Result: Arsenal 4-0 Everton
Date: 1 March 2023
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Jorginho, Xhaka, Ødegaard, Saka, Martinelli, Trossard
Subs: Turner, Tomiyasu, Tierney, Holding, Kiwior, Partey, Vieira, Smith-Rowe, Nketiah
Arsenal took their chance to finally turn their game-in-hand into all three points by putting four past Everton at the Emirates Stadium.
There was an element of payback about the result for the Gunners as they tasted defeat at the Toffee’s hands recently, but theres no tonic like a thrashing.
Mikel Arteta named an unchanged side from the win at Leicester on the weekend, with Trossard keeping his place up front – while Nketiah remained on the bench.
Arsenal wanted to make a statement after losing to Sean Dyche’s Everton just a few weeks ago. The prize? A five point lead at the top of the Premier League.
Everton unsurprisingly set-up to sit-in, in the opening exchanges – as Arsenal asserted early dominance in the game.
The Gunners struggled to find a cutting edge early on and Pickford left it no longer than 15 minutes before firing up the time wasting machine.
Arsenal had a half chance just after the 20 minute mark as Martinelli broke away after a Xhaka clearance set him free. But the Brazilian’s hesitation ultimately cost Arsenal the counter.
The other (fit) Brazilian Gabriel then made a crucial tackle to prevent what could’ve been a clear shot at goal for Maupay. Not long after, Gabriel held off Onana to shepherd the ball out for a goal kick, before the latter fell to the ground dramatically clutching his face for the second time of the evening.
For all Arsenal’s huffing and puffing, it was the first shot on target that found the net. Bukayo Saka, once again, fired Arsenal into the lead with a beautiful turn and rifled finish (on his weaker foot) into the roof of the net. Unstoppable. 1-0 to The Arsenal.
Five minutes later and Arsenal had the ball in the net again, as Saka nicked it off the defender to set up Martinelli, who slotted home. The linesmen flagged immediately, but on VAR review the goal was given! 2-0.
A nervy, laboured first half ended with Arsenal two goals up in the driving seat, thats Starboy power.
First point of order in the second period was Saka once again being fouled (specifically grappled and hauled over by Mykolenko) without a foul being called. Standard.
Trossard had a golden opportunity to make it 3-0 as a high ball dropped to him, but he scuffed the volley attempt. To be fair, Coleman’s attempted header probably put him off.
Just after the hour mark, Ramsdale was called into action for the first time as Dwight Mcneil drove at the Arsenal defence and unleashed a powerful effort, but Arsenal’s number 1 stood firm.
Saka and Martinelli nearly combined again as the former clipped a ball to the back post, but it was inches out of reach for the latter. Arsenal’s dominant pressure continued.
Everton received the first booking of the game on 66 minutes as Godfrey, who infamously stamped on Tomiyasu’s face last season, this time stamped on Trossard’s leg.
Trossard recovered well enough to provide the assist for Arsenal’s third, which came in the 70th minute from captain Ødegaard. The Belgian’s lightening run into the box was punctuated by a fizzed low pass to the arriving Ødegaard, who poked it home. 3-0.
Following the third goal, the Gunners really started purring – playing with a real sense of joy. The Emirates faithful responded in kind by cheering every pass.
With ten minutes to go, Arsenal made it four. Ødegaard slotted substitute Nketiah through at the near post and the finisher turned provider for Martinelli who tapped in for his second goal of the night. 4-0.
As the full-time whistle blew, it was mission accomplished for Arsenal who moved five points clear at the top of the table. Next up: Bournemouth at home on Saturday.