of the team . I know usually the case when results go down south

Tim

Torreira did want out at some point but things might have changed now if he thinks he can play regularly in his role. The Xhaka wants out news came from Bild… Bild. Auba and Laca not signing new deals (so far) is a fact though…

Runcorn Gooner

Awful match but clean sheet and a point. It’s a start.
Well done the young ones.
McManaman must be the worst commentator on tv.
When Davies fouled Saka. “Nothing in it just a stamp”
Unbelievable.

The Arsenal

Every time he says ‘fletch’………

Arsenalista

Dudes an absolute plank

Tony Hall

We kept a clean sheet, we defended better. That in itself is an improvement so credit where it is due.

Reality check

Well played Saka and Martinelli, couldn’t tell who played where, both worked really hard up and down the pitch..

Henkamp

Their link up further up the pitch was lit as well. And it hasn’t been only in today’s game. They both look like they dovetail nicely.

Reality check

Two 18 year olds, owning their side of the pitch, in an away premiere league game and out of position too. Martinelli is a striker for me, the kid is made out of goals. With him coming through, I’ll even let one of Auba or Laca leave in the summer. sooner or later, Left wing will be Saka’s.. has the class of young Ozil but with some bite and bottle..

Pakgooner

Not happy but will take this result as we are playing with makeshift fullbacks who were solid. Chambers also kept it composed though Everton did not pose too much of a threat. Xhaka and Torreira looking much better in the 2nd half and I actually did not know until today that they have some ball-playing skills in their arsenal. Need to see more from Auba I notice him just moving up and down the pitch or just filling in for a winger pressing – he barely makes runs in space and would like him to do more of that. People… Read more »

ian Canham

BT are the worst! Yes we are not good enough but today was a decent point away especially the second half. Also defence and xhaka and torriera stood up today – Keown is a joke and talks absolute drivel – we are not good enough but there was work and fight in that performance which is what you build on

shokim

Clean sheet on the road is much appreciated. However dull game shows lots of hard work ahead for incoming Arteta.

Good Ebening

I almost pity Arteta who has got such a huge job to do right in his first stint as a manager.
It almost feels like I don’t watch Arsenal play for the joy of it but instead just for the heck of it.

Paul Roberts

Your user name makes your comments invalid to most people.

The Arsenal

Clean sheet.

Alex

For Everton too.

Rich

Good performances from Luiz, Chambers and Torreira, a few silly fouls, but we defended pretty well overall.

Saka got caught out of position a couple of times, but he’s got real class on the ball, I’m looking forward to seeing him get a consistent run, even if it’s not in his favoured position

We really needed 3 points, but a points still not a bad result, particularly with such a young team.

Hopefully Arteta goes with the youngsters again on Thursday.

Winterburns right wand

We looked like we had a bit more confidence on the ball in the second half. When Freddie came in he said he didn’t want to change too much in the first game, I think he should have changed more right from the start. I think the slow changes haven’t helped him, so he didn’t get that ‘bounce’. If there’d been more change (a bit of a kick in the bollocks for some of the players, or bigger tactical change) then I think theres a good chance he would have got some better results and may have kept the job… Read more »

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

This game was supposed to be about getting three points, not Arteta, see the young players I developed in the academy?

Man Manny

Report: Everton 0-0 Arsenal (Inc goals).

Arsenalista

Yeah, the goal was to get a clean sheet

Paul Roberts

Mik has less to do than he thought probably. Arsene has said improvement can happen quickly. COYG!

Alex

FL showing his muscles towards Özil (yeah, good boy, Freddie, you’ll be loved for that and the rest will be forgotten) while he should have shown some to his young ones as ESR showed it is nothing easy to replace Özil. But Özil wasn’t there and let’s talk seriously: what has Auba brought recently? He is our captain and while Özil a distraction, nobody points out his performances! He is not cheap, he costed a lot, his bro openly criticised FL and MA and what does he do except waiting for the ball? Same for Pépé : he costed a… Read more »

Comedian

He played them ozil in his other games didn’t he? he played all senior players in his first game didn’t he? If those players can be as least interested and throw their tantrums on the pitch, they deserve to be left out. Bore off with your criticism of a interim manager who did his very best and tried to work his magic. I am more please with youngsters playing because they look up for it. You should realise the players are still feeling effect of emerys coaching but why should Freddie have a team of your liking. He knows the… Read more »

Paul Roberts

So you were just about to go #Freddieout Alex? FS!!!

Winterburns right wand

Anyone else wish they could vote Alexs comment down by about 10?

Marco

Costed isn’t a word my friend.

PaddyVieira

Once again you have shown your allegiances are with Ozil rather than the team. The club comes first! Ozil is an absolute mercenary and spoofer, he had a few good seasons but has been largely anonymous for a number of years now. His reaction to being subbed last weekend was horrific, it was nearly as bad as his ability to influence games.

tanned arse

I only watched the 2nd half so probably have a very different perspective because I actually enjoyed what i was seeing. The energy levels and amount of sprints all over the pitch stood out so much. Defenders and midfielders who have been passing square and back all season were not taking the slow easy route but deliberately being more progressive. Xhaka was far more mobile too (more than I’ve ever seen which surprises me if he really wants to get away). Very clear basic messages seem to have been put forward. I also like the fact that pepe was omitted… Read more »

Pépé Le Pew

I enjoyed the game. It was a real dog fight with no space or time on the ball was allowed from both teams. A good all fashion midfield battle between 2 struggling teams. The youth can hold their head high.

Obama Young

Nil-nil to the Arsenal!

Jack4343

We were bad…they were bad. 10/10 for all that didn’t nod off during that one. Whew, that was a big nothing of a match.

Jack4343

By the way, not putting that on Freddie. He inherited a disaster and really has done his best to light a fire amongst the players. I really believe that.

Marco

Think 4-5-1 is a good tactic for away games at the present time. When Laca Auba Ozil and Pepe play the team is far too open when we lose the ball.Best we have seen of Torreira and Xhaka for ages.Those 2 won a lot of second balls which was great to see.Well done boys onwards and upwards.

Mark

Definitely not the most exciting match, but still nice to see Arsenal play early on a Saturday for a change instead of waiting until Sunday due to all the EL matches on Thursday. Could see a new sense of energy on the pitch and know that the only direction we have to go us up from this point and things will slowly improve now that we have a permanent manager on board.

Rav Singh

Get out of our club… AFTV get out of our ckub